There are a range of B vitamins, including niacin, folic acid and others, all of which work together to support your metabolism. They also play a role in creating red blood cells, maintaining muscle tone and good skin, and enhancing your immune system. Recently they have been shown to help prevent certain types of cancer, and support brain function. They are water soluble, meaning that they are easily lost from the body and need to be replenished often. Here are some of the best ways to increase your B vitamin intake.
1. Eat More Whole Grains
Processing can reduce or remove the B vitamin content from ordinary foods, like wheat or oats. If you switch to whole grain bread you will increase your B vitamin intake substantially. Similarly, try to eat whole grain cereals for breakfast. These are usually better for you than processed cereals, even if the processed cereals have added B vitamins.
2. Eat Dark Leafy Greens
Leafy greens such as kale, cabbage, Swiss chard and others are packed with vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins. However, you have to be careful not to boil them too much, or you will leech out the water soluble vitamins. Try stir frying or steaming them, or add them to a casserole instead.
3. Include Some Eggs
Eggs are a good source of several of the B vitamins. Even better, some of the B vitamins are in the egg white, so if you are concerned about reducing your fat intake, you can still benefit from the B vitamins with an egg white omelet. Remember, however, that the yolk contains all the vitamin A, D and E in the egg, before dismissing it entirely.
4. Eat Some Liver
Liver is a rich source of many of the B vitamins, including folic acid. Be aware that while pregnant women are recommended to increase their intake of folic acid, liver can be dangerous for them because it contains a large amount of vitamin A, which pregnant women should not eat to excess. If you don’t like the taste, liver pate is often heavily spiced and can be enjoyed by people who don’t like liver.
5. Other Food Sources of B Vitamins
Some other good sources of B vitamins include dairy products, red meat, turkey, fish and shellfish, legumes like beans, peas and lentils, bananas and chili peppers. With a varied diet including plenty of fresh foods, you will not only increase your intake of B vitamins, but that of other essential nutrients as well.
6. B Vitamin Complex Supplements
While it is better to get as much of your B vitamin intake as possible from whole foods, for some people this is not possible. B12 in particular is only available through animal products. Vegans must therefore add this essential vitamin to their diet with fortified food, such as cereal or soy milk, or through supplements.
B vitamins are essential for your health and must be eaten every day to keep your body healthy. A varied diet of whole grains, vegetables and meats will ensure you get enough B vitamins as well as other nutrients for your day to day life.