Vitamin B1, B2, B6 and B12
Water-soluble vitamins necessary for generating energy
We generate the energy necessary for our lives from the 3 major nutrients, i.e., protein, carbohydrates and fats contained in our food. In the process, water-soluble vitamin B acts as the coenzyme. Vitamin B1 helps generate energy from carbohydrates, and vitamin B6 helps generate energy from protein. Vitamin B1, B2 and B6 maintain the health of the skin and mucosa. Also, vitamin B12 is a nutrient which assists in the creation of red blood cells.
B1 helps the body make healthy new cells. It’s often called an anti-stress vitamin because of its ability to protect the immune system.
Get it from: Whole grains, peanuts, beans, spinach, kale, blackstrap molasses and wheat germ
This B vitamin works as an antioxidant to help fight free radicals (particles in the body that damage cells) and may prevent early aging and the development of heart disease. Riboflavin is also important for red blood cell production, which is necessary for transporting oxygen throughout the body.
Get it from: Almonds, wild rice, milk, yogurt, eggs, Brussels sprouts, spinach and soybeans
Along with fellow B vitamins 12 and 9, B6 helps regulate levels of the amino acid homocysteine (associated with heart disease). Pyridoxine is a major player in mood and sleep patterns because it helps the body produce serotonin, melatonin and norepinephrine, a stress hormone. Some studies suggest vitamin B6 can reduce inflammation for people with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
Get it from: Chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, lentils, sunflower seeds, cheese, brown rice and carrots
This B vitamin is a total team player. Cobalamin works with vitamin B9 to produce red blood cells and help iron do its job: create the oxygen carrying protein, hemoglobin. Since vitamin B12 is only found in animal products, studies show higher rates of non-meat eaters with a deficiency. For those who are deficient, it may be necessary to supplement the diet with B12.
Get it from: Fish, shellfish, dairy, eggs, beef and pork
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