Vitamin B complex consists of eight individual vitamins, all coenzymes, which function in many different ways to help enzymes carry out thousands of chemical reactions in the body.
B-vitamins are water-soluble substances that can be cultivated from bacteria, yeasts, fungi, or moulds.
B-complex vitamins consist of B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine, pyridoxine, pyridoxamine), B12 (cobalamin), biotin, and folic acid (folate, folacin). The grouping of these compounds under the term B complex is based upon their common sources, their close relationship in vegetable and animal tissues, and their functional relationships.
The B-Complex vitamins play an essential role in the conversion of glucose into energy. B-complex vitamins are also vital in the metabolism of fats and proteins. They are also required for the normal functioning of the nervous system and may be the single most important factor for the maintenance of the nerves themselves. B-complex vitamins are essential for maintaining muscle tone in the GI tract and for the health of the eyes, mouth, liver, skin and hair.
Brewer’s yeast is the richest natural source of some of the B-complex group. Another important source of B vitamins are found in the bacteria of intestines.
B1, B2, B3 are essential for producing energy in the muscles, brain, and other organs. When we are feeling tried or lethargic, it could be due to a lack of B vitamins in our diet.
Foods that are rich in B1 include: lentils, nuts, seeds, tuna, pork, brewer’s yeast, whole grains, brown rice, eggs yolks, beans,and legumes.
Foods rich in B2 include: leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, almonds, eggs, organ meats, cheese, milk, yoghurt, brewer’s yeast, and wheatgerm.
Foods that are rich in B3 include: animal proteins such as beef, pork, chicken, and fish; brewer’s yeast, beets, sunflower seeds, beans, and peanuts.
B-vitamins are destroyed by heat and light, so the fresher the sources the better the levels of vitamins found and the more readily utilised in our bodies. Try increasing the amount of B-vitamins by sprinkling nuts and seeds onto your salads, or increase the amount of leafy greens and beans in your food.