Has it ever crossed your mind that the B for B vitamins could stand for BENEFITS?
Well, it’s about time to put your faith in that! The eight water-soluble B vitamins that you’re about to discover are known for their impressive impacts on our body’s metabolism. They can also reduce your risk of having chronic diseases, especially in midlife!
In this article, you will also know the functions and health benefits of B vitamins, vitamin B deficiency symptoms, recommended intake and best food sources for B vitamins!
Read on and be enlightened! ?
Health Benefits for Menopause
1. Vitamin B-1 or Thiamine
Vitamin B-1 allows the heart and nervous system to function normally. It also helps convert food into energy and plays a vital role in muscle development!
Lack of vitamin B-1 can cause tingling sensations and numbness in the hands and feet. In some cases, it can also lead to memory loss and confusion. Dr. Berg calls vitamin B-1 deficiency “The Great Mimicker of Disease”. Know why in his video!
2. Vitamin B-2 or Riboflavin
The main functions of vitamin B-2 are boosting energy, keeping high antioxidant levels in your body, maintaining normal skin and mucous membranes, red blood cell production, promoting eye health and nervous system function!
Suppose you lack vitamin B-2 in your body. In that case, you’re more likely to feel tiredness, digestive problems, mouth cracks, sore throat and sensitivity to light.
Dr. Angela Agrios, a Doctor of naturopathic medicine, calls vitamin B-2 an “unsung hero”. Listen to her video as she elaborates on how vitamin B-2 can save you! [Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): Energy Producer and Oxidative Stress Quencher]
3. Vitamin B-3 or Niacin
Vitamin B-3 primarily works to promote our cells’ effective functioning. It helps the metabolic processes, expression and communication between cells!
Generally, vitamin B-3 speeds up the conversion of carbohydrates, fats and proteins into an energy form that the body can use! It is also thought to promote levels of good cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Insufficient vitamin B-3 in the body can lead to a condition called “pellagra”. Symptoms of pellagra show physical and mental problems such as diarrhea, dermatitis and dementia — yup, that’s three D’s in a row!
4. Vitamin B-5 or Pantothenic Acid
If you want to enhance your mental performance, vitamin B-5 holds the key! This vitamin is also known to effectively reduce feelings of tiredness or fatigue. For menopause, vitamin B-5 specially serves its purpose as an aid in building hormones! It also contributes to a healthier immune system.
5. Vitamin B-6 or Pyridoxine
This B vitamin helps form hemoglobin – the substance in red blood cells carrying oxygen throughout the body. For this reason, vitamin B-6 keeps your nervous system healthy. Overall, that also helps boost your immunity to diseases!
Deficiency in vitamin B-6 leads to weak muscles, mood swings, short-term memory loss, nervousness and difficulty focusing. Find out more about the symptoms of vitamin B-6 deficiency through this video from Dr. Berg! [What is Vitamin B6? Deficiencies, Symptoms and Foods]
6. Vitamin B-7 or Biotin
7. Vitamin B-9 or Folic Acid
Working hand in hand with vitamin B-12, folic acid promotes brain and nerve function! It also supports the healthy reproduction of cells in the body and plays an essential role in women’s fertility!
8. Vitamin B-12 or Cobalamin
Vitamin B-12 is one of the most valuable vitamins for the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins! As mentioned, it works best with vitamin B-9 for the production of red blood cells and better absorption of iron.
Due to its significant benefits for midlife health, we have an article made exclusively for vitamin B-12! You should check it out!
Additionally, Dr. Berg explains the difference between synthetic and natural vitamin B-12. You must know which one serves your health right! [Synthetic vs Natural Vitamin B12]
According to Everyday Health, as many as 15% of Americans in the U.S. have a vitamin B-12 deficiency. If you lack vitamin B-12, you will feel weak, tired and constipated. Weight loss and loss of appetite may also occur. In worse cases, vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to anemia. It can also damage the nervous system and cause depression, confusion and dementia.
The Best Food Sources for B Vitamins
Now that we are done talking about B-vitamins’ health benefits, it’s time to know how to fill our plates with THE BEST FOOD SOURCES!
An intensive 2010 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition revealed this:
Even if you’re on a low-carb diet, you can still acquire adequate amounts of B vitamins from food sources alone.
The study found that a low-carb diet, restricting 20 grams of carbs daily, was only deficient in pantothenic acid (B-5) and biotin (B-7). It met 100% or more of the reference daily intake (RDI) for the other B vitamins! Awesome, right?!
Eating a variety of low-carb foods is the way to ensure that your B vitamin intake is adequate. The top-notch food sources for B-vitamins are:
- Leafy Greens: Spinach, Collard Green, Turnip Green, Romaine Lettuce, Asparagus and Broccoli
- Meat: Beef and Liver (from pork, lamb or chicken)
- Fish and Seafood: Salmon, Tuna, Oysters, Clams, Mussels and Haddock
- Legumes: Black Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils and Soybeans
- Fruits: Oranges, Grapefruits, Lemons or Limes
- Eggs and Dairy Products
- Peanuts and Sunflower Seeds
- Sweet Potatoes
According to LiveStrong, it is still possible to get more vitamin B-5 in your diet with no-carb sources, such as lobster, pork and chicken. Vitamin B-5 is also present in low-carb sources like broccoli, sunflower seeds and feta cheese. Cheddar cheese and cauliflower can also get you more biotin, but with a low carbohydrate content!
Real, natural foods are unbeatable for your B vitamin needs in menopause. But suppose you are looking for extra support to fill in the nutrient gaps your body might be missing. In that case, B-complex supplements sound like a fantastic idea — most especially if you are vegan!
Many menopausal women have also testified that getting enough B-complex truly helped them manage hot flashes, mood swings and even vaginal dryness. I mean, we are talking about a complex of nutrients that keeps our midlife health on the right track. I say, GIVE IT A GO! ?
One important thing to consider when going for a B-vitamin supplement is its methyl content. Some people who take B-vitamins reported that they have experienced nervousness, rapid heartbeat and headaches (minutes or days after taking B-vitamins). These reactions are attributed to a specific class of B vitamins called “methylated B-vitamins”.
The side effects of taking methylated B-vitamins (or any other methylated supplement) mimic many common sensitivities or intolerances. This is why methylation side effects must be addressed with a qualified healthcare professional to rule out any other sensitivities. However, if you think your symptoms are directly caused by methylated nutrients, then the perfect alternative for you is a “methyl-free” supplement!
Now you see how much these 8 B-vitamins can do to your midlife health? Sometimes, it takes a good, knowledgeable read to really know what’s in store for us! As soon as you start making these vitamins a part of your healthy eating habit, you’ll begin to see how your menopause experience becomes more enjoyable! ?
Once Vitamin B-3 or niacin is taken in, it is converted into a coenzyme! This coenzyme, also known as NAD or Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, serves as a “helper” to all other enzymes. present in our body. Over 400 enzymes are dependent on NAD to be able to function effectively! NAD serves as an essential cofactor for many critical cellular processes involved in DNA repair, gene expression, calcium signaling and immune functions.
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