Categories: Healthy Eating

The Health Benefits of Vitamin B – What is Vitamin B good for?

The Health Benefits of Vitamin B

What is Vitamin B good for? Well, it’s very important in keeping you energised and maintaining cell health. We take a look at the health benefits of vitamin B as well as foods and recipes to help you get it into your diet naturally.

Different types of Vitamin B

Vitamin B is a group of eight vitamins B-12 cobalamin, B-9 folate, B-7 biotin, B-6 pyridoxine, B-5 pantothenic acid, B-3 niacin, B-2 riboflavin and B-1 thiamine.

The B group of vitamins are water-soluble, can be destroyed by cooking and alcohol and are found in everything from mushrooms, beer, yoghurt and even chocolate.

Processed foods have less of the B vitamin and are therefore less nutritious, so always go for whole grain variety of flour, bread and rice.

A well-rounded diet

As long as you eat a varied & well rounded diet containing fruits, meats, vegetables and grains you should be getting all of the vitamin B you need.

A poor diet for several months could mean that you will be B deficient, as the body does not store most of this vitamin. B-12 is the exception to this rule though as it is stored in the liver.

A bad diet could mean you are missing out on the big health benefits of vitamin B!

Not all types of vitamin B do the same thing and therefore the different types of vitamin B come from different foods.

For example, if you want to boost your B-6 you can do no better than the lowly baked potato which will give you 35% of your daily requirement of B-6 plus it has potassium and fibre to boot.

A list of foods rich in Vitamin B

Below is the list of the foods that are a rich source of the B vitamin in all of its different forms….

Vitamin B-12 rich foods

Vitamin B-12 is found mostly in meat and dairy foods. This B vitamin helps growth, red blood cell formation and regulation of the nervous system.

Those on a vegan diet could be at risk of deficiency of this B vitamin.

Include the following foods in your diet for a good source of B-12 vitamin…

  • Eggs, cheese and milk
  • Red meat, kidney and liver
  • Shellfish and fish

Vitamin B-9 foods

Vitamin B-9 also promotes the red blood cells like most B vitamins. This B vitamin, also known as folic acid helps reduce birth defect risks.

B9 is found in the following foods…

  • Whole grains and fortified cereals
  • Meats, liver & kidney
  • Citrus fruits
  • Fish
  • Leafy green vegetables, beets & legumes

Foods that are a good source of Vitamin B-7

Vitamin B-7 is the beauty vitamin due to its association with healthy nails, skin and hair. It helps to control high blood glucose levels so could benefit in the control of diabetes.

In pregnancy this B vitamin is vital for the growth of the baby.

Get your B-7 vitamin from….

  • Pork, chicken and liver
  • Fish
  • Egg yolks
  • Nuts
  • Cauliflower
  • Barley
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Vitamin B-6 rich foods

Vitamin B-6 turns the food you eat into energy.

It also helps the body to fight infection and a deficiency of B-6 can result in anaemia, nausea, depression and skin disorders.

So include the following in your diet to get B-6…

  • Tuna and salmon
  • Chicken breast, ground beef and beef liver
  • Potatoes, spinach and chickpeas
  • Watermelon
  • Whole grains & cereals
  • Carob

Foods rich in Vitamin B-5

Vitamin B-5 is also known as Pantothenic acid from the Greek word “pantothen” meaning” from everywhere”.

A small amount of B-5 is found in most food groups. It breaks down fats and carbohydrates into energy and is responsible for the production of testosterone.

B-5 has been shown in studies to reduce skin spots that are signs of aging skin and also promotes healthy skin.

Get your vitamin B-5 by eating….

  • Legumes
  • Avocados
  • Yoghurt
  • Eggs
  • Meat

Vitamin B-3 rich foods

Vitamin B-3  is a digestive aid, promotes a healthy appetite and converts food to energy.

A deficiency in this B vitamin can result in abdominal cramps and nausea.

To get your B-3 eat the following….

  • Wheat & barley
  • Peanuts
  • Fish
  • Chicken, red meat and liver
  • Moringa

Vitamin B-1 and B-2

Vitamins B-1 and B-2 both help convert your food to energy. B-1 has neurological benefits and B-2 maintains healthy eyesight.

B-1 known as thiamine is in most whole grains and breakfast cereals. Moringa Oleifera is also a great source of Vit B2 having 50 times more than bananas.

To get B-2, riboflavin into the diet eat…

  • Milk and eggs
  • Dark green vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Bananas
  • Moringa

As most foods like milk and cereals are fortified with riboflavin and thiamine B-1 and B-2 deficiency is rare in the developed world.

It can be a problem in people who abuse alcohol.

A varied and healthy diet

As long as you have a varied and healthy diet and include the foods mentioned above your body should be getting enough of the B vitamin.

To make sure that you are getting enough into your diet have a look at some of these delicious recipes below that are vitamin B rich.

If you are over 50 or an athlete there could be a need to take a vitamin B supplement but a doctor’s advice should be sought if you feel you are vitamin B deficient.

3 Delicious Recipes packed full of Vitamin B

1. Grilled Salmon and Pesto

Photo by Emily Miller

This grilled Salmon and pesto recipe gives you high levels of B vitamins, a 3oz serving of salmon give you a 100% of your B-12 requirement.

This recipe contains B1, B3, B5, B6 and B12 and is easy to make, full of flavour and the added bonus of not being high in calories!

2. Pork Belly Ramen with Spring Greens

Picture by Brooklyn Supper

This fantastic Pork belly ramen recipe from Elizabeth at Brooklyn Supper is the perfect choice, as the pork and dark greens will really help boost your B vitamin levels.

3. Whole-Grain Raspberry Energy Bar

Picture by Perry Santanachote

This delicious snack bar recipe courtesy of Daily Burn and Perry Santanachote is low in calories but high in taste and perfect for breakfast or as a dessert, try serving with yoghurt.

This easy to make snack bar has B1, B6, B9 and B3 as well as the B vitamins they have healthy fats too

Let us know…

We’d love to hear if you tried any of the above recipes and any other facts you know about Vitamin B, including any health benefits that you have found in the comments below….

Calm Happy Healthy

We exist to do all we can to help make life a richer, more inspiring and enjoyable experience, for you our reader. By aiming to help you realise that you have the power and ability to change what needs to be changed to improve your health, state of mind, diet, energy levels, reduce stress and do your bit to help look after the environment. Live a Calmer, Happier and Healthier life.

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