There are so many B vitamins that it sounds overwhelming. But in reality, there are just eight, and they’re known as the vitamin B complex. These eight are B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12, and they all help to give you the best performance that you can give out. Just like a car needs oil, you need B vitamins to keep you going. They help change food into fuel so that you have energy, but they also have so many other individual benefits. They can range from healthy skin and hair to stopping you from losing memories.
However, there is no need for you to start chowing down on supplements. Odds are, you have enough B vitamins in you from what you eat. Overloading yourself on vitamin B isn’t going to make much of a difference in your performance. But it’s still worth noting why each vitamin is important, and you can learn how you can eat healthy so that you can heave enough in your diet. With that said, let’s break down each vitamin.
B1 AKA Thiamine
Vitamin B1 is also known as the anti-stress vitamin. This is because it helps to protect your immune system, and it even helps your body create new cells. When you consume carb-heavy foods, vitamin B1 can help your body break those down and ensure digestion and easy absorption. You can find B1 from whole grains, beans, peanuts, kale, spinach, blackstrap molasses, and wheat germ.
B2 AKA Riboflavin
Vitamin B2 helps to defeat free radicals, which may damage your cells. In addition, it can help to prevent early aging, and even help stop heart disease in its tracks. Speaking of heart disease, it’s great for red blood cell production, which can lead to more oxygen transportation. It’s speculated to even help prevent migraines.
However, the sunlight may break down B2 in food sources. For instance, opaque containers help to block sunlight, so it’s best to put them in there if you’ll be eating outside. You can find it in milk, yogurt, wild rice, almonds, eggs, Brussels sprouts, soybeans, and spinach.
B3 AKA Niacin
While being deficient in this vitamin is rare, it’s not uncommon for people with alcoholism to have low levels. Being deficient in this vitamin is bad news, as it helps you to have good HDL levels. HDL is the good cholesterol that will lower your bad cholesterol. Additionally, it can even help with your acne levels as well, and you can use topical applications for that. You can find it in red meat, milk, eggs, yeast, beans, and green vegetables.
B5 AKA Pantothenic Acid
The word “pantothenic” is derived from the Greek word meaning “from everywhere.” It makes sense, since you can find this vitamin in any food group, some more than others. B5 helps to break down fat and carbs, as well as producing hormones such as testosterone and other sex-related elements. B5 has been studied for healthy skin and reducing aging, making you less likely to be red or have spots. The best sources include yogurt, avocados, eggs, meat, and legumes.
B6 AKA Pyridoxine
B6 helps you to maintain levels of homocysteine, an amino acid associated with heart disease, along with B12 and B9. It’s also a determinate in sleep patterns and even your mood, as it produces melatonin, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which is a stress hormone. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, some studies reveal that B6 can help with your inflammation. You can find it in brown rice, carrots, chicken, tuna, turkey, salmon, sunflower seeds, lentils, and cheese.
B7 AKA Biotin
This is known as a vitamin of beauty, as it promotes healthy skin, nails, and hair. That said, it has less superficial uses. It can help people control high blood sugar levels if you have diabetes, and it helps promote growth of a baby when it’s still in the womb. To get this great vitamin, consume egg yolks, nuts, liver, yeast, pork, barley, chicken, fish, cauliflower, and potatoes.
B9 AKA Folate
This is also known as folic acid, which is synthetically created for supplements and added to foods like bread and cereal. B9 may lower your chance of depression and memory loss. If you’re pregnant, it’s another vitamin you’ll need for the development of your baby, and it can prevent birth defects as well, so make sure you have plenty of this vitamin if you want a healthy child. You can find it in milk, bulgur wheat, beans, root vegetables, beets, salmon, leafy greens, and asparagus.
B12 AKA Cobalamin
Finally, we have B12. And as they say, it’s last, but not least. This vitamin co-ops with B9 to produce red blood cells and help iron produce oxygen. There is only one problem, and that’s that vitamin b12 is found in animal products only. So if you’re a vegan, you may need to find supplements to help you out and get your levels optimized. You can find this in pork, beef, eggs, shellfish, fish, and dairy.
As you learned, vitamin B has many forms, all with various uses to boot. They all help your body perform at its greatest, and you need to have optimal levels if you want to do that. Now that you know about your B vitamins, talk to your doctor and see if you’re having enough. If not, try some of these foods above and get your B levels up! Your body will thank you for it later.