Health + Fitness

Are you Vitamin B deficient?

by Rosie McKay

Tired, run down and feeling foggy? You could be lacking in Vitamin B. Here's how to spot the signs and ways to up your Vitamin B intake...
See Need Want Health Are You Vitamin B Deficient

Haven't been feeling yourself lately, perhaps a bit lethargic, or experiencing any of the following physical, mental or emotional symptoms?

  • Constantly feel tired 

  • Regularly feeling run-down

  • Unexplained skin rash or cracks around mouth

  • Tingling in hands and/or feet

  • Feeling confused and/or lightheaded

If you answered YES, then you may be presenting signs of vitamin B deficiency. Don’t panic! You can become low in vitamin B quickly and easily due to stress, lack of good, quality sleep, drinking too much alcohol or eating an unbalanced diet. Thankfully getting on top of vitamin B deficiency is just as easy - simple changes in what you eat, supplementation and improved lifestyle habits will have you feeling on top of the world in no time at all.

See.Need.Want interviewed Nutritionist and Naturopath Teresa Mitchell about the  best ways to include vitamin B in your diet for better health and mental well being.

But why vitamin B?

Vitamin B is a key component in keeping you healthy, giving your body’s cells energy and ensuring that your body is functioning at optimum health. There are eight types of vitamin B, and each plays an important part in keeping your body, mind and emotions in balance. Let’s take a look at the main five.

Vitamin B12

What it does: this vitamin is necessary for the formation of red blood cells which carry oxygen around your body, to help it function correctly.

Do you need it?: If you’re feeling confused, foggy headed or constantly tired, then you may be deficient.

How Boost your intake: Load your plate up with eggs, lean red meat, poultry, milk, shellfish and fortified cereals. A daily vitamin B12 supplement can also help.

See Need Want Health Are You Vitamin B Deficient B12 Eggs
Credit: Image courtesy of Instagram user @lukehinesonline
Vitamins B1 and B2

What they do: Also known as thiamine and riboflavin (respectively), these convert food into energy. 

Do you need them? If you’ve been overdoing alcohol, or your skin is feeling dry and papery, then focus on increasing your intake.

Boost your intake: Include milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, whole grain breads and cereals, leafy green vegetables, meat, legumes, nuts, and pork. If you know your diet isn’t up to scratch take a quality activated Vitamin B supplement every morning with breakfast.

See Need Want Health Are You Vitamin B Deficient B1 B2 Yoghurt
Credit: Image courtesy of Instagram user @chobani, Image courtesy of Instagram user @sonomabakingco
Vitamin B6

What it does: Plays a role in nervous system function.

Do you need it?: Feeling grumpy and low in mood, your nervous system may need a helping hand.

Boost your intake: Eat chickpeas, tuna, salmon, whole grains and cereals, ground beef, chicken breast, potatoes, and spinach. A quality daily vitamin B6 supplement can also help increase your immune system.

See Need Want Health Are You Vitamin B Deficient B3 Wholegrain Bread
Vitamin B3

What it does: Like B1 and B2, it converts food into energy, but it is best known for its ability to support energy production and it’s considered to be one of the most powerful antioxidants making it a perfect winter vitamin.

Do you need it: Also called niacin, if you suffer from cold hands and feet and foggy brain activity, a lack of B3 may be why.

Boost your intake: A balanced diet which contains chicken, fish, liver, red meat, and peanuts could help you to think more clearly and warm those hands and feet.  If animal products and peanuts are not in your diet add a quality B vitamin supplement to ensure your B levels are adequate.

For more information visit Eagle Natural Health

See Need Want Health Are You Vitamin B Deficient B3 Red Meat

References
1. Better Health Channel (n.d) Vitamin B. Victoria State Government: Deakin University. [Online] Retrieved https://www.betterhealth.vic.g...

2. Health Library (n.d.) Vitamin B 12 deficiency anaemia. John Hopkins Medicine [Online] Retrieved. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/hematology_and_blood_disorders/anemia_of_b12_deficiency_pernicious_anemia_85,P00080/

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