Recipes rich in B Vitamins
Have you ever wondered why there is so much hype about eating a “Balanced Diet” daily? That is because, in order to function efficiently, your body requires a variety of nutrients which comes from a variety of food groups. Such is the case with B Vitamins, a key player in maintaining a good cell health and keeping you energized throughout the day.
B vitamins are a group of water soluble vitamins and this B vitamin family majorly contains 8 vitamins – Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12. All of these B Vitamins have a different role to play in the body. Even though each of it has a unique function, all of them work in coordination.
When you do not have adequate amount of these vitamins through diet, the doctor prescribes a B-complex supplement to fill in the gap.
Who is at a risk of B Vitamin deficiency?
Certain groups like pregnant women and older adults are vulnerable and may be at a risk of developing B vitamin deficiency. Conditions like Crohn’s disease, HIV, Gluten Intolerance and Excessive Alcoholism may result in inadequate absorption of these vitamins from diet.
Since the B vitamin family is water soluble, it is flushed out of the body daily, therefore it needs to be constantly replenished by consuming foods rich in B vitamins to avoid any nutrient deficiencies.
What is the function of B vitamins?
The B vitamins have a number of functions, they play an important role in energy production, macronutrients metabolism (carbohydrate, protein and fat), the synthesis and repair of DNA and RNA. They also help in maintaining a healthy skin and muscle tone, and maintaining a healthy nervous system.
What do B vitamins do for your body?
B vitamins do not directly provide fuel to your body, instead they help your body to use the fuel created by carbohydrates, proteins and fats and help your cells to multiply by making new DNA.
The entire B vitamin family is important for maintaining good brain health, and also for the nervous system to work efficiently. They are also involved in maintaining a good health of hair, a good skin tone, nerves, glands, digestive system, immune system and blood cells. Since they play an important role in growth and development, they are a crucial part of the children’s diet.
Since they are water soluble, B-vitamins are easily destroyed, mostly by excessive consumption of alcohol, cooking, food processing can also reduce the amount that will be absorbed, thereby, making rice, white bread and white flours less nutritious than their whole grain counterparts.
What are the different kinds of B vitamins?
Each B vitamin has to play a unique role in the body and can be obtained from particular food sources.
Also called as Thiamine, it helps in converting food into energy for being used by the body, it supports normal nervous system function and plays a significant role in muscle contraction. It is also called as “anti-stress” vitamin because it has the ability to avoid damages to immune system.
Sources: Red meat, Whole grains, Beans, Sunflower seeds, Nuts, Spinach, Kale
Also called as Riboflavin, Vitamin B2 is important for growth and development, red blood cell production, helps to maintain healthy hair and skin and also protects the digestive tract.
Sources: Dairy products, Broccoli, whole grains, eggs, almonds, sesame seeds.
Also known as Niacin, Vitamin B3 boosts HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol), lowers LDL cholesterol and also improves brain function. It helps in energy synthesis and cell metabolism. It also helps the digestive system and nerve function.
Sources: beef, poultry, green vegetables, eggs, beans, nuts, sesame seeds
Also known as Pantothenic acid, it plays a pivotal role in the breakdown of fats, proteins and carbohydrates for providing energy to the cells. It also aids in the production of red blood cells, steroids, neurotransmitters and stress related hormones. It also helps in efficient working of digestive tract.
Sources: organ meats, egg yolk, whole grains, avocado, peanuts, milk and milk products, legumes
It is involved in a lot of cellular reactions in the body, Vitamin B6 is also known as Pyridoxine, keeps the body operating at their best. It helps the body metabolize amino acids from the food you eat, it helps in building new red blood cells, and is also involved in maintaining sleep patterns and mood changes as it helps in production of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, melatonin and serotonin.
Sources: meat, eggs, bananas, sesame and sunflower seeds, spinach, carrot
Also known as Biotin, vitamin B7 improves metabolism, tissue maintenance and supports healthy hair, skin and nails. It also helps you calm and maintain a healthy nervous system.
Sources: Egg yolk is the best source of Biotin. Other sources include strawberries, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, meat, nuts.
Also known as Folic acid, Vitamin B9 is essential for optimal brain functioning and has an important role in the production of RNA and DNA. It also has a role in the development of the brain of the fetus during pregnancy. Therefore pregnant mothers are given folic acid supplementation to favor complete growth of the brain of fetus and also prevent neural tube defects. It is also essential for rapid growth of cells during pregnancy, infancy and childhood.
Sources: Dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, avocados, dates, beans.
Also known as Cobalamin, is a team player. It works in coordination to produce red blood cells and thereby helps in transporting oxygen by creating hemoglobin. It also helps in maintaining and regulating a healthy nervous system.
Sources: Cobalamin predominantly occurs in animal foods like chicken, beef, fish. In small amounts it is present in eggs, milk, curd and paneer. Vegetarians might have to go for a supplementation.
Deficiency of B vitamins
If your diet does not comprise of sources rich in B vitamins, you might be at a risk of developing a deficiency. Since, the pre dominant sources are non-vegetarian, vegetarians and vegans are more likely to develop a deficiency.
8 Common Symptoms of B vitamin Deficiency
1. Skin disorders like dermatitis, dry skin, angular stomatitis (cracks at the corner of the mouths)
2. Muscle weakness, lack of coordination, fatigue
3. Confusion, head ache, irritability
4. Numbness, tingling in the fingers
5. Soreness in the muscles and joints.
7. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
8. Folate deficiency may cause neural tube defects in the growing fetus
Try to incorporate B vitamin sources in your daily diet. It is always recommended to fulfill your daily requirements from diet instead of popping up a pill.
This makes it pretty clear, that the entire B vitamin family is of utmost importance and cannot be neglected while making daily food choices. Here we bring for you a range of recipes rich in B vitamins which will definitely nurture your health.