Feeling tired? Low concentrations levels? Always catching the flu? You could be low in B vitamins!
Each B vitamin plays an important role in maintaining our health and is predominantly found in vegemite, wholegrain breads and cereals, beans, dairy products, meats, fish and seafood and fruits and veggies. Below is a detailed list of each B vitamin and it’s food source.
Vitamin B1 or Thiamin
Vitamin B1 is needed for energy metabolism and for our nervous systems to function well. Good sources include wholegrain breads and cereals, soybeans, peas, beans and pistachio nuts.
Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin
Vitamin B2 is needed for energy metabolism, tissue growth, and to maintain good eye sight. Good sources include dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurts, green veggies including broccoli and spinach, mushrooms and eggs.
Vitamin B3 or Niacin
Vitamin B3 is needed for energy metabolism, proper digestion, and a healthy nervous system. Good sources include kidney beans, peanuts, mushrooms, milk, cheese, chicken and salmon.
Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine
Vitamin B6 is needed for amino acid metabolism, good brain function and a level of immunity. Good sources include wholegrain breads and cereals, spinach, broccoli, carrots banana and also yoghurt.
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin required by the body to make red blood cells and our genetic makeup, DNA. This is why when you are feeling more tired than usual, it is important to not only get your blood tested for iron but also for vitamin B12. It is also needed to make a protective layer around nerve cells to prevent damage. This vitamin is found naturally in animal products, such as meat, dairy products and eggs. There are some plant sources of vitamin B12, however the form of the vitamin found in these foods is inactive and cannot be used by our body. People who only eat plant foods like vegans should include adequate amounts of plant foods that contain added vitamin B12 like fortified soy drinks and soy-based meat-alternative products, or take a B12 supplement under the advice of a GP or an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
Folate or Folic acid
You are probably aware that folate is an important vitamin during pregnancy. However, it is also essential for the whole family, as it has an important role in the development of all body cells. All women planning pregnancy or who are pregnant should increase their intake of folate as an adequate level of folate 1 month before and the first three months of pregnancy may reduce the risk of babies being born with Spina Bifida. Good sources of folate include fortified breakfast cereals and breads, dark green leafy veggies, fruit like bananas, oranges and rockmelon, legumes like chickpeas and nuts.
If you think you need to make simple and realistic dietary changes to improve your current eating pattern, book an appointment with me