Vitamins and vitamin-like substances that make up group B can be obtained from functional foods of animal and vegetable origin, which are quite accessible to Russians. All of them work not only individually, but also collectively, providing important functions of the body, including the processes of releasing energy from essential nutrients.
Some foods are particularly valuable sources of only one element of this group, while others contain all or many of the B vitamins. Fortunately, they are part of fairly common foods that make up the usual diet of people. So, if a person eats a varied, balanced diet that includes foods from all food groups, then most likely they are not deficient in these nutrients.
Find out which foods are high in B vitamins.
Where is thiamine (vitamin B1) hidden?
It has several important features, including:
- together with other vitamins of this group, it provides the processes of converting and releasing energy from food, providing, first of all, protein metabolism;
- supports the health of the nervous system;
- involved in the transfer of genetic information.
Good sources of this nutrient are:
- green peas;
- dark green leafy vegetables;
- wheat germ oil;
- whole grain breads;
- buckwheat, oatmeal and some other whole grains;
Thiamine cannot be stored in the human body, so it must be included in the diet every day. A small amount is produced by bacteria that make up the gut microbiome. The recommended daily dose, which must be obtained with food, for adults in Russia is about 1.7 mg.
What foods contain riboflavin (B2)?
Among the main functions of this nutrient:
- participation in the synthesis of red blood cells;
- maintaining the health of the skin;
- prevention of visual impairment;
- strengthening the nervous system;
- ensuring the synthesis of red blood cells;
- regulation of blood pressure;
- participation in the release of energy from food.
Good food sources of riboflavin are:
- milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products;
- White cabbage;
- spinach, asparagus, and other dark green leafy vegetables;
- liver, etc.
UV radiation can destroy riboflavin, so ideally all foods that make up the diet should be stored away from direct sunlight. Although this substance is partially synthesized by the microflora of the large intestine, it does not accumulate in the body, therefore, according to the recommendations of Russian doctors, about 2 mg of riboflavin should be present in the diet of adults every day.
Where can I find niacin (B3, nicotinic acid or vitamin PP)?
Nicotinic acid has several important functions, including:
- provides over 50 fermentation reactions;
- helps release energy from food;
- participates in the production of hormones;
- serves to prevent cardiopathologies;
- maintains the health of the nervous system;
- maintains good skin condition.
Valuable food sources of niacin are:
- turkey, chicken, other types of meat;
- salmon, tuna and other fish;
Although B3 is partially synthesized by the human body from tryptophan, it also does not accumulate, so adults are recommended to consume about 20 mg of niacin daily. Deficiency is common in patients with:
- peptic ulcer of the stomach;
- pathologies of the liver;
- disorders in the thyroid gland;
- cholecystitis, etc.
You should not get carried away with nutritional supplements with nicotinic acid, as long-term overdose can lead to skin and liver damage. Therefore, it is preferable to obtain niacin from the normal diet.
What is pantothenic acid (panthenol or B5)?
This nutrient has several functions in the human body:
- it helps to release and convert energy from food;
- participates in the synthesis of coenzyme A;
- promotes regeneration;
- provides production of antibodies;
- necessary for the production of acetylcholine, indispensable for the well-being of the nervous system;
- protects against the effects of stress by regulating the production of cortisone;
- required for the production of red blood cells.
Pantothenic acid is found in almost all meat and vegetable products, including:
- broccoli, etc.
Panthenol contains legumes and whole grains such as:
- brown rice;
- wholemeal bread;
- kinoa, etc.
Although the microbiome produces some panthenol, a person should consume about 5 mg of this substance with a daily diet.
How to enrich the diet with vitamin B6 or pyridoxine?
Among the important functions of this substance in the human body:
- participation in the transformation and accumulation of energy;
- production of hemoglobin;
- it is necessary for the synthesis of prostaglandins, indispensable for the well-being of the circulatory system;
- important for immunity, as it is involved in the production of antibodies;
- without it, it is impossible to produce dopamine, serotonin, noadrenaline, which are necessary for the functioning of the central nervous system and the performance of cognitive functions, etc.
Good food sources of B6:
- poultry meat (for example, chicken or turkey);
- whole wheat bread;
- wheat germ, oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice and other whole grains;
- spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables;
- soya beans;
Like other vitamins of this group, pyridoxine is partially synthesized in the human body with the help of bacteria, but is not stored by the body for future use, so about 2 mg should be consumed daily with food. You should consult your doctor before taking pyridoxine supplements, as prolonged overdose can lead to loss of sensation in the arms and legs (peripheral neuropathy). Typically, symptoms are reversible and disappear when a person stops taking B6 supplements.
What foods are rich in biotin (vitamin B7 or H)?
It is essential for the body:
- is an activator of digestive enzymes;
- serves as a key factor in the successful metabolism of fats;
- provides prevention of diabetes mellitus (1 and 2 types);
- protects the health of the skin and its appendages.
Bacteria that inhabit the human intestines are capable of producing biotin, but it is recommended to take up to 50 mg of B7 with food daily.
Biotin occurs naturally in a wide range of foods, but is at very low levels compared to other water-soluble vitamins. The best sources of this nutrient are:
- Brewer’s yeast;
- eggs, etc.
What contains folate (folic acid, folacin, vitamin B9 or M)?
Folic acid is one of the B‑group vitamins partially synthesized by the microbiome. But unlike other nutrients in this group, B9 is deposited in the liver cells.
Folic acid has several important functions:
- works together with vitamin B12 to form healthy red blood cells;
- participates in protein metabolism;
- helps reduce the risk of defects in the central nervous system in the fetus;
- ensures the production of leukocytes;
- necessary for the production of serotonin, dopamine and the functioning of the central nervous system.
A lack of folic acid can lead to a type of megaloblastic anemia, folic acid deficiency.
Folic acid is found in small amounts in many foods. Good sources of folate are:
- Brussels sprouts;
- whole grain breads, etc.
Doses may vary.
- Adults should consume about 0.4 mg of folic acid per day.
- Pregnant women are advised to take an additional 0.4 mg of folic acid until the 12th week of pregnancy. This should help prevent birth defects of the baby’s central nervous system, such as spina bifida.
- If there is a family history of conditions such as spina bifida, neural tube defects, a doctor may recommend taking a higher dose, up to 5 mg of folic acid each day, until the 12th week of pregnancy.
- Women with diabetes and those taking antiepileptic drugs should seek medical advice before taking folic acid.
- A large dose of vitamin B9 may be required for older people, as the ability to synthesize and absorb this nutrient decreases with age.
How to prevent deficiency of cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12)?
It performs several important functions:
- involved in the production of red blood cells;
- supports the health of the nervous system, being a building material for the production of myelin;
- regulates cholesterol;
- protects the liver;
- is involved in the release of energy from food, being responsible for fat and protein metabolism.
Lack of vitamin B12, which is mainly concentrated in the liver, can lead to anemia. Most often, vegans and vegetarians suffer from its deficiency, since animal products are the only natural source of this nutrient. These include:
- beef and other types of meat;
Today, cereals, breakfast cereals and some other plant foods fortified with vitamin B12 are produced, especially useful for those who exclude animal products from the diet.