By Rosie McKay, See. Need. Want
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.
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 to boost your intake Load your plate up with eggs, lean red meat, poultry, milk, shellfish and fortified cereals.
Vitamins B1 and B2
What it does Also known as thiamine and riboflavin (respectively), these convert food into energy.
Do you need it? If you’ve been overdoing alcohol, or your skin is feeling dry and papery, then focus on increasing your intake.
How to boost your intake Include milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, whole grain breads and cereals, leafy green vegetables, meat, legumes, nuts, and pork.
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.
How to boost your intake Eat chickpeas, tuna, salmon, whole grains and cereals, ground beef, chicken breast, potatoes, and spinach.
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.
How to 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.