Vitamin B: Body-Boosting Goodness
It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of B vitamins to a healthy lifestyle.
The human body needs 13 vitamins to survive and the B-group accounts for eight of them. B vitamins are essential to proper nervous, brain, and cardiovascular system function, energy production, and healthy red blood cell formation.
And because they are water soluble, most B vitamins leave your body quickly when compared with vitamins that are fat-soluble (Vitamins A, D, E and K). The only exceptions to this rule are Vitamin B-12 and folate, which are stored in the liver. So you need to consciously add these every day.
Why are B vitamins so important? Let us count the ways.
+ Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) helps our cells change carbohydrates into energy.
+ Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) works with other B vitamins to promote body growth and produce red blood cells.
+ Vitamin B3 (Niacin) supports cellular energy production. + Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) helps support cellular energy production in the body.
+ Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is necessary for normal nervous system function and red blood cell formation.
+ Vitamin B7 (Biotin) supports healthy hair, skin, and nails. + Vitamin B9 (Folate) is critical in the proper development of a baby’s nervous system.
+ Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) is necessary for DNA synthesis, red blood cell formation, and for normal nervous system function.
Unfortunately, because they are water-soluble, B vitamins are easily destroyed during the cooking process. And supermarket shelves are filled with highly processed foods which destroy B vitamins during the intense production methods.
So if you don’t want to buy expensive supplements, you have to make some conscious choices. Here are a few foods that will keep a person B-full on a daily basis.
+ All seeds, including quinoa, buckwheat, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin and flax, are full of B vitamins, including B1, B2, B5, B9, and B12.
+ Vegetables, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and onions are excellent sources of B6, and leafy greens such as lettuce, cauliflower, and green beans are great sources of folate.
+ Fruits such as avocados, tomatoes, and bananas are good sources of B5 and B6.
+ Beans and legumes, which include green peas, black beans, and edamame, have almost every B vitamin except B12.
+ Grains such as oats, barley, and wild rice also are full of every B vitamin other than B12.