Why B Vitamins are an important part of your health plan

In addition to their role in metabolism and maintaining healthy skin and hair, B vitamins have been linked to a lower incidence of having a stroke. This is a condition in which a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain, or a blood vessel bursts in the brain.

So what about the undiscussed B5 and B6? How important are they?

All people age 14 and older should get 5 mg of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) each day, according to science. You can find vitamin B5 in vegetables of the cabbage family, such as broccoli and kale, as well as in avocado, and also in whole grains and potatoes.

This type of B vitamin is needed for many of the biochemical reactions that go on in our cells each day, including the breakdown of carbohydrates and lipids for energy. Because it's a water-soluble vitamin, you need vitamin B5 in your diet every day. Pantothenic acid is necessary for our bodies to produce hormones, and it's also needed for growth.

Vitamin B6 is vital for normal brain development and for keeping the immune system and nervous system working properly. Most people who eat poultry, fish, potatoes, chickpeas, and bananas have enough vitamin B6. But certain illnesses, such as kidney disease and malabsorption syndromes, can lead to vitamin B6 deficiency. Lack of B6 can result in a reduction of red blood cells, which take oxygen to tissues throughout the body. People with vitamin B6 deficiency may experience symptoms such as confusion, depression and weakened immune system.

General B vitamin deficiencies can lead to unwanted health conditions. It’s been known that some people with vitamin B deficiencies experience depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Folate – which is vitamin B9 - is in the forefront of mood management. Findings show that many people with depression have lower levels of folate in the blood. Folate is found in green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, peanuts, and other legumes, and citrus fruits. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began requiring manufacturers to add folic acid to enrich breads, cereals, flours, pasta, rice, and other grain products. Folic acid is essential during early pregnancy to prevent serious birth defects of the brain and spine such as spina bifida. Taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid three months before conception and eating folic-acid fortified foods can help women get plenty of this essential B vitamins.

Best Plant based food sources of B Vitamins:

  • Hemp seeds

  • Chia Seeds

  • Shitake Mushrooms

  • Almonds

  • Brown Rice

  • Green peas

  • Spinach

  • Kale

  • Lentils