By: @curawellness.co, www.curawellness.co
B-vitamins are a group of water soluble vitamins that we must obtain from dietary sources as our body is unable to produce it metabolically. B-vitamins are important for a number of reasons. For one, they are essential for the production of energy and an important component of the Kreb’s cycle, which is the main source of energy for cells and an important part of aerobic respiration. As one of the main producers of energy, they’re continually working to alleviate fatigue/low energy provided dietary intake and/or supplementation is sufficient. B vitamins also assist in the maintenance and repair of red blood cells, which transports oxygenated blood through our circulation to support energy. They’re required to create myelin sheath (a protective layer that shields our neurons), and therefore help to protect our neurons from damage/harm. Lastly, B vitamins support the assimilation/digestion of protein and fats which are then converted into a source of energy.
Considering they’re important nutrients required for the production of energy, without sufficient dietary intake of B-vitamins, your body isn’t able to effectively generate cellular energy, resulting in systemic fatigue, depletion and sluggishness.
B1 - asparagus, beef, brewer’s yeast, lamb, legumes, liver, nuts, pork, rye, spirulina, wheat germ, whole grains
B2 - almonds, asparagus, avocado, barley grass, beans, currants, eggs, milk and dairy products, organ meats, sprouts, wholegrains, yeast, broccoli
B3 - Almonds, beef, chicken, eggs, fish, legumes, mackerel, meat, peanuts, salmon, sardines, sunflower seeds, yeast
B5 - avocado, baker’s yeast, beans, egg yolk, green vegetables, lentils, liver, lobsters, mushrooms, oranges, peas, sweet potatoes
B6 - avocado, banana, brewer’s yeast, carrot, chicken, egg yolk, legumes, lentils, mackerel, salmon, tuna, sunflower seeds, walnuts
B12 - egg yolk, herring, liver, meat, milk, oysters, salmon, sardines, swiss cheese
As seen, most dietary sources of B-vitamins are derived from animal products, meaning, it can sometimes be difficult for individuals who consume a vegetarian or vegan style of diet to obtain sufficient amounts. For vegetarians, focus on consuming organic, free-range eggs, good quality cheese, and yoghurt - if you can tolerate it. For vegans, research suggests that fermented soy products (tempeh), seaweed, mushrooms, and foods fortified with B12 such as plant-based milks and nutritional yeast are good forms of B12.
If you’re unsure if you’re consuming enough B-vitamins, I would suggest seeking a qualified Naturopath/Nutritionist to help support you. They may refer you for a blood test to accurately determine your levels prior to supplementing. Remember, too much of a good thing can sometimes be very harmful or toxic too!
*Note: the oral contraceptive pill (amongst many other types of medication) depletes the concentration of B-vitamins (specifically B1, B2, and B12). Always consult with a professional practitioner/healthcare provider to discuss this further if it concerns you.
If you’re looking for further support, please contact Tayla via email email@example.com, Instagram @curawellness.co or book in for a naturopathic consultation.
References Hanna, M., Jaqua, E., Nguyen, V., & Clay, J. (2022). B Vitamins: Functions and Uses in Medicine. The Permanente journal, 26(2), 89–97. https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/21.204 Kennedy D. O. (2016). B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy--A Review. Nutrients, 8(2), 68. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8020068 Osiecki, H. The nutrient bible 9th ed.