7 Interesting Health Benefits of B Vitamins
We are sure that you have heard it said several times that a good diet is tied to good health. When your body is properly nourished with the right nutrients, it is able to protect itself and also makes it easier for the treatment of many conditions.
Getting the recommended amounts of vitamins each day is an important part of the nutrition equation, and B vitamins are essential for preventive care. B vitamins help promote a healthy metabolism and are also linked to a reduced risk of stroke, research shows.
Here are the health benefits you can expect from your B vitamins.
Vitamin B1 Is Important for Preventing Beriberi
Vitamin B1 is essential in metabolizing food into energy and can be found in whole-grain cereals, yeast, beans, nuts, and meats. A deficiency of Vitamin B1 in the body is beriberi, a disease affecting the heart, digestive system, and the nervous system. It is recommended that the body has a daily intake of vitamin B1, also called thiamine. According to the National Institutes of Health. The recommendation is 1.1 milligram (mg) for women over age 18, up to 1.4 mg for those who are pregnant, and 1.5 mg for those who are breast-feeding. For men age 14 and older, 1.2 mg per day is recommended,
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) Boosts the Immune System
Riboflavin helps the body break down and use the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in your diet and helps metabolize food into energy. Riboflavin may also increase energy levels, boost the immune system, and treat acne, muscle cramps, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
This type of B vitamin also functions to keep your skin, the lining of your gut, and your blood cells healthy. According to the National Institutes of Health, getting enough riboflavin may be preventive for migraine headaches and cataracts.
The daily recommended intake of B2 are 1.3 mg a day for men and 1.1 mg a day for women. Pregnant women need 1.4 mg daily, and breast-feeding mothers should have 1.6 mg each day. You can get this B vitamin from natural sources such as nuts, green vegetables, meat, and dairy products.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Breaks Down Food Into Energy
This vitamin helps to break down food into energy so the body can use it. A deficiency of vitamin B3 in your diet can cause the disorder known as pellagra. Health benefits of vitamin B3 include its use as a treatment to help control high blood levels of cholesterol. Doses of vitamin B3 high enough to lower cholesterol are associated with several side effects and should only be taken with a physician’s supervision.
Females who are 14 and older need 14 mg a day; males in this age group need 16 mg daily. Legumes, nuts, enriched breads, dairy, fish, and lean meats are all good sources of this type of vitamin B.
Take Vitamin B5 for Healthy Hormones
Vitamin B5 is needed for many of the biochemical reactions that go on in our cells each day, including the breakdown of carbohydrates and lipids for energy. Because it’s a water-soluble vitamin, you need vitamin B5 in your diet every day. Pantothenic acid is necessary for our bodies to produce hormones, and it’s also needed for growth.
Vitamin B5 can be found in vegetables of the cabbage family, such as broccoli and kale, as well as in avocado. In addition, whole-grain cereals, potatoes, dairy, and organ meats are good sources.
According to the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, all people age 14 and older should get 5 mg of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) each day.
Vitamin B6 May Help Reduce Heart Disease Risk
Vitamin B6 is important because it’s involved in more than 100 enzyme reactions in the body’s cells, helping us metabolize amino acids from our food and build new red blood cells. It has also been clinically proven that Vitamin B6 reduces heart disease risk.
Avoid Anemia With Vitamin B12
This type of vitamin helps in building blood cells and maintaining healthy nerve cells in the body. A vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anemia. Deficiency is also damaging to the nervous system and can cause depression, confusion, and dementia.
Vitamin B12 is not naturally occurring in plant foods but natural sources rich in vitamin B12 are dairy products, fish, meat, and — in particular — beef liver and clams. This type of vitamin B can also be found in fortified items like breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast.
Adults need only 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B12, also called cyanocobalamin, each day. Pregnant or breastfeeding teens and women need more: 2.6 to 2.8 mcg daily.
Folic Acid Is Essential for a Healthy Baby
Also referred to as folic acid, Vitamin B9 is essential for the body’s growth and development. Getting enough folate prevents neural tube (brain and spine) birth defects in babies and promotes healthy growth.
Naturally occurring folate is found in many sources, including dark-green leafy vegetables, asparagus, brussels sprouts, oranges, nuts, beans, and peas. In addition, folic acid is added to many fortified foods such as cereals and breads.
The National Institutes of Health recommends that adults get 400 micrograms (mcg) daily, while breast-feeding mothers need 500 mcg a day, and pregnant teens and women should get 600 mcg a day.