In 22 years of doctoring, one of the most common questions I get asked, aside from “why are you putting that there,” is about natural sources of vitamins and minerals. Not everyone can afford to eat healthy; fresh, unprocessed food are usually expensive, take time to prepare, and require (at times) extensive knowledge to make delicious!
Back in 2007 I was getting an uptick in requests for food sources of vitamin B. The good news is, I just found it! So, here starts what will hopefully be a nice little series we’ll call “nutrient sources”.
Vitamin B Uses and their Natural Sources
B1-Thiamine: helps the body convert carbs into energy; aids heart function, muscles and regulates nervous system.
Food Sources: fortified breads, cereals, and grains, lean meats, fish, and dried beans, peas and soybeans.
B2-Riboflavin: important for red blood cell production; helps to release energy from carbs.
Food Sources: dark, leafy greens, lean meats, eggs and nuts.
B3-Niacin: helps the digestive system function, clears the skin and regulates the nervous system.
Food Sources: fish, poultry, lean meats, nuts, eggs and dairy products (organic eggs are best source).
B6-Pyridoxine: helps to synthesize antibodies for greater immune function; required for chemical reactions of proteins; very important in the manufacturing of red blood cells; helps maintain normal brain functions.
Food Sources: beans, nuts, eggs, fish, whole grains, and legumes.
B9-Folacin: necessary in the synthesis of red blood cells, DNA, tissue growth and cell function; stimulates digestive acids; is a coenzyme for the breakdown of proteins (works with B12 and VitC). Is very useful in the treatment of menstrual problems.
Food Sources: dark, leafy greens, beans, citrus fruits, whole grains and wheat bran, legumes, poultry and pork.
B12: important in metabolism; aids in the formation of red blood cells; helps to regulate the central nervous system.
Food Sources: eggs, meat, poultry, milk, and milk products
Vitamin B tips: Alcohol prohibits the absorption of most of the B’s. Therefore, if you know you are going to imbibe later in the evening (or day) it is best to take a Vitamin B supplement early in the day. This allows your body to break down and utilize most of the vitamins before you add the ETOH. You can also use the Vitamin B pill to help recover from a bad night on the town. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids, however, to help push things through your liver.
At the end of the day…
It’s important to get a full complement of necessary vitamins and minerals in your diet. If you can’t eat or drink them, then try and source them from high quality supplements from manufacturers that are well-respected by the medical community. Personally, I have been using and recommending Integrative Therapeutics for almost two decades, and they’ve never let me down.
Photo Credit: Eggs In Basket, Spinach, Legumes.
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