Are B Vitamins Really THAT Complex?

You may have already heard of “B Complex” but did you know there are 8 B vitamins that make up this family? All contribute to your health in different ways, including healthy skin and hair maintenance. These water soluble vitamins cannot be stored by your body for very long, so it is important to be continuously replenishing your body’s reserves.

Unfortunately, your morning cup ‘o joe may not be helping things – caffeine can negatively impact your body’s ability to use many B vitamins. Even if you are supplementing B complex or have a diet full of foods rich in the vitamin, you may not be absorbing them. 

B1 (Thiamine)

Thiamine is an essential nutrient that is responsible for helping all body tissues to function properly – particularly your heart, nerves and muscles. It also allows our bodies to use carbohydrates by aiding glucose metabolism. 

Foods that are high in Thiamine include: 

  • Cauliflower, potatoes, kale, asparagus, oranges
  • Black strap molasses, yeast, whole grains, nuts, lentils, legumes
  • Pork, poultry

B2 (Riboflavin)

Not only does Riboflavin help break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats – it is also involved in energy production. Specifically, it helps your body break down carbohydrates and convert them into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which your body uses for energy.

Foods high in Riboflavin:

  • Avocados, mushrooms, kelp, asparagus, artichokes, cruciferous vegetables (e.g. broccoli, brussel sprouts), spinach, dandelion greens
  • Molasses, nuts, lima beans, kidney beans, whole grains
  • Turkey, chicken, liver, beef, kidney

B3 (Niacin)

Along with helping your body convert food into energy, studies have also found that supplementing Niacin can help increase “good” cholesterol and lower “bad” cholesterol.

Foods high in Niacin:

  • Portobello mushrooms, avocados, green peas, sweet potatoes, passionfruit, tomatoes
  • Lentils, peanuts, brown rice, whole wheat, legumes
  • Chicken, tuna, salmon, beef

B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Much like other B Vitamins, Pantothenic Acid helps your body convert food into energy, but it also helps make red blood cells, so this is pretty important! It helps keep your skin and hair healthy, maintains a healthy digestive tract and helps with nervous system function.

Foods high in Pantothenic Acid:

  • Broccoli, avocados, cabbage, sweet potatoes, mushrooms
  • Beans, lentils, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, peanuts
  • Eggs, poultry, beef, seafood, dairy products

Don’t worry, that’s not it! Click here for Part 2 and continue learning about how great Vitamins B’s are.

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