B vitamins are integral to a balanced and well functioning immune system, and a well functioning immune system will keep you fighting infection and disease. Although naturally occurring in many different foods, B vitamins can easily be destroyed through the cooking process, by the consumption of alcohol and also during the processing phase of making different food items. Vitamins from the B complex group are water soluble and are responsible for assisting with different bodily functions.
You’re not alone in finding it hard to consume enough of this important vitamin just from the food in your every day diet. It’s very common for vitamin B supplements to be taken as your body needs to get the right amount of nutrients in order to function well. There are 13 main vitamins that we need in our diets and eight of them are from the vitamin B group:
- Thiamin (B1)
- Riboflavin (B2)
- Niacin (B3)
- Pantothenic acid (B5)
- Pyridoxine (B6)
- Biotin (B7)
- Folate/folic acid (B9)
- Cyanocobalamin (B12)
Foods rich in B group vitamins
Eating a balanced diet will ensure you’re consuming all the vitamins that are vital to the upkeep of your health and wellbeing. You can get all eight of the vitamins in the B complex group from a variety of different sources, including:
- Whole grains like brown rice, millet and barley
- Legumes like beans and lentils
- Nuts and seeds like almonds and sunflower seeds
- Red meat, poultry and fish
- Dark leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach
- Fruit including the citrus family, avocados and bananas
- Eggs and dairy products
Benefits of Vitamin B
Becoming deficient in any kind of vitamin can be problematic to your health in various ways, so it is best to consult your healthcare professional if you want to make any changes. It’s also a great idea to get your bloods done regularly to see how you’re tracking and to stay on top of anything that may be lacking. Whether it's taking a vitamin B group supplement or increasing your intake of vitamin B rich foods in your diet, there are so many wonderful benefits this vitamin brings.
Helps to break down enzymes
When B group vitamins are active in your body they help to move oxygen and energy around your body. You’ll be better able to break down amino acids and see increased energy release from proteins, fats and carbohydrates that you consume.
Prevention of disease
Vitamin B12 and B6 have been known to help in reducing heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Studies have shown that when there are ample B vitamins present in your bloodstream, you’ll be better able to perform tasks that involve using your memory effectively. Functions like proficiency at problem solving, forming sentences and accessing vocabulary are also strengthened.
Well functioning immune system
Biochemical reactions in your immune system can be supported by vitamin B6. A supplement of this B vitamin has also been known to boost the immune system of people who are critically ill.
Eating a balanced diet provides you with nutrients from the B complex group
In summary, the benefits of keeping up a balanced diet with plenty of nutrient rich foods include, a well functioning immune system, brain health and disease prevention. The optimal intake of vitamin B can be managed through eating green leafy vegetables, red meat and dairy products. You may need to consult your physician for a blood test if you suspect that you are deficient - supplements can be provided in this case.