B vitamins are essential for optimal health in all areas of life; both internally and externally. The incredible B’s are a group of eleven vitamins that work together to aid digestion, hormonal production and balance, pancreatic and adrenal function, energy levels, metabolism and organ function across our entire systems. They are crucial in our bodies for red blood cell formation and the vast majority of neurological functions.
Vitamin B deficiency is not something to be messed with either. It can lead to irritability, depression, confusion and foggy memory, inflammation and mouth sores. Alongside this vitamin B deficiency in pregnant women can lead to birth defects and pregnancy-related problems and complications. So as you can see, keeping up to date with our vitamin levels is important and something we should not overlook.
It has been common knowledge for years that B-vitamins are one of the most essential ingredients for optimal health. However, in recent years it has also evolved that the B-group can significantly aid weight-loss attempts; especially in women. The most heavily researched B-vitamins with links to weight-loss are B6 (pyridoxine), B5 (pantothenic acid), B2 (riboflavin) and of course B12.
Let’s look at each of these in a little more detail:
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Involved in more than 100 enzyme reactions which aid the metabolic process. It is also involved in brain development during pregnancy and infancy, immune function, cognitive function and is absolutely crucial for energy production.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Also heavily involved in the metabolic process and production of energy. It is sometimes known as the ‘anti-stress’ vitamin due to its ability to fight stress and fatigue and is critical for the manufacture of red blood cells, sex-related and stress-related hormones.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Again crucial for energy production and metabolism. It helps create and maintain healthy skin and eye tissue and works as an antioxidant to fight off disease and free radicals.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Is the one we will look at in most detail as it is the most beneficial to the weight-loss process.
Vitamin B12 is arguably the heaviest and most-complex of all vitamins. It is absolutely crucial for the formation of red blood cells and therefore crucial for the supply of Oxygen to our whole body. Without this supply of Oxygen, we would not survive. It is necessary for DNA synthesis, proper neurological function and of course, the big one, energy production.
A low count of B12 in the blood can lead to digestive problems, fatigue, memory loss and anaemia. You know that sluggish feeling when your body just can’t get out of bed in the mornings? You can’t convince yourself to go to the gym or go for a run? This could in fact be due to your low B12 level.
B12 has been touted as a metabolism booster and energy enhancer for a few years now. These claims are based on the scientific fact that B12 is essential for the breakdown of fats, sugars and carbohydrates in to an energy form that we use from day to day to live our lives. Without B12 we would not have this energy, therefore we wouldn’t have the energy to work-out or even get out of the house! Without B12, we cannot properly metabolize our food and metabolism is essential for optimal health and of course weight loss.
The great news is that B12 is readily available, as are all the B-vitamins, in a vast array of foods so there is no need to spend your money on expensive B12 injections or B-complex supplements. Just eat more healthy foods rich in B2, B5, B6 and B12 and boost your metabolism in a natural, healthy way.
Here are some foods rich in all the B-vitamins for your information:
- Beef and red meats
- Shellfish and Seafood
- Green Leafy Vegetables
- Natural Probiotic Yogurt
- Whole grains such as Quinoa, Millet and Brown Rice
I hope this gives you a little more knowledge about the B-vitamins and their effects for energy and weight loss.
Enjoy these delicious B-vitamin rich foods and remember, Be smart, Eat smart.