Am I low in Vitamin B?*

Tuesday, 22 May 2018, By Samina Rad

Is fatigue a part of your life?

Are you tired, fatigued or feeling lethargic? You may be low in B Vitamins.

Vitamins are separated into two categories based on how they are absorbed and whether or not they are stored in your body. These two categories are water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins are those that dissolve in water upon entering the body. As a result of this, your body cannot store excess amounts of water-soluble vitamins for later use. Therefore they must be consumed regularly in the diet.

What are B Vitamins?

B Vitamins are water soluble. They classified into 8 categories: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12. B vitamins assist our body functioning in many ways such as:

- Assisting in cell metabolism.

- Keeping the brain and nervous system healthy by assisting in the production of neurotransmitters. (B5, B6 and B12)

- Acting as an antioxidant to help fight free radicals (particles in the body that damage cells) - B2.

- Boosting HDL cholesterol (i.e. the good cholesterol) - B3.

- Helping the body make healthy new cells. It's often called an anti-stress vitamin because of its ability to protect the immune system - B1.

- Breaking down fats and carbohydrates for energy - B5.

- Assisting in the production of red blood cells and help iron do its job: create the oxygen-carrying protein, haemoglobin. - B9.

Vitamin B is essential for keeping your energy at an optimum level especially if you are on a fat loss program. The lack of B vitamins can cause confusion, headache, insomnia or irritability. It can also be a contributing factor for depression, memory loss, canker sores and dizziness.

Can B vitamins help you lose weight?

It does indeed play a role in helping you lose weight. It is true without Vitamin B your body lacks energy, it doesn't mean that it is the main energy source for your body. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are our energy-yielding nutrients. The eight B vitamins assist the body to convert our energy-yielding nutrients into fuel in order to produce energy for our bodily functions.

What food sources are rich in B Vitamins?

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): rice, wheat, multi-grain bread, poha and rava, red kidney beans, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, fenugreek, lettuce and cabbage.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): eggs, chicken, fish, legumes (such as peas and lentils), milk, yoghurt, spinach, broccoli, asparagus

Vitamin B3 (Niacin): chicken and salmon, legumes, whole-wheat

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): avocados, broccoli, kale, meat, whole grains, potatoes, eggs, and legumes

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): potatoes, eggs, beans, red meat, and fortified cereals

Vitamin B7 (Biotin): liver and egg yolks. Avocado, salmon and pork

Vitamin B9 (Folic acid): legumes, sweet potatoes, broccoli and mushrooms.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): fish, red meat, eggs, poultry, milk, milk products

What about B-vitamin Supplements?

Due to B Vitamins being water soluble our body has limited capacity to store them. It is always advised to source them from fresh food. However, in rare cases, you may need to take supplements. This should not be self-diagnosed, as there is the risk of vitamin toxicity if the wrong amounts are taken. Strongly advised to seek medical advice.


*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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