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This One Vitamin is Vital for Your Health and Mental Well-Being
Everyone talks about vitamin C and calcium, vitamin D and potassium, but has anyone ever told you just how important B vitamins are to ….well, to just about everything? B vitamins are absolutely essential to many of the functions your body performs each and every day. B vitamins help to make new red blood cells, they carry iron, and they create hemoglobin’s. These processes are vital to our lives, and yet, the most dramatic ways B vitamins affect our bodies are within our brains and central nervous system.
Now hold on, don’t stop reading thinking that this is the same old yadda yadda, because it certainly isn’t. Deficiencies in B vitamins can make you feel extremely tired and they can also cause your death. Somewhere in between these two extremes are a variety of other symptoms such as depression, mood swings, paranoia, psychosis, dementia, anxiety attacks, and delusions. This just might explain a lot about what’s going on with Facebook, but that’s another story.
B vitamins are vital for helping you to calm down, put you in a good mood, improve your thought process, and even help you to sleep.
If you are having problems in any of the above areas, it’s possible that you have a B vitamin deficiency. A simply change of diet might be your solution. You should know that B vitamins get destroyed when foods are processed and there should be no room in your diet for processed foods (Read more how to cut down processed food). These type of unhealthy foods are usually nothing more than combinations of artificial flavors, colors, high fructose corn syrup, GMO this, GMO that, trans fats, excessive salt, and/or aspartame. If you are having any type of emotional or mental health problem, a good look at your diet would be the best place to begin.
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If you have any type of digestive disorder such as IBD, Crohn’s disease, or Celiac disease, you should seriously consider taking a high quality B vitamin supplement. These types of problems make it difficult, if not impossible, for your body to absorb sufficient amounts of B vitamins from the foods you eat, even if you are eating healthy. Age is another determining factor. If you are 50 or older, your body also has a decrease in its assimilation of B vitamins and you should also consider taking supplements. If you have OCD, PMS, depression, or any other type of emotional or mental issue, consult your doctor before you take B vitamin supplements.
For those of you who do decide to take supplements, you should know that your body does not use synthetic vitamins anywhere near as well as whole, natural vitamins. Ensure that your vitamins come from a high quality source. Oh, and don’t go nuts when your pee turns orange, B vitamins like you to know that they are there and they announce their presence through your pee.
You can find B vitamins in liver, brewer’s yeast, rice, nuts, eggs, milk, fish, leafy green veggies, and many other foods.
For those of you who like to drink, keep in mind that alcohol interferes with the body’s absorption of B1, also known as thiamine. A lack of thiamine can cause serious illness such as anemia, paralysis, and spasms of the leg muscles. Sometimes a thiamine deficiency causes sensitivity in the teeth, gums, cheeks, and severe cracks in the lips. Luckily these can all be reversed simply by ingesting vitamin B1 again.
Vitamin B12 is necessary for the body to process carbs, fats, and proteins, as well as making blood cells. B 12 helps to repair our DNA. Now this vitamin cannot be absorbed by or used until it combined with a protein that is made by the stomach called intrinsic factor. After B12 is bound to the intrinsic factor, it moves to the small intestine where it can be used by the body. Strict vegetarians often have deficiencies in B12 unless they take supplements. B12 is the only B vitamin that the body stores and we keep a little storehouse of this vitamin in our livers. However, should we eventually use up this little bank account of B12, a person can develop pernicious anemia, which causes extreme weakness, fever, pallor, numbness in the arms and legs, even brain damage. You should note that B12 is not found in any plant food source. NONE. The best sources of vitamin B12 are egg yolks, poultry, milk, and liver.
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Decide today that you are going to take care of your body and give it all the nutrients it deserves. Clean out those cupboards, freezer, refrigerator, and pantry and get rid of all processed foods. Buy whole, natural, organic foods. All meats should be grass fed and organic, with no added antibiotics or growth hormones. The same goes for your dairy products. Buy food that is top quality, not from factory raised animals that lived on a diet of garbage and GMOs and were regularly pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics (find out why you should choose grass fed meat).
Fill your kitchen with organic fruits and veggies. Eat more beans and lentils, both of which are full of healthy B vitamins. Eat only whole grains, no white bread, and no white rice.
So many of us eat only a few foods, our favorite foods of course, and that is the extent of our diet. In today’s world, we have access to an almost unlimited variety of foods from around the world. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Your new favorite food could be the next one you try.
Remember that B vitamins are water soluble, so our bodies do not store them in our fat or in any other manner. (Except for B12) This means we must eat good sources of B vitamins every day if we hope to remain healthy and happy.
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