Good nutrition is tied to good health, as well as to the prevention and treatment of many conditions. Getting the recommended amounts of vitamins each day is an important part of the nutrition equation, and B vitamins in particular are essential for preventive care. Abundant in green vegetables, whole or fortified grains, dairy, and meats, B vitamins are beneficial for a variety of reasons, including:
- Reduced Stress – Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12 help to maintain a healthy nervous system. This is partly where stress relief comes in – a strong nervous system is essential to being able to effectively fight the symptoms of stress. Certain B group vitamins are required for energy production, which is needed to support the bodily systems that respond to stress. Studies suggest there is a link between vitamin b and stress levels. In one study, 215 healthy males who took a B complex (a supplement containing a combination of the B vitamins) for 33 days. Participants reported significant improvements in self-perceived stress, general health and vigor.In another trial, 60 participants took either a B complex or a placebo for three months. The group that took the B complex reported significantly lower personal strain and a reduction in confusion and dejected mood than the placebo group.
- Lowered Risk of Stroke – In addition to their role in metabolism and in maintaining healthy skin and hair, B vitamins have been linked to a lower incidence of stroke, a condition in which a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain, or a blood vessel bursts in the brain. A review of randomized clinical trials that lasted 6 months or longer revealed that taking vitamin B supplements lowered risk of stroke by 7 percent for a large group of over 50,000 participants.
- Increased Energy – A diet rich in vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is needed to avoid riboflavin deficiency. You can get this B vitamin from natural sources such as nuts, green vegetables, meat, and dairy products.
Riboflavin helps your body break down and use the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in your diet. This type of B vitamin also functions to keep your skin, lining of the gut, and blood cells healthy. Getting enough riboflavin may be preventive for migraine headaches and cataracts, according to the National Institutes of Health. Riboflavin has also been shown to increase energy levels.
- Improved Digestion – Different B vitamins keep our digestive systems in good working order. B1 (Thiamine) may help regulate and enhance appetite, while B3 (Niacin) is required for the proper function of fats and sugars in the body. B6 (Pyridoxine) gives your system an assist by helping process proteins you eat, and B7 (Biotin) also helps you produce cholesterol and process carbs and fats.