BY GAINZ STAFF
The B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, are needed to release energy from food, maintain the nervous system and prevent birth defects in unborn children. Vitamin B deficiency can cause extreme tiredness, depression and other mental health problems, so it’s important to get enough of these essential vitamins. Here are five ways to get more vitamin B in your diet.
“EGGS ARE ONE OF THE RICHEST SOURCES OF B VITAMINS, ESPECIALLY B12, WHICH IS NEEDED FOR MANY IMPORTANT FUNCTIONS…”
Eat More Eggs
Eggs are one of the richest sources of B vitamins, especially B12, which is needed for many important functions, including a healthy nervous system, energy production and the formation of red blood cells. Try adding some cheese, milk or other dairy products to give your vitamin B12 stores an extra boost and improve your energy levels.
Switch to Whole Grains
Whole grains, such as wholewheat bread, rye, barley, brown rice and whole oats, are rich in nutrients, with many grains containing significant amounts of B vitamins, especially vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin and folate. Refined grains, such as white bread, white rice and other processed grains, contain far fewer nutrients, making them a poor choice for those with low levels of B vitamins.
Choose Lean Animal Protein
Meat, poultry and dairy products are the main sources of vitamin B12, which is why B12 deficiency is more likely in vegans. Animal products are also a good source of other B vitamins, including B6, niacin and folate. Liver is a rich source of most B vitamins, as well as other nutrients. Although excess intake can cause toxic levels of vitamin A in the body. So it’s usually best to limit intake of liver to once a week.
“MEAT, POULTRY AND DAIRY PRODUCTS ARE THE MAIN SOURCES OF VITAMIN B12, WHICH IS WHY B12 DEFICIENCY IS MORE LIKELY IN VEGANS.”
Add Legumes to Meals
Legumes, such as peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas, are packed with folate and several other B vitamins. Legumes are particularly important for vegans and vegetarians, as they provide essential nutrients that can be difficult to obtain from sources other than meat. Leafy green vegetables, sunflower seeds and fortified cereals are also good vegan sources of B vitamins.
Take Brewer’s Yeast
Brewer’s yeast, or nutritional yeast, contains significant amounts of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Brewer’s yeast is one of the few vegan options for ensuring adequate intake of vitamin B12, which makes it a popular choice for vegetarians and vegans. You can take brewer’s yeast daily in tablet form, or you can add the powder to smoothies, soups and other dishes.
B vitamins are essential for maintaining good mental and physical health. Vegans and vegetarians are particularly at risk of deficiency, as meat, poultry and dairy products are the richest sources of several B vitamins. Eating more eggs, whole grains, animal protein and legumes helps to boost your intake of vitamin B. For people at risk of deficiency, it may be necessary to take a brewer’s yeast supplement. GAINZ