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Why do we need Vitamin B?
Aids in the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose (this provides energy for the body)
Aids in the breakdown of fats and proteins (which aids the normal functioning of the nervous system)
Muscle tone in the stomach and intestinal tract
How can we get enough Vitamin B in our diets?
The B-vitamins often referred to as the B-complex vitamins are actually a group of eight vitamins, which include:
pantothenic acid (B5)
Vitamin B1 - Thiamine, can be found in whole grains, poultry, liver, fish, seeds, nuts, brewers yeast, bran and wheat germ.
Vitamin B2 - riboflavin, is found in dairy products, meat, poultry, fish, whole grains, and leafy, green vegetables.
Vitamin B3 - Niacin, can be found in salmon, tuna, wheat germ, brewer's yeast, green, leafy vegetables, beans, peas, dried figs, prunes, and dates.
Vitamin B5 - Pantothenic Acid, is found in many common foods such as meat, egg yolks, peanuts, whole grains and beans.
Vitamin B6 - Pyridoxine, is in salmon and herring, pork liver, bananas, pears and brown rice.
Vitamin B12 is actually manufactured by microorganisms so it is not found in fruits and vegetables. Meat, poultry, non-fat dry milk, and fermented soybean products will give you what you need. Vegetarians need to be aware of sufficient vitamin B12.
Folic Acid is found in foods like kale, green, leafy vegetables, kidney, liver, spinach, parsley, brewer's yeast, and watercress.
Biotin is manufactured in the intestinal tract it is also found in eggs, cheese, and nuts.
What about Vitamin B supplements?
Some studies indicate that as people age they are less able to pull Vitamin Bs from their diet, particularly B12. So that might be a consideration in your decision to take a Vitamin B supplement.
Words to know
Water-soluble vitamin - vitamin that dissolves in water: B vitamins, vitamin C
Fat-soluble vitamin - vitamin that does not dissolve in water: vitamins A, D, E and K.
Antioxidants - substances that have been shown to help the body cells fight diseases such as cancer and heart disease
Beta-carotene - a form of vitamin A found in dark green or dark orange fruits and vegetables
Toxic - poisonous
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