Are B Vitamins Really THAT Complex?

Part 2…if you missed Part 1, you can start here!

If you haven’t guessed by now, the answer is yes! The B Complex family performs a variety of essential functions for your body, including maintaining healthy skin, hair and eyes; maintaining internal tissue and a healthy immune system and helping the conversion of carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy. Let’s look at what else they do…

B6 (Pyridoxine)

Pyridoxine is responsible for the conversion and metabolization of foods into energy, as well as the creation of red blood cells and neurotransmitters. As such, it influences your mood and a deficiency has been shown to lead to depression in several studies. A diet rich in pyridoxine can help improve your mood, decrease depression, anxiety and lessen emotional PMS symptoms.

Foods high in pyridoxine:

  • Sweet potato, avocado, carrots, spinach, bananas, mango, 
  • Pistachios, chickpeas, chestnuts
  • Chicken, salmon, pork chops, beef, eggs

B7 (Biotin) 

Biotin also helps your body convert food into energy and helps maintain healthy hair, skin, nails, eyes, liver and nervous system. It is also very important during pregnancy because it helps with the growth of the embryo. Some studies have also shown that Biotin can help regulate blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. 

Foods high in biotin

  • Mushrooms, bananas, cauliflower, sweet potato, spinach, avocado
  • Almonds, pecans, peanuts, whole wheat, soy beans, legumes, eggs
  • Tuna, salmon, organ meats (liver, kidney) 

B9 (Folate) 

Folate is incredibly important for our development – in addition to helping create energy, folate is also used to produce both red and white blood cells and RNA and DNA. During pregnancy, it may help prevent miscarriage and also prevent neural tube defects. It is important to note though that as a supplement, folate is often available as a synthetic version of the vitamin, “folic acid”, which not everyone can convert into folate.

Foods high in folate

  • Asparagus, spinach, kale, arugula, beets, orange grapefruits, brussel sprouts, broccoli, avocado
  • Legumes, chickpeas, eggs, nuts, seeds, whole wheat
  • Organ meats (liver)

B12 (Cobalamin)  

You have probably heard all about Vitamin B12, since it helps your nervous system to function and is integral in the creation of red blood cells and DNA. It is also a popular supplement for people with megaloblastic anemia (anemia that occurs when red blood cells aren’t being produced properly). B12 deficiency is, unfortunately, quite common and many people don’t absorb it properly. This is especially true for those who do not eat animal products since it is only found naturally in meat, seafood, fish, eggs and milk.

Foods high in B12

  • Milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs
  • Trout, salmon, tuna clams
  • Beef, liver, chicken

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