We’ve all been there. You’re dragging yourself through the day, feeling exhausted and wondering how you’re going to make it to the end. You may not realize it, but your body could be lacking in vitamin B, which plays an important role in energy production.
Vitamin B is a water-soluble vitamin that’s found in animal products like meat, poultry, and fish, as well as in leafy greens, legumes, and fortified foods. It’s important for many bodily functions, including cell metabolism, energy production, and nervous system function.
While there are many different types of vitamin B, the most important for fatigue are vitamins B6 and B12. Vitamin B6 helps convert food into energy, while vitamin B12 is essential for the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to your cells.
If you’re feeling fatigued, make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B as well as vitamin C in your diet. If you suspect you may be deficient in vitamin B, talk to a professional about supplementation. While fatigue can be caused by many things, vitamin B deficiency is one potential cause that’s often overlooked. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B in your diet to help keep your energy levels up and avoid fatigue.
List of Foods with Highest Vitamin B content:
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): chickpeas, tuna, salmon, chicken breast, potatoes
- Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): clams, beef liver, trout, salmon, yogurt
Other Types of Vitamin B in Foods
- Vitamin B1 (thiamin): pork chops, sunflower seeds, navy beans, kidney beans
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): eggs, almonds, spinach, Halibut
- Vitamin B3 (niacin): tuna, chicken breast, beef liver, portobello mushrooms
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): sunflower seeds, avocados, sweet potato, chickpeas
- Vitamin B7 (biotin): egg yolks, salmon, avocado, nuts
- Vitamin B9 (folate): black eyed peas, lentils, spinach, asparagus
Selecting High Quality Foods
When selecting animal products, choose lean cuts of meat and poultry, and remove the skin to reduce the fat content. Choose fish that are lower in mercury, such as salmon, trout, and herring.
For leafy greens, look for ones that are dark green in color, such as spinach, kale, and collards. Avoid ones that are yellowing or wilted.
When choosing legumes, select ones that are dry, such as black beans, kidney beans, and lentils. Avoid canned varieties, which can be high in sodium.
Fortified foods are those that have been enriched with nutrients, such as vitamin B. These include some breakfast cereals, energy bars, and nutritional supplements.
Vitamin B12 is found naturally in animal products, but it can also be added to plant-based foods and fortified foods.
If you’re following a vegan or vegetarian diet, you may be at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. This is because the best sources of vitamin B12 are animal-based foods. If you don’t eat animal products, you’ll need to get your vitamin B12 from fortified foods or supplements.
Vitamin B12 is important for the production of red blood cells and for nervous system function. A deficiency can cause fatigue, weakness, and memory problems.
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