Don’t you have those days when you feel down, not focused and spend almost the entire day listening to podcasts? Well, if you think it’s just another day, then think again. There must be something wrong in your diet, and it probably is due to vitamin B deficiency. There are 8 types of vitamin B and each of them performs very critical roles in our body. They help in the production of neurotransmitters, red blood cells hormones and help to convert food to energy. That’s why when there is a deficiency in this vitamin you feel so depressed and lethargic.
You can get a wide range of B vitamins through various food choices that come from both plant and animal sources. Here are the best sources of vitamin B that you can include in your everyday diet.
Salmon is a very nutritious fish that is rich in several B vitamins. Only 100 grams or half fillet of cooked salmon contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12. Salmon also contains omega-3 fats, protein, and selenium. You can buy prepared salmon that has been seasoned. All you need to do is just sprinkle some salt, pepper and add a couple of lemon slices before baking it in the oven at 400°F for just 15 minutes. You can also eat canned salmon to reduce the cooking time. Salmon is good for the digestive and nervous systems. Your immune system also becomes stronger by including salmon in your diet.
2. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens contain vitamin B9 or folate. Spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, and lettuce are rich in folate. It is best to steam the vegetables because cooking them can destroy the folate. Green vegetables are also rich in riboflavin (B2) and pantothenic (B5) which help in the production of red blood cells. Here are some other benefits of these vegetables:
- Spinach also contains iron which helps to produce red blood cells. It has lutein as well that is good for your eye health.
- Collard greens are rich in antioxidants, vitamin B and vitamin K as well.
You should never overcook the vegetables as the healthy ingredients will be lost in such a case. It is best to eat these vegetables raw, but alternatively, you can add them to your fruit smoothie and drink it.
Liver of beef, chicken, lamb, and pork is packed with all kinds of B vitamin, vitamin K and iron. It is called superfood as it is densely packed with all the essential nutrients that our body needs. It has the following benefits:
- It makes the process of digestion easier.
- It helps to filter and clear the toxins from the blood.
- It is rich in protein that helps in growth.
- It helps in the production of red blood cells.
- It is a low-calorie food so you can include it in your everyday diet without worrying about weight gain.
Liver has a distinctive smell that many people don’t like. In such a case, you can add them to the normal meat when cooking.
Eggs are one of the biggest sources of B vitamins, particularly vitamins B2 and B12 which helps in the production of red blood cells and keeps the immune and digestive systems strong. It also contains vitamin A in a good quantity. Eggs have the following benefits as well:
- Eggs contain a healthy amount of vitamin D that is good for the bones.
- It is rich in lutein that helps with skin elasticity and eyesight.
- It is also a source of omega-3 fatty acids that are good for health.
You can make a nice omelet every morning or have boiled eggs sprinkled with paprika and salt. Eating egg every day will give your body a boost of multivitamin and protein. Try to choose free-range eggs as they contain more brain nutrients.
Milk contains vitamins B1, B2, B5, and B12. Our bodies absorb the vitamin B12 in milk better than that in eggs, fish or beef. You can have milk products like cheese and yogurt instead of raw milk to get similar benefits. Yogurt contains calcium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, and potassium as well. Greek yogurt, in particular, is very healthy as it contains less sugar and is good for our bone and gut health.
Beef is one of the main sources of B1, B3, B6, and B12 vitamins. All you need is to have one grilled flat iron steak and you will get all these nutrients for your body. Low-fat cuts of meat can give you high concentrations of vitamin B12. Grilling is recommended rather than frying in order to preserve more vitamin B12. Beef improves our digestive and immune systems. Besides B vitamins, it contains proteins that help in tissue repair and bodybuilding.
Clams are excellent sources of vitamin B1, B2, B3, B9, and B12. It is high in proteins and other minerals like zinc, selenium, iron, manganese, and omega-3 as well. Boiled clams contain a high amount of vitamin B12. You should include this chewy shellfish in your diet to get a good supply of vitamin B. If you have an iron deficiency in the body then you should eat clams to prevent anemia.
Legumes like black beans, chickpeas, green peas, kidney beans, lentils, etc. have a high concentration of folate or vitamin B9. It also has small amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6. Folate reduces the risk of birth defects and so it is very important for pregnant women. If you are a vegetarian, then you must include legumes in your diet as you cannot get vitamin B from the animal sources.
9. Whole Grains
You must include whole grain cereal, bread, rice or pasta in your everyday meal. These contain a number of important B vitamins, including vitamin B12 which is good for your immune, nervous and digestive systems. Here are the other health benefits of whole grains:
- It has fiber, so it will make you feel fuller for a long time.
- It contains iron that helps to store oxygen.
- It is rich in magnesium and calcium that are good for the bones and teeth.
The vitamin B12 in whole grains help to keep your immune system working in the perfect order. You should include it as part of your breakfast every day.
10. Chicken and Turkey
Chicken and turkey are rich in niacin (B3) and pyridoxine (B6). You can cut off the fatty skin to avoid intaking too much fat. Chicken is a great source of antioxidant selenium also. It helps in digestive and nervous system functioning. It also helps in the production of red blood cells. You can add some bits of chicken in your salad or throw some in your soup.
You should always have a healthy balanced diet so that you can meet the necessary amount of vitamin B intake. Vitamin B12 is particularly essential as your body cannot produce it and so you need to take it from food and supplements. B vitamins are used up when you are under stress or take too much alcohol or caffeine. Some antibiotics or birth control pills can also use up these vitamins. So, it is necessary to include foods containing B vitamins every day so that your body is never short of these vitamins.
For pregnant or breastfeeding women, vitamin B is vital. Deficiency of vitamin B can cause anemia, skin disorders, birth defect, memory loss, and other serious health conditions. So, you must include these vitamin B rich foods in your daily diet.