It’s Key For Energy
If there’s one thing doctors and nutritionists are unanimous on, it’s that without vitamin B, you won’t have any energy. “Vitamin B is an integral part of so many metabolic processes, from supporting the nervous system, to reducing fatigue and maintain good, mental power,” confirms Joe Welstead, CEO of Motion Nutrition. “Put simply, B vitamins are the ‘do-ers’ when it comes to micronutrients, particularly in the brain. If you’re running low on B vitamins, you might suffer from cognitive impairment. At the other end of the spectrum, high levels of B9 and B12 have been shown to improve cognitive functioning. So, it goes both ways: not enough and you’ll feel sluggish, but get a good amount and you’ll be rocking.”
The Right Ones Count
“From a nootropic perspective, looking at improving mental functions, you should pay close attention to B3, B6, B9 and B12. Biotin (B7) and Choline (B4) are also involved in brain health and mental energy,” says Joe. While that’s quite a mouthful, you can now find supplements that contain all of these in just the right dosages.
Supplements Aren’t The Only Answer
While often prescribed an easy route to remedy the problem, a balanced diet that’s full of certain foods can deliver just as much vitamin B. “Good sources include whole grains, eggs, beans and lentils, plus a wide range of vegetables, including fish and meats – but it’s essential to choose good quality or organic meat where you can to ensure you’re getting the maximum intake of nutrients and vitamins,” confirms Henrietta Norton, Nutritionist At Wild Nutrition.
It Works Well To Tackle Stress
“During times of stress, your body’s demand for B vitamins and minerals like magnesium can increase significantly,” explains Henrietta. “Because of that it’s key to ensure a sufficient supply of these key nutrients can support the nervous system, immune system and energy factories, to ‘weather the storm’ more effectively and boost.
Summer Is The Time To Up The Ante
“Spring and summer are when we want to get things done, be active and enjoy extended daylight so it’s key to be topping up your vitamin B levels,” says Joe. “We tend to have longer days than in winter, so it’s important we fuel ourselves properly. And if you’ve been reducing or cutting out animal foods, remember that you won’t get any B12 in your diet whatsoever – so it’s even more key to stay on top of this all year long.”
Vitamin B Is Essential For Hormones
“Vitamin B5 in particular is key for the production of the glucocorticoid hormones in the adrenals, such as cortisol,” says Henrietta. In fact, all people age 14 and older should get 5mg of vitamin B5 each day to reap the benefits. You can find vitamin B5 in vegetables of the cabbage family, such as broccoli and kale, as well as in avocado. In addition, whole-grain cereals, potatoes, dairy and organ meats are good sources. Because it’s a water-soluble vitamin, you need vitamin B5 in your diet daily. As for other variations, vitamin B6 can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of PMS, including mood changes and irritability. Studies have shown that taken around 100mg daily can be extremely effective in warding off PMS.
A Deficiency Is Hard To Spot
It’s often hard to tell if you’re lacking in vitamin B as the symptoms are similar to so many other issues. As a general rule of thumb, you might feel tired, dizzy, suffer with a shortness of breath and find you’re feeling consistently weak. Numbness and tingling aren’t an uncommon symptom either, along with balance problems. If you think you’re experiencing any of these, seek out your GP’s advice as soon as possible to prevent further issues occurring as a result.
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