Why B Vitamins are important.
There are several vitamins and minerals which the body requires in order to function properly and to maintain good health. Some of these nutrients are perhaps emphasised upon more than others, as there is more information around their benefits. Vitamins C and D for example are stressed upon to promote general health - and rightly so. However, other nutrients such as Vitamin B are also key to a healthy lifestyle. In fact, there are 8 different types of Vitamin B, each one of them playing an important function in our bodies. In this article, let’s take a further look at some of the benefits of B Vitamins, their importance, and which foods they can be found in.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin):
We start off with Vitamin B3, known as Niacin. This nutrient is important as it aids in the normal function of the digestive system - in turn having positive knock-on effects in promoting a healthy appetite and glowing skin. This vitamin is also key to the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates. Furthermore, among its other benefits is management of blood cholesterol levels and helping to prevent inflammation caused by Arthritis. Niacin can be found in red meat, fish, nuts, brown rice and bananas.
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid):
Next up we have Vitamin B9, more commonly referred to as Folic Acid or Folate. Folic Acid helps in the production of red blood cells which of course are responsible for the distribution of oxygen throughout the body. This vitamin is key for the synthesis and repair of DNA, as well as for the division of cells. Additionally, it is particularly important for pregnant women to have enough Folate within their diets, as a deficiency in it can lead to neural tube irregularities. Some foods naturally high in Vitamin B9 include boiled spinach, lettuce, avocado, orange juice, kidney beans and hard-boiled egg.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine):
Similar to the other B Vitamins, Vitamin B6 is needed for protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism and the creation of red blood cells. However this nutrient can also help in other aspects of health such as mood regulation. This is because Vitamin B6 is needed for creating neurotransmitters which in turn regulate emotions - including serotonin and dopamine. At the same time it may also play a part in reducing high blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine - which has been linked to depression as well as other psychiatric issues. The benefits of B Vitamins are not to be underestimated! Vitamin B6 can be found in salmon, tuna, chickpeas, papayas and fortified cereals.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin):
Finally, we have Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin. This, like the other B Vitamins supports the production of red blood cells - specifically their formation of the right shape. In other words, it is important in ensuring that red blood cells develop properly. Healthy red blood cells are small and round, whereas they become larger and oval-shaped in cases of Vitamin B12 deficiency. Due to this larger and more irregular shape, the red blood cells are unable to move as well as they normally would. Furthermore, when you’re anaemic, your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to transport oxygen to your vital organs. This can cause symptoms like fatigue and weakness. Vitamin B12 can be found in eggs, milk, yoghurt, cheese, chicken and trout.
There are other, also significant types of Vitamin B to take note of - ensure to include these and the above nutrients into yours and your child’s diet, promoting normal bodily function and a happy, healthy lifestyle. We hope this article was informative of the benefits of B Vitamins, and encourages you to seek out not just some, but all necessary nutrients in your diet.
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This article contains general information regarding health and well-being. This information is not intended as advice and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to advice from medical or educational professionals.