B Vitamins are definitely getting their time in the spotlight as we begin to understand the true importance of the B vitamin cast including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, biotin and pantothenic acid. B Vitamins work individually and also collectively in every cell in our bodies to help us make use of the energy from foods and create red blood cells, which help oxygenate the body. Our body depends on 13 vitamins altogether, eight of which make up the B-group (or B-complex) vitamins. Vitamin B levels decline with naturally with age, which some studies have linked to reduced brain function over the years. That’s why increasing your vitamin B through your diet becomes even more important as you age.
Unfortunately for people keeping a vegan or vegetarian diet, the only natural source of vitamin B12 is animal products including red meat, salmon and milk. Some products including soy and cereals can be fortified with B12. Vitamin B12 is important as it helps to boost blood cell production and can support the nervous system.
Is there anything green vegetables can’t do? Green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and asparagus are rich in folate and just a handful of these can help you achieve your daily intake of folate.
Yes, it’s true. The divisive Aussie spread is rich in vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin. If you’re less inclined to start your morning with Vegemite toast, other foods rich in B2 include eggs, almonds and cottage cheese.
These yellow pocket rockets are a fantastic natural energy snack as well as a source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps the body carry signals between nerve cells, and is needed for normal brain development and function, as well as helping the body make mood-influencing hormones. Along with vitamin B6, bananas are also rich in potassium, and a source of vitamin C and fibre.
Dates are a fantastic source of vitamin B3, also known as niacin. As well as helping the body convert energy, niacin helps improve circulation, supports brain function and it may also help to suppress inflammation. Peaches and nectarines are also delicious and contain B3. If you’re not getting your fill of these B-friendly foods, check with your health practitioner if supplementation, particularly with a quality activated B vitamins may be useful.
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