Vitamin B is a group of essential nutrients crucial in maintaining wellness, including brain health. Several B vitamins are vital, including thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9), and cobalamin (B12). You probably already know how calcium is important for your bones and how Vitamin C is good for your immune system, but you may not know how vitamin B can help keep you mentally sharp. FirstLantic highlights four reasons why vitamin B is so crucial for your brain health:
- Energy production: B vitamins play a key role in energy production, as they help convert food into glucose, which the brain needs to function properly.
- Neurotransmitter production: B vitamins produce neurotransmitters, which are the chemicals that allow brain cells to communicate with each other. For example, vitamin B6 is necessary to produce serotonin, which is important for regulating mood.
- Brain cell maintenance: B vitamins are also crucial for maintaining the health of brain cells. For example, vitamin B12 helps produce myelin, the protective sheath around nerve fibers.
- Cognitive function: Research has shown that specific B vitamins, such as folate and vitamin B12, may help to improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
So, now that you know how vital vitamin B is to your brain health, how do you ensure you get enough? Supplements are one way to get more, but including the right foods in your diet is preferable. Below are some examples of foods that are high in various types of vitamin B:
- Thiamin (B1): whole grains, pork, beans, peas, and nuts.
- Riboflavin (B2): dairy products, eggs, leafy green vegetables, and fortified cereals.
- Niacin (B3): poultry, fish, peanuts, mushrooms, and whole grains.
- Pantothenic acid (B5): chicken, beef, potatoes, tomatoes, and broccoli.
- Pyridoxine (B6): chicken, fish, bananas, potatoes, and fortified cereals.
- Biotin (B7): egg yolks, liver, nuts, and seeds.
- Folic acid (B9): leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, and fortified cereals.
- Cobalamin (B12): meat, fish, dairy products, and fortified cereals.
As you age, it’s critical that you take care of your mental and physical well-being, which means understanding what will keep you as healthy as possible. Things like eating right, exercising, and staying engaged and connected with friends and family will all help you live your best life.
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