Today I’m spotlighting Vitamin B3.
On my Facebook page this week we are spotlighting bell peppers, which is a “very good” source of Vitamin B3. It’s a versatile food to work with, which is why we always have a bunch of fresh peppers in our fridge.
Tuesday's #testkitchen was a creamy coconut curry soup with pureed bell peppers. That recipe post will be shared with Facebook on #foodiefriday. Watch for it, try it, and let me know what you think!
Niacin keeps our blood circulating well. It assists in helping keep the brain clear and memory strong, and plays a role in assisting sexual health, such as erectile dysfunction. It works on keeping your skin clear and assists in digestion. It may also play a role in the improvement of high cholesterol.
Like the other B-Vitamins, Niacin works in conjunction with other vitamins in the B family. Niacin is water soluble, and available from many food sources. How you cook your food determines how much of the vitamin you actually ingest. Cooking these foods in water, for example, pushes the vitamins out into the cooking water. Consider roasting or baking.
Because it is water soluble, most of what we do not need will be eliminated from the body, and it’s important to daily replenish our supply of this important vitamin through the foods we eat. Taken in high dose supplements, Vitamin B3 can cause liver damage. As I’ve stated before, it’s much easier to overdose when taking a pill. Try to get what your body needs through a balanced diet.
To summarize, Vitamin B3 is important to:
You can get Vitamin B3 from many food sources:
Green peas, potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, cabbage, and asparagus; chicken, turkey, and tuna; nuts and whole grains.
Adults need 14-19mg of Vitamin B3 daily, depending on their sex and whether or not they are pregnant or breastfeeding. Because of liver toxicity, stay below 35mg. Supplements are unnecessary in most cases- consult with your health care provider if you have any questions and before self-medicating.
For more information on Vitamin B3 deficiency, please check here.
For more information on Vitamin B3 side effects and overuse, please check here.
Today I’m spotlighting Vitamin B2. On my Facebook page this week we are focused on almonds, which is a food source high in Vitamin B2. It’s a versatile nut, and can be easily used in everything from baking muffins, cookies, and loaves to crusting seafood, sprinkling on salad, creating nut butters, and mixed in sweet and savoury snacks.
Vitamin B2 plays a role in keeping your nervous system running smoothly. While Vitamin B1 helps to convert food energy to glucose, Vitamin B2 assists the body in converting that glucose to energy. It helps to create hydrochloric acid, which aids the body in breaking down carbohydrate, fats, and proteins.
Vitamin B2 also helps to alleviate migraines, and, like all B-vitamins, works in conjunction with the other B vitamins. It plays a role in cancer prevention, eye health (including the prevention of age-related disease), brain health (including the prevention of age-related disease), and skin health (including the lessening of age-related markers such as fine lines and wrinkles and chapped lips)
You can get Vitamin B2 from many food sources. It’s sensitive to light, so most grain products containing riboflavin have a synthetic version added- you may see this on the label, listed as “fortified” or “enriched”. It’s naturally found in red meat, egg yolks, some seafood (including seaweed), organ meats, green leafy vegetables, some nuts, and some dairy.
Vitamin B2 plays a role in preventing anemia by helping transport oxygen to our cells and helping to produce red blood cells. It also helps to protect gestation by converting folate into a form the body can use, and a deficiency in riboflavin can lead to preeclampsia.
The B-Complex is water soluble. Our bodies can only hold on to so much of it, but different amounts are required at different times. It’s important to daily replenish your Vitamin B2 intake through your favourite foods, and to plan your meals accordingly.
It is very difficult to overdose on vitamins through your diet, but extremely easy to do so via supplementation. Because the B-complex vitamins work together, taking a single supplement is not recommended- best to take the complete B-family.
To summarize, Vitamin B2 is important to:
Vitamin B2 deficiency looks like chapped lips, bloodshot eyes, light sensitivity, sore throat, fatigue, and anemia.
You can find Vitamin B2 in these food sources:
Fortified grains, almonds, eggs, red meat, seaweed, salmon, some dairy, some vegetables, dark meat, and liver.
Adults need 1.1-1.3mg of Vitamin B2 daily, depending on their sex. Pregnant and breastfeeding women require more, between 1.4 and 1.6mg per day. Supplements are unnecessary in most cases- consult with your health care provider if you have any questions and before self-medicating.
For more information on Vitamin B2 dosing and interactions, please check here.
A very in-depth look at this vitamin can be found here.
The Vitamin B Complex is the complete family of B-Vitamins: 1 (Thiamine), 2 (Riboflavin), 3 (Niacin), 5 (Pantothenic Acid), 6, 7 (Biotin), 9 (Folate), and 12. Over the next few weeks we will be talking about the B Vitamins in numerical order.
Today I’m spotlighting Vitamin B1. On my Facebook page this week we are spotlighting green peas, which is a food source high in Vitamin B1. It’s an easy vegetable for most kids to eat, which is why we always have a bag of frozen peas in our freezer. Tuesday's test kitchen was a Peas and Pine Nuts spicy side dish (watch for the recipe post!) and Friday will be a recipe round up of other ways to use peas.
Vitamin B1 plays a role in keeping your nervous system running smoothly. It helps us to regulate our stress response and keep us on an even keel, preventing cortisol (the big stress hormone resulting from the “Flight or Fight” response) from running the show. Vitamin B1 also gives our digestive system a hand, keeping our muscles in the walls of our intestines strong. It helps us to convert carbohydrates into glucose, and is essential in breaking down fats and protein into the components our bodies use for health and energy.
The largest organ in a human is their skin, and Vitamin B1 helps to take care of that too. Its antioxidant properties help moderate the effects of sun damage, alcohol intake, and smoking.
You can get Vitamin B1 from many food sources, and there is no real excuse to be deficient in Vitamin B1. It’s literally almost everywhere. It works alongside folic acid, riboflavin, and niacin- if you are deficient in any of those vitamins, your body can’t use B1 effectively. This is why a balanced diet matters so much, and why I am writing these articles for you.
The B-Complex is water soluble. Our bodies can only hold on to so much of it, but different amounts are required at different times. For example, if you consume a lot of sugar, you need more Vitamin B1 to help your body metabolize it. It’s important to daily replenish your Vitamin B1 intake through your favourite foods, and to plan your meals accordingly.
To summarize, Vitamin B1 is important to:
You can find Vitamin B1 in these food sources:
Green peas, broccoli, onions, kale, carrots, tomatoes, and asparagus; oats, wheat germ, and brown rice. Pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils, sunflower seeds, raisins, pecans, and pistachios.
Adults need 1.1-1.4mg of Vitamin B1 daily, depending on their sex and whether or not they are pregnant or breastfeeding. There isn’t really an upper limit established. Supplements are unnecessary in most cases- consult with your health care provider if you have any questions and before self-medicating.
For more information on Vitamin B1 deficiency, please check here.
For general information on Vitamin B1, please check here.
A very in-depth look at this vitamin can be found here.