B1, B2, B3, B12: these are all part of the same vitamin family. They each perform different functions together and individually in our bodies. This article covers some of the most common vitamin b resources we can regularly access in our diets, but often overlook.
There isn’t just one Vitamin B that can do the job—you need all of them to have a properly functioning and healthy body. But how do you know if you’re getting enough of these essential nutrients in your diet? It’s always beneficial to consume vitamins in real food rather than taking supplements if you can. Here’s a little bit about each one, and where you can find them in your diet.
B1, or Thiamine
Thiamine is just one of those vitamin b resources vital to healthy living. Thiamine helps your body metabolize carbs, it regulates your appetite and it keeps your nervous system up and functioning. Eat pork, dark leafy greens, whole-grains, nuts and lentils to include thiamine in your diet.
B2, or Riboflavin
Riboflavin is key for healthy skin, hair, nails, and it stimulates the production of red blood cells. Yogurt, cheese, whole grains, and dark leafy greens, as well as proteins like chicken, fish, or eggs will supply you with a dose of riboflavin.
B3, or Niacin
Niacin is another one of those vitamin b resources that aid in the release energy from your food and is essential for proper nerve function. Poultry, fish, and whole grains are common dietary elements we can draw vitamin b3 from. A variety fruits and vegetables such as peas, lima beans, dried apricots, carrots, and tomatoes will also aid in maintaining a healthy nervous system.
B5, or Pantothenic Acid
Pantothenic acid also helps you use the energy you get from your food, and is vital for enzyme function. Including yogurt, avocado, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms in your diet will ensure a sufficient amount of B5.
B6, or Pyridoxine
B12 is absolutely crucial, and one of the misunderstood of the vitamin b resources. While animal foods like beef, chicken, mussels, clams, or crabs are the best and only natural source of this vitamin, some foods are fortified with B12, such as chlorella, which is a natural algae containing an abundance of vitamins and minerals.
Vegetarians and vegans are most at risk for many health problems associated with a B12 deficiency such as dementia, mental illness (ex: depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety), autism spectrum disorder and more. So, it’s important to include a Vitamin B-Complex supplement including B12 if you don’t eat animal products.
Remember, a vitamin b-complex is a collection of vitamin b resources readily available in a balanced diet & work together to limit physical & mental health deterioration.