B Vitamins, A.K.A. The BEST Vitamins. At least that’s what I call them. Not only should you take B vitamins for stress, but for a ton of other reasons too. Here are all the reasons B vitamins are awesome.
They Help You Handle Stress
As I’ve already mentioned, B vitamins help you handle stress. They support the brain, and thus, your nervous system. This is crucial because stress is first perceived by the nervous system, and stress is a severe problem we face every single day. Your adrenal glands produce cortisol when you feel stress, and high amounts of cortisol can lead to excess weight around the middle, imbalanced blood sugar levels, poor sleep and memory function, reduced bone density, cravings for coffee, sugar, and other refined foods, and a poorly functioning immune system. B vitamins support your adrenals and help you to handle stress.
No Toxicity From Consuming Too Much
B vitamins are water-soluble. This means that the body doesn’t really store them and you need a continual supply through your food and supplements; but it also means it’s nearly impossible to have toxic amounts of B vitamins in your body like you can with fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). When you’ve consumed more B vitamins than your body actually needs your body will simply excrete it in your urine (or sweat); which can give your urine a dark yellow colour. So, while taking an excess of B vitamins is completely safe, it might be unnecessary if you already get a good supply in your diet.
Easy To Get In Your Diet
Many animal proteins contain the B vitamins your body needs, especially B12. Surprisingly, the absolute best natural source of all the B vitamins is brewer’s yeast. There is some conflicting information on exactly how much B12 is in brewer’s yeast, so if you’re vegan, it should not be your only source of B12. Brewer’s yeast is easily added to smoothies or baked goods. If you have a diet high in whole, unprocessed foods, you likely won’t have any problems with B vitamin deficiencies; but if you do, you can always take a high-quality B complex supplement.
The Helpfulness of Each B Vitamin
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
B1 helps your circulation and helps your body produce HCL (hydrochloric acid). It also helps to produce blood cells, making it important for the health of your heart. B1 also helps you metabolize carbohydrates. Vitamin B1 is found in: Brewer’s yeast, brown rice, rice bran, whole wheat, wheat bran, milk, oatmeal, peanuts, fish, meat, nuts, organ meat, poultry, wheat germ, sunflower seeds.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
B2 is needed for blood formation, cellular growth, the production of energy, and for proper eye function. It also helps metabolize fatty acids and carbohydrates. Vitamin B2 is found in: Brewer’s yeast, liver, kidney, milk, cheese, leafy green vegetables, fish, eggs, almonds, nuts, poultry, wheat germ, Brussels sprouts.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
B3 is needed for energy and cellular integrity and the formation of blood. It also supports the immune system and can help in the treatment of mental illnesses. Vitamin B3 is found in: Brewer’s yeast, liver, lean meat, whole wheat, kidney, wheat germ, fish, eggs, roasted peanuts, chicken & turkey breast, avocados, dates, figs, prunes, seafood, rhubarb, milk products.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
B5 is important in fighting stress and producing healthy antibodies. It also helps in metabolizing fats, protein, and carbohydrates. It helps to synthesize cholesterol (with the help of choline) and the substances made from cholesterol like bile, vitamin D, and steroid hormones. Vitamin B5 is found in: Brewer’s yeast, meat, eggs, whole grains, wheat germ, bran, kidney, liver, heart, green vegetables, nuts, chicken, legumes, salmon, mushrooms, elderberries, oranges.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
B6 is crucial for the metabolism of protein and many amino acid reactions. It also helps in creating red blood cells and metabolizing lipids and carbohydrates. Vitamin B6 is found in: Brewer’s yeast, cantaloupe, cabbage, milk, eggs, beef, green leafy vegetables, whole grains
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
B12 helps with the metabolism of intestinal absorptive cells and helps metabolize fatty acids. It also helps support your nervous system. Vitamin B12 is found in: All animal products. It’s also in nutritional yeast and brewer’s yeast. Vegans and vegetarians can get it via supplements or with B12 fortified products like many nut milks and soy products.
Taking B vitamins for stress is a great place to start if that’s an issue for you. Isn’t it wonderful that B vitamins so so many other things too? Tired? Bad skin? Irritable? Try getting more B vitamins via what you wat, and taking a daily B complex vitamin supplement. It could do a world of good for your health.
Elson Haas, Buck Levin. Staying Healthy with Nutrition.
New York: TenSpeed Press, 2006. Print.
Danielle Perrault. Ontario. CSNN Publishing, 2013. Print.
The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and should not be considered any type of medical advice. The information provided in this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health condition or disease, and should not be substituted for professional care. Every human is biochemically different and what works for one person may not work for another. If you suspect or have a medical condition, consult an appropriate health care provider.
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