People who want to stay healthy and vital should take steps to eat a balanced, healthy diet including all the recommended nutrients and vitamins. Since it is not always easy to get all the needed vitamins and minerals, many people choose to take supplements for vitamins such as the B vitamins. Some people have conditions that don’t allow their bodies to absorb enough nutrients from food. Other people drink alcohol, smoke, or have long-term stress that causes shortages of nutrients. Athletes use more energy and need to replace nutrients such as vitamin B.
The vitamin B Family
Not everyone realizes the term vitamin B actually is referring to a group of eight essential chemicals. These include:
- Vitamin B1 or thiamin
- Vitamin B2 or riboflavin
- Vitamin B3 or niacin
- Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid
- Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine
- Vitamin B7 or biotin
- Vitamin B9 or folate
- Vitamin B 12 or cyanocobalamin
These eight chemicals work together to help the body grow and stay healthy. They keep the digestive system working and food being metabolized and turned into energy that is used to create and maintain new cells. The brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system need vitamin B to function properly and stay healthy. The making and keeping of healthy skin, eyes, hair, liver, and intestinal muscles depends on this vitamin group.
Pregnant women need vitamin B and especially B12 to ensure healthy babies. A deficiency can lead to birth defects such as Spinal Bifida. Children with a deficiency of vitamin B can develop hyperactivity. Infants with too little vitamin B can suffer neurological disorders and impaired growth.
Finding Foods With Vitamin B
It is easy to rely on vitamin B supplements for enough of this nutrient but it is also important to get this vitamin complex from the foods people eat. Meats such as pork, chicken, turkey, and liver are good sources. Dark green vegetables, seeds, nuts, beans, and lentils can provide vitamin B. Eggs and dairy products are good sources as are whole wheat such as bread, brown rice, wheat germ, and oatmeal can help. Brewer’s yeast and vitamin B added foods can also be helpful.
For more information on the B vitamins, go to the website.