By Melodie Veldhuizen
There is a close clink between good eating habits and good health as well as the prevention and treatment of certain health conditions. The daily intake of recommended amounts of all nutrients, including vitamin B, therefore is essential.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) plays an important role in the conversion of food into energy. A shortage thereof causes beriberi, an illness that affects the heart, digestive system and nervous system. It occurs especially in persons suffering from malnutrition, as well as heavy drinkers. It causes a person to have trouble walking, numbness in the hands and feet, as well as weakness in the lower legs. Vitamin B occurs in whole-grain breakfast cereals, yeast, beans, nuts and meat.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) helps with the breakdown and absorption of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in your diet and converts food into energy. It keeps your skin, the inner lining of your stomach and your blood cells healthy. Other benefits of vitamin B2 are that it can prevent migraine headaches and cataracts, strengthen the immune system and increase energy levels. It is also beneficial in the treatment of acne, muscle cramps and carpel tunnel syndrome. Vitamin B2 occurs in nuts, green vegetables, meat and dairy products.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) also converts the food that you eat into energy. It helps in the prevention of high cholesterol levels, but too big amounts can have negative consequences. A shortage of niacin in your diet can cause pellagra. Pellagra can influence your physical as well as mental health negatively and includes symptoms such as diarrhoea, inflammation of the mucus membranes, as well as dementia. Pellagra can also occur when, due to the excessive intake of alcohol, the body does not absorb sufficient niacin. Vitamin B3 occurs in legumes, nuts, fortified bread, dairy products, fish and lean meat.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) is essential for many of the chemical reactions that take place in our bodies’ cells daily. These include the breaking down of carbohydrates and lipids to release energy. It is also essential for the manufacture of hormones in our bodies. Vitamin B5 occurs in vegetables of the cabbage family, for example broccoli and kale, as well as in avocado. Whole-grain breakfast cereals, dairy products, and organic meat such as liver and kidneys are also good sources.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxin) is involved in 100 enzyme reactions in our body cells. It enables the body to extract amino acids from food and to manufacture new red blood cells. Although not yet confirmed, there is a possibility that it lowers the risk of heart diseases. It is essential for normal brain development and the effective performance of the immune and nervous systems. A shortage of vitamin B6 can cause muscle weakness, depression, irritability, nervousness, a loss of short-term memory and concentration problems. It can also lead to a lowered production of red blood cells. Vitamin B6 occurs in bananas, beans, beef liver, brown rice, cheese, chicken, fortified instant grains, lentils, milk, salmon, shrimp, spinach, sunflower seed, tuna, turkey, wheat germ and whole-grain flour.
Vitamin B7 (Biotin) is important for the processing of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. It is especially essential for a healthy pregnancy. There is slight evidence that it promotes healthy nails, skin and hair. It lowers blood glucose in persons with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Signs of a shortage of vitamin B7 are hair loss, scaly red rash around the eyes, nose and mouth, depression, tiredness, hallucinations, numbness a or needles-and-pins sensation in hands and feet, loss of control over bodily movements, fits, limited immunity, as well as a heightened risk for bacterial and fungal infections. Vitamin B7 occurs in egg yolks, legumes, nuts and seeds, liver, sweet potato, mushrooms, bananas, broccoli, yeast and avocado.
Vitamin B9 (Folic acid) is essential for the growth and development of the body, which is why it is especially essential for pregnant women or even women intending to fall pregnant, to ensure the healthy development of the unborn baby. A shortage hereof can cause depression, anxiety and mood swings. It can result in the baby not developing as it should during pregnancy. Vitamin B9 occurs in dark green leafy vegetables, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, citrus fruit, nuts, beans and peas. Folic acid is also added to fortified foods such as grains and bread.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) is water-soluble, and is essential for the manufacture of red blood cells and DNA and the maintenance of healthy nerve cells in the body. A shortage hereof results in anaemia and leads to muscle weakness, tiredness, constipation, weight loss and loss of appetite. It can also damage the nervous system and cause depression, confusion, dementia, mood disorders, balance disorders, bad memory and a sore mouth and tongue. Vitamin B12 does not occur in vegetables, therefore it is advisable that vegetarians and vegans use supplements. Foods rich in vitamin B12 are dairy products, fish, meat (especially beef liver and shell fish), as well as fortified foods and yeast.
Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287720#health-benefits