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Certified Personal Trainer. Health Foodie. Wife. Mom.

Why You Need The “B-Team”

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Through the years we have heard a lot about the so-called “B Vitamins” and all of their wonderful health benefits.

To make this simple for everyone, I would like to break it down by listing the B Vitamins, listing the top sources where you can provide a bunch of B Vitamins into your body – naturally, and mention some key health benefits associate with B Vitamins.

Top Sources of B Vitamins

There are a lot of “B Vitamins” out there, with multiple names, too! I have listed them off as how they are numbered, plus how they are most commonly listed as in nutrition labels.

If you look at Vitamin B9, you’ll see that I have listed “folate” instead of “folic acid”. Folate is the natural form of Vitamin B9, found in whole food sources, while folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, or Vitamin B9. Depending on the source, that’s how it will be shown on the nutrition label.

• Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – Whole grains, beef, rice, and nuts.

• Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – Raw milk, beef, spinach, yogurt, eggs, and whole grains.

• Vitamin B3 (niacin)  – Turkey, peanuts, codfish, lima beans, raw milk, and yogurt.

• Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) – Codfish, tuna, chicken, eggs, raw milk, yogurt, broccoli, lentils, avocados, and sweet potatoes.

• Vitamin B6 (pyridoxamine) – chicken, pork, peanuts, black beans, whole grains, and almonds.

• Vitamin B7 (biotin) – Cooked eggs (I specify cooked since raw eggs contain a protein that will bind the biotin in the body; not what you are going after), wheat germ, peanuts, cottage cheese, and whole grains.

• Vitamin B9 (folate) – Liver, sunflower seeds, spinach, edamame, beans and bean sprouts, asparagus, and peanuts.

• Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) – Liver, clams, trout, salmon, feef, yogurt, tuna, and raw milk.

Health Benefits of B Vitamins

Natural Energy Boost – I keep seeing all sorts of energy drinks who tout the use of “B Vitamins”. I say, ditch the energy drinks (which are full of other junk) and indulge in some natural forms of B Vitamins,  specifically sources of Vitamin B1. With the help of Vitamin B1, the body is able to convert carbohydrates that we consume into the right amount of glucose to produce energy.

Digestion – For proper digestion, Vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B6 play a vital role. The B Vitamins create an important hormone called Hydrochloric acid, which breaks down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

Nervous System – The nervous system is beyond crucial for every day life. Thankfully, B Vitamins help your nervous system function properly. Vitamin B5 is important to the adrenal glands, creating certain hormones and regulating nerve function. Vitamins B1, B6, and B12 are essential for overall function of the nervous system, including the brain. Vitamin B9 (folate) has been proven to prevent neural tube related defects. For those women that are pregnant, these vitamins are a must-have!

Beauty – The B Vitamins are an important part of synthesis of DNA, RNA, and for cell reproduction. This means that the B Vitamins are great for healthy hair, nails, and skin. Perhaps we can call these the “Vain Vitamins”?! ;)

Precautions

Eat your B Vitamins! They are good for you, but never overdose on them either! They are extremely important for your overall health, but like I have said before, “too much of a good thing can be bad”.

If you consume too much Vitamin B6 (500 mg or more), it can result in irreversible nerve damage. To prevent overdoing it, I suggest eating foods that naturally contain the vitamins rather than take them in pill form.  I also suggest consulting with a licensed professional to make sure your levels are safe (not too low or too high).

Image Credit: plibb.com

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