B Vitamins: Do you know where to find your B Vitamins?
The B Vitamins
To say vitamin B you must think of mass nouns. With this I want to shed light on the fact that it seems like the people running analyses on vitamins thought they’d soon run out of the alphabet when they reached vitamin B so they made it a group instead of a single one.
So, in total there are a total of eight B vitamins that one can get, which begs the question, why aren’t there more A one’s? Jokes aside,they are listed in order as follows: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12. These vitamins also have surname that scientists and other experts on the matter know them by and would convene you to know them as well.
Now, I really want you to learn them way so instead of dragging you list through list of these vitamins with long boring names and facts I’ll try to explain each one in a way in which it won’t be such a drag. I will only be covering four of them here and compartmentalize.
The B Vitamins Similarities
For starters the people involved in naming vitamins did actually follow a certain alphabetical order to name them in the beginning. The reason why they skip from E to K is because vitamins that were originally G, H or I were later renamed or lumped into another category (fatty acids or in the B Complex).
The reason the B complex is so long is because its vitamins are so similar. Their effects on the body and their chemical similarity made it so that the people researching them placed them in the same category. It is actually known by the scientific community that vitamins in the B group were not actually discovered in order either. Thiamine and Riboflavin (B1 and B2) shared the same name for a long time until it was discovered that they offered different health benefits.
Vitamin B1 also known as thiamine is one of the first discovered amines along with riboflavin. They were discovered in 1912 but weren’t told apart for fourteen years. Thiamine is essential for energy production and metabolic processes like the Krebs’ cycle. The deficiency of it can alter the nervous system, mood, and the cardiovascular and digestive systems as well. It can be found in a large array of foods specifically in beans and seeds. When I say seeds and beans I mean anything from:
Oats to, green peas to black, green, red and white beans, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, mustard seeds and sunflower seeds. If you’re not a seed kind of person then might I add that vitamin B1 can also be found in greens; like broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers and kale? Fruits are also porters of vitamin B1 that are sure to make you go gaga for it and some of them are; grapefruit, watermelons and pineapples.
Moving on to our next contestant Vitamin B2 or riboflavin was discovered along with thiamine but wasn’t thought of a separate entity until 1926 by the scientific community. It is actually the first vitamin to be made synthetically. It is involved in processes like metabolizing iron and energy (like B1) and it also maintains a healthy level of the antioxidant glutathione.
For those of you that believe that metabolizing iron in the body isn’t a big deal I would beg you to reconsider as it actually makes it so that your red blood cells can carry enough oxygen to most parts of your body.
Foods that contain vitamin B2
Lack of oxygen results in anemia, so riboflavin not only keeps you energized but it keeps you strong and young! A good factor to know if you are consuming enough riboflavin is checking your urine. Healthy yellow colored urine indicates the presence of vitamin B2 in the body.
Foods that contain vitamin B2 include dairies like cow milk and yogurt greens like green peas, spinach and Brussels sprouts. If you are more a protein lover you’ll be glad to know that eggs also have healthy amount of vitamin B2.
Vitamin B3 can be known by two names: niacin and niacin-amide. However, this vitamin can be known under other names that are given to compounds that are related to this B complex participant. Another name that is given to it is nicotinic acid. This is because besides being part of a family it also has a family of its own with compounds that resemble it but have effects on people that are particularly the same.
Providing mental and physical energy, supporting healthy blood, a healthy heart, immune system function and a healthy response to stress, the B complex vitamins are essential nutrients for the body.
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Vitamin B3 is good to treat health complications like migraines; its ability to protect antioxidants also prevents and reduces the risk of age related diseases that involve loss of memory or thinking skill. Niacin is also used to treat ADHD, improving your cardiovascular and digestive systems and its great for teens with acne. One of its most effective uses is keeping high cholesterol levels at bay and reducing them.
Niacin can be found in poultry like chicken and turkeys, it can also be found in fish like tuna, sardine and salmon and in other forms of meat like lamb and beef. If your diet is more vegetarian, you can indulge on eating sweet potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and eggplant.
Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5
You ever wonder why Pantene didn’t choose a more attractive name to sell? Well it is because they placed meaning of the name over attractiveness and still won. Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 has an analog form known as panthenol, which is a key ingredient in most if not all of the shampoos and products Pantene produces.
The reason behind the name Pantene is the presence of this pro-vitamin found in their products. Now, I wasn’t wondering off there, vitamin B5 is actually used to fight hair problems including baldness and graying hair. A lack of it affects the hair follicles located in your scalp and it can lead to baldness or the thinning of your hair.
Contributes to the synthesis of hormones by the adrenal glands.
Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) is converted in the body to coenzyme A, which is involved in the biochemical cycles responsible for conversion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates into energy.
It also plays a role in the synthesis of hormones by the adrenal glands.
Despite its integral participation on the fight against hair loss vitamin B5 is also excellent at fending off high levels of cholesterol, much like vitamin B3. It is also attributed to pantothenic acid the ability to improve wound healing and reducing the pains of people that ache with rheumatoid arthritis.
While the risk to undergo lack of pantothenic acid is ridiculous, as it can be found in most foods, it is still recommended you eat some of the following foods to keep your levels of it healthy therefore keeping not only your scalp but your heart and intestines healthy. First and foremost on the list are cooked shiitake mushrooms followed by sweet potatoes, avocadoes, broccoli and yogurt.
Once again poultry and other forms of meat go for the win on the foods with the richest amounts of vitamin B. You can find pantothenic acid in chickens, turkeys and beef. A glass of cow milk daily can do the trick or eating a couple of chunks of pineapple too.
The truth is, that unless you are isolated from society in a place you can only eat tundra, you’ll never go lacking vitamin B in any of its forms. If you do feel like you may be lacking it in your diet, consider talking to your doctor about improving your diet or adding some vitamin supplements to your daily intake.
I hope this article has been of aid to you and to the expansion of your knowledge on vitamins. Enjoy your healthy foods!
Artivle by: Alain Gutierrez
Images Courtesy of:
antpkr at: FreeDigitalPhotos.net