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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 B’s 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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