B vitamins are considered “anti-stress” nutrients that help to relieve anxiety and treat depression.
B vitamins are important for nervous system function and the production of energy from food as well as various metabolic processes. Most often B vitamins are considered “anti-stress” nutrients that help to relieve anxiety and treat depression. Of particular interest are Niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and folic acid (B9) all of which work with the amino acid tryptophan to produce serotonin, the “feel-good” chemical. We also have Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin), which aids in maintaining the myelin that surrounds nerve cells, enhances mental ability and is crucial for the formation of red blood cells.
Like most vitamins, B group vitamins can’t be made by the body, instead, they must be consumed from food or supplements. Also, seeing as they are water-soluble, these vitamins cannot be stored by the body and therefore have to be consumed regularly in the diet.
You’ll find niacin (B3) in red meat, poultry, pork, fish, eggs, cow’s milk, fortified hot and cold cereals, and peanuts. A wide variety of foods contain pyridoxine (B6,) including potatoes, bananas, beans, seeds, nuts, red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, spinach, and fortified cereals. Good sources of folic acid (B9) include green leafy vegetables, legumes, seeds, liver, poultry, eggs, cereals and citrus fruits. As of September 2009, all flour used in bread making (except for flour to be used in breads listed as “organic”) has been fortified with folic acid. Vitamin B12 is found naturally in fish, red meat, poultry, milk, cheese, and eggs (almost anything of animal origin).
Along with food based vitamin B a good quality supplement may be helpful in providing you with a B boost. Bear in mind however, synthetic vitamins, although beneficial in some cases, lack the natural design of food based vitamins and a vitamin supplement is not intended to replace a well-balanced diet. Despite the proven benefits of vitamin supplementation our bodies require optimum levels of nutrients as they occur naturally in food. In its natural form, such as in plant food, a B vitamin is not only 100 percent safe and non-toxic; it is very unlikely that it will ever be absorbed in excess. There you have it, a shopping list rich in Vitamin B foods sure to enhance a Beautiful Mind!
You can read more on the link between B Vitamins and wellbeing in my book Beautiful, Courageous You – Healing Body, Soul and Spirit soon to be released by Westbow Press. Pre-order your copy here xx