B vitamins are crucial for optimal health, energy, handling stress, liver detoxification, and mood balance. These eight water soluble vitamins work as a team to promote healthy nerves, skin, eyes and hair, yet deficiencies are very common. While many of the following vitamins work together, each has its own specific benefit and function. The 8 different types of b vitamins include, thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), vitamin B6, biotin (B7), folate and vitamin B12. Lets explore the B vitamins further to know what each one does and why it’s so important.

Vitamin B1 – Thiamine
Thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin that helps to convert energy from food, this helps with metabolism and strength. It also helps to metabolize protein and is necessary to maintain a healthy functioning nervous system.  It is believed that Vitamin B1 can help those with Alzheimer’s, epilepsy or anyone with a mental disorder.

Deficiency symptoms include chronic fatigue, constipation, and gut issues.
Thiamine is found in tuna, green peas, asparagus, brussel sprouts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, spinach and mushrooms.

Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin
Riboflavin is a vitamin that helps your body with breaking down carbohydrates, proteins and fats into energy the body can use. These are converted into glucose which is the body’s energy source.
Vitamin B2 Deficiency symptoms include cracks in the corners of the mouth, sore throat, and hypersensitivity to light.
Riboflavin is found in lamb, mushrooms, spinach, beef, almonds, salmon, eggs and tomato.

Vitamin B3 – Niacin
Niacin helps your body break down carbohydrates and fats into energy. It helps the digestive system to function and skin and nervous system. Niacin also has a role in producing certain hormones in the adrenal glands and helps remove harmful chemicals from the liver.
Deficiency symptoms include loss of appetite and fatigue.
Niacin is found in chicken, mushrooms, peanuts, tuna, beef and avocado.

Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid
Pantothenic acid supports the adrenal gland by producing hormones, which can alleviate stress and depression. It creates red blood cells, creates stress-related and sex hormones and maintains a healthy digestive tract.  Pantothenic means “everywhere” because the vitamin is found in so many food sources.
Deficiency is very rare but symptoms include muscle weakness.
Pantothenic Acid is found in peas, nuts, eggs, mushrooms, legumes and lentils, avocados, sweet potatoes and organ meats such as liver.

Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine
B6 is a vitamin that helps support a healthy nervous system.  There is even some evidence that Vitamin B6 can help regulate hormones, which in turn diminishes the symptoms of PMS. Deficiency symptoms include anemia and fatigue.
Pyridoxine is found in beef, tuna, avocado, chicken, molasses, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds,

Vitamin B7 – Biotin
Biotin is a vitamin that helps with your metabolism, it helps your body process carbohydrates and fats. Biotin is also very key to keeping healthy hair and nails for your body. Deficiency symptoms include cramps.
Biotin is found in almonds, peanuts, and dark leafy green vegetables.

Vitamin B9 – Folic Acid
Folic acid is a very important vitamin for pregnant women to help prevent birth defects. Not only is it important for developing fetuses’, it helps with mental function and can even be used to help treat depression.
Deficiency symptoms include fatigue, depression and insomnia.
Folic Acid is found in dates, spinach, kale, lentils, asparagus and broccoli.

Vitamin B12 – Cobalamin
B12 helps to produce red blood cells while managing the development of healthy nerve cells. It also is crucial in the metabolising process of proteins, carbs, and fats.
Some signs of a B12 deficiency are anemia, fatigue and poor memory.
B12 is found in meats, seafood, and brewers yeast, dark leafy green vegetables.

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Source: Julia and Libby

Julia and Libby are sisters from New Zealand who believe food can be more than just tasty fuel, it can be a medicine. Visit their site.



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