Are you looking to improve your overall diet and live a healthy lifestyle? Then understand the importance of vitamin B in your daily balanced diet plan and its surprising health benefits. Read along to learn more about the informative details regarding vitamin B types, uses, foods, side effects, and many more.
Vitamin B Complex and Different Types
Did you know? The typical vitamin B complex tablet consists of eight different types of B-vitamins. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins like A, K, E, and D, the B-vitamins are water-soluble, indicating the daily necessity to your body. Since the excess amount of B-vitamins is excreted in the form of urine, it is vital to meet your daily intake of this nutrient. They play a significant role in various metabolic processes and bodily functions. The absorption of vitamin B into your blood plays a crucial part in transforming the essential nutrients into energy. One can easily include the B-vitamins in the form of vitamin B foods, multivitamin capsules, supplements, gummies, etc., to make their diet balanced and healthy.
The eight types of B-vitamins are as follows:
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Vitamin B7(Biotin)
- Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
- Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)
The eight types of B-vitamins in detail
1. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Thiamine or vitamin B1 plays a vital role in nerve functions and is responsible for converting glucose into energy. It is also known for preventing beriberi from affecting the mind and related areas.
Foods rich in B1 include:
- Red Meat (pork, beef)
- Whole grains
- Chia seeds
- Sesame seeds
You must consume these foods to meet your daily intake of B1 vitamins. The recommended daily limit can be varied depending on age, gender, medical history, pregnancy, etc. This type of vitamin B deficiency can be identified with common symptoms like reduced appetite, nausea, vomiting, confusion, etc.
2. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Are you working on your skin health and trying to make your immune system strong? Then B2, also known as riboflavin, is the power pill you need. It increases energy levels, provides a healthy lining to your gut, keeps blood cells healthy, reduces muscle cramps, and treats acne.
Common Vitamin B2 foods include:
- Dairy products
- Leafy greens
- Meats such as kidney and liver
- Egg whites and yolks
- Seafood like salmon and tuna
- Paneer (cottage cheese)
- Curd and milk
Besides these fantastic health benefits, vitamin B2 also provides better vision and prevents migraines. The riboflavin-rich diet is essential to combat the B2 deficiency and to be your best self again. Prevent the most common problems like hair loss, anaemia, cataracts, etc., by starting to include B2 in your daily diet.
3. Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Niacin plays a vital role in breaking down food into energy. It helps the powerhouse of the cell mitochondria to create energy and to keep you on the go all day. B3 also helps to keep in check the higher blood cholesterol levels.
Foods rich in B3 vitamin are as follows:
- Brown rice
- Green peas
- Sweet potatoes
- Poultry like chicken and turkey
- Red meat
- Lean meats
The common B3 deficiency is known as pellagra. People consuming excessive alcoholic drinks are at a high risk of pellagra and can experience the symptoms like dementia, dermatitis, diarrhoea, depression, etc.
4. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
The exclusive hormone and growth vitamin is this pantothenic acid or B5. It is responsible for metabolising the carbs, and fats needed for various biochemical reactions. Vitamin B5 is important for the manufacture of red blood cells, in addition to sex and stress-related hormones produced in the adrenal glands.
Foods rich in vitamin B5 include:
- Sunflower seeds
- Dairy products
- Organ meats and red meat
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Whole-grain cereals
The availability of vitamin B5 in various foods makes the deficiency related to B5 rare. However, one has to make sure to reach the daily limit of B5 to prevent Hypoglycemia, irritation, cramps, vomiting, and fatigue.
5. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
In maintaining the overall heart and brain health, pyridoxine or B6 is essential. Being responsible for 100 biochemical reactions and beyond, B6 holds the top position in your balanced diet chart. Helpful in building new blood cells and metabolising the amino acids, B6 should not be missed. B6 deficiency is also found in people with symptoms of vitamin B9 and vitamin B12.
Must-have B6 foods for a fully balanced diet:
- Chia seeds
- Fish, poultry, and red meat
- Wheat germ
- Leafy vegetable greens
Although the B6 deficiency comes with symptoms like confusion, nervousness, short-term memory loss, muscle weakness, etc., one has to ensure to keep the B6 levels within the limit. Excessive amounts of B6 not only damage the nerves but also result in a weak immune system.
6. Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Biotin or B7 plays an essential part in maintaining the health of your hair, skin, and nails. Ever wondered why your nails are thin and fragile? It’s because of the B7 deficiency. Biotin also supports healthy and safe pregnancy along with aiding in managing blood sugar levels.
Good sources of food that are rich in vitamin B7 include:
- Chicken/beef liver
- Fish and eggs
- Peanuts and avocado
- Chia seeds
The frequent consumption of B7-rich foods absorbs the biotin into your blood, aiding in amino acid metabolism and glycogen synthesis. One can take biotin to reverse hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.
7. Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
Also known as folate or folic acid, B9 develops the red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. It produces DNA, RNA, blood cells, amino acids, etc. Foods rich in B9 include:
- Leafy greens
- Peas, lentils, and beans
- Citrus fruits
Many people from around the world are at risk for B9 deficiency. Pregnant women should maintain a folate-rich diet for a healthy baby and safe delivery.
8. Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)
Cobalamin or cyanocobalamin is a different word used to indicate B12 vitamin. B12 plays a vital role in maintaining and managing nerve and brain health, and it helps prevent anaemia by developing blood cells in your body. Vitamin B12 deficiency can be seen in significant populations worldwide, including the US, Russia, Africa, Europe, etc. This B12 deficiency is also common in senior citizens over 60 and beyond.
The vitamin B12 foods include:
- Dairy products
- Spirulina (type of algae)
- Nutritional yeast
Since the primary vitamin B12 sources are animal products, people on vegan diets should include more foods and additional supplements containing B12 to get more vitamin B12 benefits. Malabsorption is primarily found in seniors. With the increased age, it is a lot more important to include vitamin-rich diets in your senior loved one diet plan.
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Get your daily dose of B vitamin either through your favourite foods or through supplements, gummies, capsules, multivitamin tablets, etc. Make sure to get the recommended daily intake of B-vitamin by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). For a healthy and happier life, you must include B-vitamins in your diet to make it rightly balanced. For more details, contact your doctor or dietician.
What are the excellent sources of vitamin B?
To get more from your diet, obtain B-vitamin from a wide range of healthy food sources such as animal products like milk, cheese, meat, eggs, fish, poultry, seafood, leafy greens like spinach, kale, broccoli, cereals, citrus fruits, banana, tempeh, soy milk, yeast, etc.
Which are recommended vitamin B fruits?
Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, clementines, avocados, bananas, watermelon, etc., are rich in B and can satisfy the most significant portion of your daily intake of B vitamins.
Are there any vitamin B complex side effects?
Since vitamin B is water-soluble, unused or, excess B-vitamins are excreted in the urine. However, B12 and B9 are exceptions to this. To get to the correct value of daily intake of B, contact your doctor or dietician to prevent side effects.
What are the most common vitamin B benefits?
The B complex health benefits include cell health, energy metabolism, robust immune system, growth of blood cells, better digestion, improved vision, hormone balance, cardiovascular health, proper nerve, and brain function, etc.
Does B-vitamins aid in better skin and hair?
Yes. An adequate amount of B-vitamins aid in the improved overall health of skin, hair, and vision. Say goodbye to brittle nails and hair loss with the right consumption of vitamin B.