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.