What are B Vitamins?
B vitamins refer to a class of water-soluble vitamins that are vital for maintaining good health and well being.
They are building blocks for a healthy body that have a direct impact on your energy levels, cell metabolism and also brain health.
B Vitamins Include:
- B1 (Thiamine): Helps your body generate energy from carbohydrates. The main role of carbohydrates is to provide energy for your body, especially your brain and nervous system.
- B2 (Riboflavin): Helps your body breakdown carbohydrates, protein and fats to produce energy.
- B3 (Niacin): A B vitamin made and used by your body to turn food into energy. It helps keep your nervous system, digestive system and your skin healthy.
- B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Very important for making blood cells and helps convert your food into energy.
- B6 (Pyridone): Helps your body make energy from food and form red blood cells that help deliver oxygen throughout your body. B6 also regulates the hormones dopamine and serotonin.
- B7 (Biotin): Your body needs Biotin to convert certain nutrients into energy. It’s also important for your hair, skin and nails.
- B9 (Folate): Helps form your DNA, which is important for every cell (Including Brain Cells) in your body.
- B12 (Cobalamin): Helps your body make energy from food just like B6. It keeps your body’s nerve and red blood cells healthy, and helps make DNA for all cells.
B vitamins play a vital role in producing brain chemicals that affect your mood and other brain functions.
Low levels of B vitamins such as Folate, B12 and B6 have been linked to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, along with worsening the symptoms of mental disorders such as bipolar disorder.
Where Do You Get B Vitamins?
B Vitamins are obtained by eating nutrient-rich foods.
- Avocados: Long before avocados were considered a stereotypical millennial stable they’ve been regarded as a superfood. One whole avocado is packed with B vitamins.
- Plain Low Fat Yogurt: The amount of nutritional value varies from brand to brand, but they tend to be rich in vitamin B12 and riboflavin.
- Salmon: This is a low mercury fish that’s high in omega 3’s. It’s also high in other nutrients including B vitamins.
- Chicken: Chicken, along with turkey are loaded with B vitamins such as niacin and pyridoxine.
- Eggs: One chicken egg contains 33% of the recommended daily intake of the B vitamin biotin.
- Chickpeas: Foods such as chickpeas are a great source of B vitamins, especially B6 and folate.
- Tofu: Along with being a valuable plant source of iron and calcium, tofu contains vitamin B1.
- Dark Green Vegetables: Vegetables such as spinach, romaine lettuce and kale contain large amounts of folate.
However, there are people with bodies that have a hard time absorbing B vitamins or they can’t obtain B vitamins from diet alone.
There are many vegetables that could lose of their nutritional content while being cooked. Unless you eat them raw.
Some people have cut meat out of their diets which is a significant source of vitamin B12.
It’s recommended that they look into taking a multivitamin or a vitamin B complex supplement.
What Is Vitamin B Complex?
Vitamin B-Complex is a supplement that includes all eight B vitamins in one pill.
It’s been shown to improve brain health by providing optimal psychological and neurological benefits. This significantly benefits mood along with reducing stress.
Despite the added benefits of a vitamin B supplement there are health risks as the dosage goes up, so talk to your doctor first before taking it.
Bipolar Disorder And B Vitamins
Bipolar Disorder is associated with episodes of mood swings that range from depressive low moods to manic/hypomanic highs.
Symptoms include mood swings, depression, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, inability to focus and appetite fluctuations.
The exact cause is unknown but a combination of genetics, environment and altered brain structure and chemistry play a role. An often overlooked factor that plays a role is poor diet.
A poor diet deficient in nutritional content can play a role in bipolar disorder, especially low B vitamins.
Studies have shown that vitamins B1, B6 and B12, in particular play a role in decreasing bipolar symptoms. Also they improve the overall health of your brain, which leads to better management of bipolar disorder.
Please talk to your doctor before increasing the amount of B vitamins in your diet.
Do you take any supplements to improve your health?
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