It’s All About the B, and It’s Complex.
Vitamin Bs are closely related, they compliment each other, they substitute work for each other, and they are involved in many of the very complex cellular functions.
What are the different B vitamins?
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is present on the coating of rice and found in abundance in Brewer’s Yeast, wheat germ, soybeans, enriched breads, Brazil nuts, pecans, and pork roast. It is an essential vitamin for proper nerve function, and a deficiency can cause neuritis, paralysis, muscle atrophy, fatigue, los of weight and appetite, and depression. Fortunately, once thiamine is administered, the body bounces back almost instantly.*Enriched Rice contains 1.4mg per 1/2 cupDepending on the cut, 3oz of pork can give you close to 1mgSunflower seeds give 0.68mg per half cupBrazil nuts are apron 0.60mg per half cupWhole grain bread is approx. 0.48mg for a couple of slicesLarge serving of soybeans can give you about 1mgPeas can give you 0.45mg per cupBlack beans are approx. 0.42mg per cupFresh asparagus cooked is approx. 0.23mg per cupAvocado hac 0.16mg per 1 cup
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) is found in abundance in Brewer’s Yeast, beef liver/heart/kidney, almonds, squid, and some breads like pumpernickel and enriched Italian breads. A deficiency can cause inflammation of tissue in the mouth, mouth sores at the corners, visual fatigue, sandy feeling eyes, sensitivity to bright light, and Seborrhea.Almondscontain a whopping 1.45mg per cupFatty Fish like Salmoncontain 0.47mg per 3oz servingCashewscontain 0.46mg per cupBeefsteak can provide 0.73mg per 3oz serving; liver 2.25mg/3ozWhole Milk1 cup contains 0.42mgMushroomscontain 0.60mg per cupLeafy green vegetableslike Collards contain 0.46mg per cup. Also try Spinach, Turnip greens, and Kale.wheat germcontains 0.54mg per cupSquidhas 0.39mg per 3oz serving. Oysters and Clams are good source too.Gourds like Pumpkinshave 0.14mg per cup
Niacin (Vitamin B3) is essential for health skin, nerves, and the digestive tract. Foods that contain higher levels of niacin are almonds, peanuts, enriched breads, tuna, broiled chicken, and Brewer’s Yeast. Deficiency can produce canker sores, fatigue, indigestion, and Pellagra. The good news, you don’t need very much to be effective.Chicken can contain 10.5mg per 3ozPeanuts contain 24.6mg per cupSalmon contains 6.8mg per 3ozBrewer's yeast contains 36.2mg per 100gPeaches contain 8.4mg per cupGrilled portabella mushrooms contain 7.6mg per cupSteak contains 7.6mg per 3ozOysters contain 6.6mg per cupWhole wheat flour contains 5.2mg per cupApricots contain 4.9mg per cupSunflower seeds contain 2.3mg per oz.
Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) is involved in many enzyme systems. Lack of this vitamin can bring on apathy, depression, istability of heart rhyme, digestive disease, abdominal pain, impaired function of the adrenal gland, “pins and needles’ nerve disorder, and muscle weakness. If you are adventurous, try a little brains in your diet, from any domestic animal. Other more common foods high in Pantothenic acid are trout, hazelnuts, lentils, broccoli, peas, peanuts, turkey, mushrooms, whey, and Brewer’s yeast.Whey, dried contains 4.0mg per 100gMushrooms; shiitake contain 3.59mg per 100gTurkey contains 2.7mg per 100gFish; salmon contains 1.3mg/3oz and Trout contains 1.9mg/3ozPeas contain 2.8mg per 100gAvocados contain 1.99mg per fruitSunflower seeds contain 1.98mg per oz.Sweet potatos contain 1.77mg per cupOatmeal contains 1.4mg per 100gBroccoli contains 1.17mg per 100g
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) contributes to overall good health due to its involvement in more than 100 enzyme reactions most often related to protein metabolization. It has been used to help anemia, skin & nerve disorders, seizures in infants, and mental health issues. Foods plentiful with this vitamin are seeds, wholegrain, wheat germ, bran, Brewer’s yeast, fish, beef liver and other organ meats, potatoes (starchy vegetables), and fruit.Chickpea contain 1.1mg per cupBrown rice contains 1.0mg per 3ozBeef especially liver contains 0.9mg per 30zSockeye Salmon contains 0.6mg per 3ozBlackstrap molasses contains 0.8mg per ounceChicken contains 0.5mg per 3ozBananas contain 0.32mg per 3ozSunflower seeds contain 0.38mg per ouncepistachios contain 0.31mg per ounce
Folate (Folic acid-Vitamin B9) is a vitamin that binds with enzymes to help make DNA, RNA and amino acids and is needed for the very important process of cell division. Individuals deficient in folate will develop anemia, intestinal disturbances, inflammation of tissues in the mouth, gland, blood, sprue disorders, and autism. Foods that a rich in folate are dark leafy green vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, peas, dairy products, poultry and meat, eggs, seafood, and grains.Lentils contain 358μg per cupBeans, black eyed peas contain 356μg per cupAsparagus contains 134μg per 1/2 cupAvocado contains 122μg per cup of cubed fruitGreen leafy vegetables like kale, turnip greens, & spinach 49-110μg per 100gBroccoli contains 84μg per 1/2 cupTropical fruit like papaya approximately 59μg per fruitCauliflower contains 29μg per 100gBread with Wheat germ may contain 25μg per sliceDried-fruit, especially Dates contain 25μg per 100g
Choline is essential for pregnant and lactating moms, as it protects against abnormalities in pregnancy and lactation. Why? Maybe because it helps your body use fats properly, (Vitamins in Medicine by Bricknell and Prescott). Lack this vitamin in your diet, and you may experience anemia, heart & circulatory disease, liver disease, and muscle weakness. It can also be made in your intestine, under the right conditions, aka healthy diet. Good food sources for this vitamin can be found in meats, wheat germ, eggs, salmon, scallops, broccoli, milk, seeds and peanuts.Beef liver contains 283mg per 3ozEggs contain 147mg per eggTofu contains 71mg per cupAlmonds contain 37mg per 1/2 cupGrapefruit contains 19mg per fruitBroccoli contains 11.4mg per ouncecauliflower contains 11mg per ounceSpinach contains 7.1mg per ounce
Vitamin B12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. Slight deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, mania, and depression, while a long term deficiency can cause permanent damage to the brain and central nervous system. The vitamin was not present in fruits, vegetables, and grains. It was only found in foods of animal origin like beef, cheese, eggs, ham, seafood and milk, but now foods like cereal and tofu are fortified with this vitamin making it esier for vegetarians to achieve a balanced diet.Clams contain 84.1μg per 3ozBeef liver contains 70μg per 3ozMackerel contains 16.2μg per 3ozSalmon contains 14.3μg per 3ozFortified Tofu contains 2.0μg per 3ozHam contains 1.6μg per 3ozSwiss cheese contains 0.9μg per 3 ozEggs contain 0.3μg per eggMilk contains 0.3μg per 3oz
How much is recommended?
Table 1: Recommended Daily Allowances for Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
|Birth to 6 months||0.2mg**||0.2mg**|
Table 2: Recommended Daily Allowances for Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Table 3: Recommended Daily Allowances for Niacin (Vitamin B3) (*NE, niacin equivalent: 1 mg NE = 60 mg of tryptophan = 1 mg niacin)
|Age||Male (NE/day)||Female (NE/day)||Pregnancy||Lactation|
Table 4: Adequate Intake (AI)** for Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)
|14-18 years 5||5mg||5mg||6mg||7mg|
Table 5: Recommended Daily Allowances for Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
|Birth to 6 months||0.1mg**||0.1mg**|
Table 6: Recommended Daily Allowances for Folate (Vitamin B9) from food source
|Birth to 6 months||65μg**||65μg**|
Table 7: Adequate Intake (AI)** for Choline
Table 8: Recommended Daily Allowances for Vitamin B12
|Birth to 6 months||0.4μg**||0.4μg**|
“The one lesson to be learned from studying the vitamins is the lesson our food technologists have never learned and apparently are incapable of learning. Nature likes things whole. Nothing worthwhile is achieved in nature with fragments. Removing all the B vitamins from our wholegrain cereals and flour then returning only bits of three of them is probably the worst possible thing we could do, for the imbalances thus created are complex. All the B vitamins work together.” Ruth Adams form The Complete Home Guide to All the Vitamins.
The interesting find about all the foods listed above, everyone of them contains some level of all the vitamin Bs. The featured foods listed under each vitamin B are items with the highest quantity, and if you ate any of the foods listed, you would get some level of all the B vitamins.
** Established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the US Institute of Medicine, the AI is a recommended intake value based on observed or experimentally determined estimates of nutrient intake by a group of healthy people that are assumed to be adequate. An AI is established when an RDA cannot be determined due to existing scientific evidence being insufficient to calculate an RDA.