It is widely known that you need to keep up with your vitamin intake if you want to be able to lead a healthy lifestyle. You can get it from having a comprehensive diet but sometimes life gets in the way and we are falling short in getting them all in each and every day. The question here is what are some of the most important vitamins you should be focused on getting? Well, vitamin Bs are a great option because they allow you to get the most health benefits and are the least likely to be part of a healthy diet. For me adding the Vitamin B to my daily supplements really made a difference. I struggle with energy (Hi! working Mom … I am pretty much always exhausted!)and I for sure battle mood swings and anxiety. This has helped me feel less edgy and like I have more energy. I most noticed a difference when it came to PMS. Ever since I had my babies I have battled PMS a lot more than before pregnancy. Everything was cranked up by like 10! The B’s have made me significantly more bearable … not only for myself but those around me. My Husband may buy me a lifetime case at this rate haha!
What do B Vitamins Do?
Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is a coenzyme used by the body to metabolize your food for energy and to maintain proper nerve and heart function. B1 is used to extract energy from the foods you eat by turning nutrients into useable energy. Without high enough levels of B1, the molecules found in carbohydrates and proteins cannot be properly used by the body.
Low levels of B1 can cause weakness, fatigue, heart complications, psychosis, and nerve damage. B1 can be added to your diet with certain whole grains, beans, nuts, and meat.
Vitamin B3, is usually referred to as niacin. Vitamin B3 has been studied extensively and shows positive results treating a wide range of many common health problems. B3 is an important vitamin in your arsenal to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. In addition B3 helps with brain function, healthy skin formation and even helping to prevent diabetes.
Vitamin B6 helps the body to maintain a healthy nervous system, to make hemoglobin that carries oxygen in red blood cells throughout the body, to provide energy from the food that we eat, to balance blood sugar levels, to boost mood, and also to create antibodies that our immune system uses to protect us. B6 is your bodies hero!
A vitamin B6 deficiency is fairly uncommon but can overtime cause symptoms including:
· Changes in mood, such as irritability, anxiety and depression
· Muscle pains
· Low energy, or fatigue
· Worsening of PMS symptoms
Because vitamin B6 is so important for nerve function, a vitamin B6 deficiency is linked most commonly with neuropsychiatric disorders, including seizures, migraines, chronic pain and mood disorders like depression.
Vitamin B12 helps maintain the health of nerve cells and helps form the protective covering of nerves. This means that when vitamin B12 levels are low, almost every cognitive function can suffer. Vitamin B12 also helps with digestion and heart health, so a deficiency can lead to both digestive disorders and an increased risk for heart disease.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2000, indicate that up to 39 percent of the population possibly suffering from a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency can include:
· chronic fatigue
· Joint pain and Muscle aches
· Feeling dizzy
· Poor memory
· Inability to concentrate well
· Mood changes, like increased depression and anxiety
· Poor dental health, including bleeding gums and mouth sores
· Digestive problems like nausea, diarrhea or cramping
A special note to my Vegan/Vegetarian friends: B12 is the one vitamin that you cannot get enough of from a non-animal product diet. It is present in small quantities in beer, mushrooms, kombucha, and spirulina, but not enough to meet daily requirements. Please take a supplement. Vitamin B12 deficiency takes years to show symptoms (7-10 years) and can be masked by intake of large quantities of vitamin B9 (folate). Eventually, deficiency can lead to anemia as well as neurological dysfunction and possibly even damage. So, do yourself a favor and take a supplement and be a responsible, healthy Veggie!
Reasons you should start taking a Vitamin B Complex:
1.) Reduces Risk of Stroke: A stroke is essentially when you rupture a blood vessel in your brain. It happens due to poor blood circulation and can often be fatal. B vitamins can help improve circulation thereby making it far less likely that you are going to end up having a stroke.
2.) Improves Metabolism: Your metabolism is the rate at which your body metabolizes your food, which is essentially what your body does when it breaks food down into energy and uses it up. The faster your metabolism the more likely you are going to be to lose weight, so getting in all those B vitamins can really improve your chances of meeting your goal weight in no time at all.
3.) Increases Energy: The element in Vitamin B that helps your body become more efficient at breaking down food is riboflavin. This is very useful because when your body breaks foods down more efficiently, it ends up getting a lot more energy from the food that you are actually consuming. Who doesn’t want more energy?
4.) Improves Digestion: Since your body is going to be breaking down food a lot quicker, you will find that your digestive tract is going to work a lot more efficiently as well. Essentially, your digestion is going to be aided by the fact that your food is broken down more thoroughly, so you are not going to suffer from problems such as constipation or diarrhea as much as you would have otherwise. A B complex is especially important for those with a Gluten Allergy or sensitivity since your digestion track cannot absorb B Vitamins as well as others.
5.) Improves Circulation: B vitamins are known for being very useful when it comes to creating new red blood cells, so when you consume them you are going to get healthier blood. This will be more efficient at transporting oxygen which is going to help improve pretty much all of your bodily functions. Most of us sit day in and day out at a desk. That really takes a toll on circulation!
The easiest way to get these into your diet (and sometimes the only way) is of course, a Vitamin B complex supplement. There are lots of great Vitamin brands out there. Some not so great ones. Do your research.
I personally use this Vitamin B Complex is the one I use because its non GMO, Gluten, Soy, Nut and Dairy Free, Vegan/Vegetarian friendly and its boosted naturally with antioxidant PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid) to help support healthy skin and hair. I also love all the things this company stands for as far as social and environmental issues. I like to “vote with my dollars” when I can.
|I have also heard good things about these two:|
I have been doing a lot of research on supplements lately. I am always interested in hearing what is working for others! Let me know in the comments what you are using and is working for you.