Everyone knows that vitamins and minerals are essential for our health, but what are the specific benefits of Vitamin B? Here we look at Vitamin B, including what it is, what the benefits are and how to make sure you get enough of it in your diet.
Vitamin B Overview
Vitamin B actually consists of eight different vitamins, all of which are essential for our health. You may hear them referred to as Vitamin B Complex, and this is a supplement that contains all of the B vitamins.
The eight Vitamin B vitamins are:
- Vitamin B1 (thiamin)
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (niacin)
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
- Vitamin B7 (biotin)
- Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
- Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)
These all have different functions, but the general purpose of B vitamins is to help release the energy from food and to help maintain a healthy nervous system as well as healthy blood and skin.
They are also water-soluble. Apart from Vitamin B12, they cannot be stored in your body, and this means you need to replace them daily.
Benefits of Vitamin B
So what are the main benefits of Vitamin B? Essentially, they all play an important role in our overall health. They directly impact energy levels and cell metabolism as well as brain function.
As a whole, the Vitamin B group helps with cell growth, the prevention of infections, red blood cell growth, energy levels, eyesight, digestion, brain function, nerve function, muscle tone and cardiovascular health among other things.
They are very important for pregnant or breastfeeding women because they are crucial for brain development in the growing fetus, and they help to reduce the risk of defects.
They can also help to increase energy levels for expectant mothers and reduce nausea.
Vitamin B Deficiency
If you suffer from Vitamin B deficiency, you are most likely to lack either folate or Vitamin B12. This is quite rare, but certain groups are more at risk.
Vegans are more at risk because they do not get all of the Vitamin B12 they need in a plant-based diet. Elderly people are also more at risk of not getting enough Vitamin B12.
Some of the symptoms of a lack of Vitamin B12 deficiency include fatigue, a racing heart and nausea, so always check with your doctor if you think you might have Vitamin B deficiency.
How Can You Get Enough Vitamin B?
Most of us will get all the Vitamin B we need in our diets, so it’s important to eat a healthy diet that contains lots of different types of food.
Some of the types of food that are especially good sources of Vitamin B include:
- Dark leafy vegetables
- Whole grains
Make Sure You Get Enough Vitamin B
Vitamin B is an essential vitamin, so make sure you are getting enough of it. If you are concerned that you are not, talk to your doctor and they will be able to help you. And the best way to enjoy all the benefits of Vitamin B is to eat lots of foods that are rich in it, so make sure you add these foods to your diet.