Vitamin B: The King Of All Vitamins
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The eight vitamins of the vitamin B complex play an important role in maintaining the normal functioning of the body. Due to these nutrients, it becomes easy for the food to be converted into fuel which in turn gives us energy throughout the day. Usually all these 8 vitamins work in tandem, but each one of them also has an individual benefit.
Vitamin B1 – thiamine
This vitamin helps in the production of new cells and as it is able to protect the immune system it is also known as an anti-stress vitamin. You get this vitamin from peanuts, whole grains, spinach, beans, kale, wheat germ and black strap molasses.
Vitamin B2 Riboflavin
This is an anti-oxidant which helps reduce the effect of free radicals and can help in preventing premature ageing and the development of heart disease. Riboflavin is also necessary for the production of red blood cells. It is best to keep foods containing B2 away from ultra violet rays because they reduce the riboflavin content in the food source. This vitamin is available from wild rice, milk, almonds, yogurt, Brussels sprouts, eggs, spinach and soybeans.
Vitamin B 3 – niacin
The main function of this vitamin is to enhance the good cholesterol or HDL in the bloods. It is rare to find cases of deficiency of vitamin B3 in developed countries, although excessive intake of alcohol depletes the levels of this vitamin. This vitamin is available from red meat, yeast, eggs, milk, green vegetables and beans.
Vitamin B5 – pantothenic acid
This vitamin is responsible for producing sex and stress related hormones including testosterone. It also promotes the health of the skin and reduces the signs of aging like redness and dark spots. You can get this vitamin from yogurt, avocadoes, eggs, meat and legumes.
Vitamin B6 – pyridoxine
This vitamin helps in the regulation of the amino acid homocysteine levels. Pyridoxine plays a major role in mood and sleep patterns because it helps the production of serotonin, norepinephrine and melatonin. Some studies also show that it can reduce inflammation in case of arthritis. The foods rich in this vitamin are turkey, chicken, salmon, tuna, sunflower seeds, lentils, brown rice, cheese and carrots.
Vitamin B7 – biotin
This vitamin is well known as a beauty vitamin because of its association with healthy skin, hair and nails. It can also help diabetes patients in the controlling of high levels of blood glucose. The foods rich in this vitamin are liver, barley, pork, yeast, fish, chicken, cauliflower, potatoes, nuts and egg yolk.
Vitamin B9 – folate
This vitamin is also known as folic acid which helps preventing depression and memory loss. IT also supports the growth of the baby in the womb and hence is advisable for pregnant women. It is available from asparagus, dark leafy vegetables, salmon, beets, milk, root vegetables, beans and bulgur wheat.
Vitamin B12 – cobalamin
This vitamin mainly works in conjunction with other B vitamins. For instance it works with B9 to produce red blood cells and helps iron do its work. This vitamin is only found in animal products and hence strict vegans and vegetarians may require vitamin supplements to make up for it.