Updated: Jun 21, 2022
B Complex describes a group of water-soluble vitamins that work together for your health and wellness. The B Complex include:
B1 – Thiamin
B3 – Niacin/Niacinamide
B5 – Pantothenic Acid
B7 – Biotin
B9 – Folic Acid
B10 – Para aminobenzoic acid
The B-vitamins help with the detoxification pathway to help the body get rid of medications, hormones, and environmental toxins. They support the nervous system and the conversion of neurotransmitters, cardiovascular and healthy lipid function, and support thyroid function and energy production. They are essential for proper digestive functions and metabolizing carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and help your body use other vitamins! B-vitamins are also essential for healthy brain function, sleep, and help the body adapt to stress. Certain B-vitamins (like Biotin) are great for healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Some common medications that can deplete B-vitamins include antacids, antibiotics, birth control pills, anti-inflammatory medications (like ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin) and metformin (a medication for diabetes).
Since B-vitamins are water soluble, they are often eliminated very quickly. Sometimes it is a good idea to take them twice daily for optimal absorption. Many foods in the Standard American Diet are fortified with B-vitamins, but it is best to find foods that naturally contain the B-vitamins.
Look for B-vitamins in whole grains, eggs, legumes, citrus fruits, avocados, meat, poultry, and fish.
B6 is found in mushrooms, perch, pecans, eggs, lobster, oatmeal, cashews, salmon, broccoli, hazelnuts, and kale. Folate is found in avocados, beans, asparagus, walnuts, spinach, kale, hazelnuts, and broccoli. Choline is found in eggs, broccoli, beef, chicken, and nuts.
Remember, it is important to eat a variety of whole foods that can provide many different micronutrients to help our bodies achieve optimal health and wellness. Eat the rainbow and include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Sometimes, our genetics does not allow us to convert certain vitamins to their active (most useful) form. If you find yourself lacking, a supplement may be necessary, but consult a healthcare professional before starting any supplements.
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