B group vitamins make us feel good!
In fact we all need B group vitamins and we are quite often low in them… leaving us low in energy, anxious or depressed, stressed and nervy and even with porely formed red blood cells. When we’re low in B group vitamins, we don’t feel ‘good’.
About now is when people tell me that they’ll just get B vitamins from their food. And you can.
The only problem here is that B group vitamins are water soluble vitamins, which mean they don’t build up in your body. You need to get a certain amount into your body every single day.
The next problem is that our food, unless you’re growing it yourself and you’re aware of soil nutrition, or buying local organic produce from someone aware of soil nutrition, doesn’t have the same nutritional value it used to, meaning you will need to eat a lot more of it!
Our final problem is how much you need. If you have stress, anxiety, depression, exercise, drink, suffer headaches or migraines, etc., you will need more B group vitamins than the next person.
Why do you need B group vitamins? Essentially because they form part of the coenzymes that assist with energy release from carbohydrates, fat and protein. They also help with metabolism, particularly with metabolising amino acids and they help with making new DNA. B group vitamins help with making red blood cells and the cells lining the gastrointestinal tract which in turn deliver energy to all other cells.
When we talk about B vitamins, we usually talk about B group vitamins, because there are so many of them and they are best taken in a group to get the most benefit from them. But so they all feel individually loved… let’s get to know them;
Thiamin (B1) – used in energy metabolism and found in whole grain products, nutritious food and pork, but destroyed by heat.
Riboflavin (B2) – also used in energy metabolism and found in milk products, whole grain products and liver, but destroyed by ultraviolet light. One of the signs of B2 deficiency is cracks at the corner of your mouth.
Niacin (B3) – also used in energy metabolism and found in eggs, milk, poultry, fish, whole grain products and protein-containing foods. Deficiency symptoms include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fatigue, memory loss and headaches.
Biotin – used in energy, fat, amino acid and glycogen metabolism and found in liver, egg yolks, soybeans, fish and whole grains. Deficiency symptoms include depression, lethargy and numb or tingling sensations in your arms or legs.
Pantothenic Acid – used in energy metabolism and found in chicken, beef, potatoes, oats, tomatoes, liver, egg yolk, broccoli and whole grains. Deficiency symptoms include nausea, stomach cramps, depression, irritability, muscle cramps and numbness.
B6 – used in fatty acid and amino acid metabolism, helps to make serotonin and to make red blood cells. Found in meat, fish, poultry, potatoes, legumes, liver and soy products, but easily destroyed by heat. Deficiency symptoms include scaly dermatitis and small-cell type anaemia.
Folate – part of coenzymes used in DNA synthesis and therefore important in new cell formation. Found in fortified grains, leafy green vegetables, legumes, seeds and liver but easily destroyed by heat and oxygen. Deficiency symptoms include large-cell type anaemias, mental confusion, fatigue, headaches and shortness of breath.
B12 – used in new cell synthesis, helps maintain nerve cells and helps to break down some fatty acids and amino acids. Found in foods of animal origin and fortified cereals but is easily destroyed by microwave cooking. Deficiency symptoms include fatigue and degeneration of peripheral nerves.
So if you eat a lot of liver, don’t overly heat your meat, don’t microwave and yet eat a lot of starchy vegetables and leafy greens, you’re probably good on the B group vitamin front. If you don’t fall into this category (and you’ll get no blame from little ‘ole me who wouldn’t touch liver) and feel like you might fall into the category of needing a bit of extra B group vitamin help, make an appointment to pop in and we can check that it’s just B group vitamins you need and talk about methylation. What’s methylation? Wowsers. It’s another blog!