B vitamins are an essential part of any healthy diet and lifestyle, helping to transform food into energy within the body. But, did you know there are actually 8 B vitamins, each with their own unique role?
If you’re unsure of which B vitamins do what for your body, read on as we’re covering this below, along with how you can implement them into your diet.
Vitamin B1: thiamin
No.1 on our list is thiamin, the B vitamin responsible for ensuring the nervous system functions well.
Where do I find B1?
Kale, pork, red meat, nuts, spinach and whole grains.
Vitamin B2: riboflavin
Coming in at No.2, riboflavin aids the body in breaking down fats, carbs and proteins so they can be used to keep you going. It also helps the body grow and boosts red blood cell production – these are vital for carrying oxygen around the body.
Where do I find B2?
Eggs, cabbage, salmon, broccoli, beef and almonds.
Vitamin B3: niacinamide
Our third vitamin is niacinamide, an important player when it comes to digestion, skin health and the nervous system. It’s sometimes referred to as niacin and boosts healthy cholesterol (HDL) – this is the cholesterol associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
Where do I find B3?
Beef, legumes, oily fish, green vegs, eggs and beans.
Vitamin B5: pantothenic acid
Pantothenitic acid is essential for maintaining the health of the brain and is needed for producing hormones. It also contributes to breaking down fats and carbs into vital energy.
Where do I find B5?
You’ll find pantothentic acid pretty much anywhere, in fact the Greek prefix ‘pan’ means just that: everywhere/omnipresent. Dairy, organ meats, vegetables, nuts and legumes all contain pantothentic aid.
Vitamin B6: pyridoxine
A jack of all trades, Vitamin B6 is involved in over 100 cellular reactions in the human body and keeps your vitals functioning at tip top level. From metabolizing amino acids and building new red blood cells, to improving mood and promoting good sleep, B6 is a powerful part of the B vitamin family.
Where do I find B6?
Spinach, berries, bananas, brown rice, poultry, eggs and fish.
Vitamin B7: biotin
Often dubbed the ‘beauty vitamin’, B7 helps maintain healthy skin, nails and hair.
Where do I find B7?
Organ meat, pork, chicken, oily fish, eggs, nuts and strawberries.
Vitamin B9: folate
Our final vitamin is particularly important for pregnant women. Folate is well-known for the role it plays in healthy foetal development and ensures babies develop a good nervous system whilst in the womb.
Where do I find B9?
Organ meats, avocados, dates, oily fish, leafy greens and vegetables.
Are there particular demographics who need B vitamin supplements?
Most healthy adults will not need to take vitamin B supplements, as it’s possible to get the right amount of these vitamins from the foods they eat, such as those we’ve covered above. However, there are certain people who may need to turn to supplements:
- Pregnant women: B vitamins are vital in the healthy development of a child in the womb and to ensure the health of the mother throughout the 9 months of pregnancy.
- Vegans and vegetarians: those who are new to vegetarian and vegan diets may wish to consider taking B vitamin supplements before finding sufficient replacement foods from which to get enough B vitamins.
- Older adults: many older adults lose their appetite as they age and may not get all the nutrients they need from their food. Turning to B vitamin supplements is a good idea, in order to address this.