Feeling a little tired? Maybe you need more B vitamins.
B vitamins are an essential part of everyone’s health. Their primary function is to make energy from our food – a process known as metabolism.
The interesting thing about B Vitamins is that there are eight vitamins, not one as many people think. The complex includes:
- Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
- Niacin (Vitamin B3)
- Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
- Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
- Biotin (Vitamin B7)
- Folate (Vitamin B9)
- Cobalamin (Vitamin B12)
Each vitamin provides its own unique benefit for our health – ranging from cell growth to a healthy pregnancy. But what else can you get out of B vitamins?
Benefits of B Vitamins
Besides helping our bodies get energy from food, here are other excellent benefits of B vitamins.
Red blood cell production
Red blood cells are essential because they carry oxygen throughout our bodies. They have a hand in our cardiovascular health. With riboflavin, niacin, and B12, your body can produce red blood cells that give you energy and help with breathing.
Supports brain health
Each B vitamin works together in the proper function of our brain. They can boost our energy levels, maintain neurotransmitter production, and may even prevent dementia. So, if you need a mental spark or are dealing with brain fog, eat food high in B vitamins.
Feeling anxious or depressed? That could mean you’re not getting enough B vitamins. Getting enough thiamin, riboflavin, folate, and vitamin B12 can enhance your mood and stave off fatigue.
For those who are pregnant, B vitamins are your friends. Folate is a vital nutrient that helps in the proper development of the fetus. Plus, their energy-boosting abilities can minimize fatigue for moms.
8 Foods packed with B vitamins
So, where can you get your daily dose of B vitamins?
Besides being a great anti-inflammatory food, spinach is an excellent source of folate (vitamin B9), which help with red blood cell production. Leafy greens, in general, are good sources for your B9 needs.
Mushrooms are stuffed with multiple B vitamins. They have riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, folate, and pantothenic acid. At this point, we might as well make mushrooms the official vitamin B.
For those who love brown rice, oats, and quinoa, you’ll be happy to find out that they are high in B vitamins. Whole grains are just a nutritious juggernaut filled with nutrients and minerals to assist with digestion and lower the risk of heart disease. Note: many whole grains are naturally gluten-free, although some (like oats) have gluten due to processing mechanisms. Look for gluten-free versions of your favorite whole grains.
Sunflower seeds are a convenient source of B vitamins when you’re on the go and need a snack. These tiny seeds contain a decent amount of niacin, vitamin B6, folate, and pantothenic acid (which helps break down fats).
There’s nothing fishy about salmon. It’s incredibly high in vitamin B12, with 82 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA). In addition, salmon contains a generous amount of niacin and thiamin.
Can you tell we love avocados? And for a good reason. They’re a nutritional powerhouse – another great source of folate and riboflavin. So not only are avocados good for your heart and immune system, but they also promote healthy fetal development.
Edamame (legumes in general) may pack a ton of protein, but they are also filled with several B vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, and folate. As a result, your body receives heart, energy, and fertility benefits. You can get the same benefits from other legumes if you don't eat soy, like garbanzo beans, black beans, and lentils.
It’s incredible how much nutritional value is packed in green peas. They’re high in thiamin and niacin – two critical vitamins that release energy from food and support your nervous system.
Get Them All
There are many delicious foods to choose from to get your daily dose of B vitamins. But we know that they contain one or a few of the eight vitamins.
Fortunately, you get them all in our ABCs & 123’s multivitamin. It has every B vitamin to keep your kids happy and healthy. If you are an adult, our Prenatal covers all the basis, too, even if you're not hoping to get pregnant!