chemo-brainThe B vitamins are: B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate or folic acid), and B12 (cyanocobalamin).

B vitamins help carbohydrates break down to glucose and they aid in the breakdown of fats and proteins. Without them, we would not have fuel for any tissues in the body. They are absolutely essential for neurotransmitters and nerve tissue. They help our bodies form red blood cells. B9 and B12 are required for normal fetal development during pregnancy.

B vitamin deficiencies run the gamut from decreased energy all the way through to acute psychosis or death. Every bodily function requires B vitamins or the glucose it provides.

The best source of any vitamins is food. B vitamins are found in the following foods.

Foods High In B1
Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, green peas, beet greens, spinach, sweet potatoes, navy beans, black beans, pinto beans, lima beans, kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, unpolished rice, barley, oats, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, watermelon, oranges, and liver.

Foods High In B2
Beet greens, spinach, asparagus, crimini mushrooms, collard greens, sweet potatoes, green peas, eggs, turkey, tempeh, sardines, and tuna.

Foods High In B3
Asparagus, crimini mushrooms, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green peas, tuna, chicken, turkey, salmon, lamb, beef, sardines, shrimp, peanuts, sunflower seeds, brown rice, and barley.

Foods High In B5
Avocado, crimini and shitake mushrooms, sweet potatoes, green peas.

Foods High In B6
Sweet potatoes, potatoes, spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, garlic, winter squash, bok choy, bell peppers, avocado, green peas, tuna, chicken, turkey, beef, salmon, lentils, lima beans, pinto beans, bananas, and sunflower seeds.

Foods High In B7
Sweet potatoes, onions tomatoes, carrots, oats, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, eggs, salmon, and bananas.

Foods High In B9
Asparagus, spinach, turnip greens, broccoli, Romaine lettuce, bok choy, cauliflower, green peas, avocados, leeks, fennel, summer squash, Brussels sprouts, lentils, pinto; garbanzo; black; navy; and kidney beans, papaya, and quinoa.

Foods High In B12
Sardines, salmon, tuna, cod, lamb, shrimp, scallops, beef, yogurt, and milk.

It can be difficult to meet the daily requirement of B12 if you are a vegetarian or vegan, or if you are elderly. It is also more difficult for anyone suffering from digestive diseases that inhibit absorption such as celiac disease.

If you do choose to supplement with B vitamins, it is important to take a full B complex. Taking one or more B vitamin over an extended period of time can cause deficiencies in other B vitamins.

Remember a healthy diet is one that consists of 80% raw, fresh, organic produce - more vegetables than fruits along with healthy omega 3 fats. To properly absorb and assimilate B vitamins, you must have balanced healthy fats in the body and a healthy gut that's not overrun with Candida

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Food sources: yeast, grains, milk, egg yolk, wheat germ, nuts, red meat, cereals, and legumes.

Functions: essential for growth, involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids, helps maintain a healthy heart, muscles and nervous system

Deficiency: when severe it can result in Beriberi which results in muscle weakness, neuritis and paralysis. Other symptoms of deficiency include fatigue, irritability, loss of appetite, mental depression, constipation and gastrointestinal problems.