I am a huge advocate of B vitamins, especially when it comes to mental health, well being, and increased energy.The members of the B-complex family of vitamins are responsible for many important physiological processes concerned with both mental health and physical well-being.
Unfortunately, not all B Vitamin supplements are created equal and this is really important to know when choosing a high quality B Vitamin that will actually help with your anxiety, rather than make it worse.
When we were on vacation in Italy, we ran out of our supply of B Vitamins and only had a couple natural pharmacies or what they call “Farmacia’s” to choose from. I thought we were in the right place they sold the better quality coconut oil and chia seeds and decided to take a gamble on a B vitamin which packaging looked “high quality” as well, and so did the price.
The ingredients were in Italian so we picked it up, and prayed for the best. When we arrived home I google translated the ingredient list, and the first 4 ingredients were sugar, preservative, aromas, and water.
I was shocked that I had just paid a premium for chemicals and poison!
Yes, B vitamins were in the list but they were at the bottom (which means smaller amounts) and overall the supplement did not make the cut. In my books you are better without consuming a poor quality supplement, it is a waste of money and can make symptoms worse rather than better.
This may be for another blog post altogether, but I think its important to include advice when choosing a high quality supplement because I don’t want you running out buying preservatives and sugar like I did for $30 Euros!
My top rules for finding a high quality supplement is make sure there are free of GMO’S (genetically modified ingredients) Look for clean ingredient lists, where there is no sugars, preservatives, dyes or colouring, and a supplement that is not tested on animals. Finally compare dosage and formulas but never go by the cost of a product, it is not always a deciding factor. The best supplement is typically one that is recommended by a qualified nutritionist.
Nowadays there are B vitamins specific for anxiety sufferers, they maintain nerve health and provide a calmative effect on the nervous system, I have seen proven results in overall mental health and wellbeing.
A high quality B vitamin will:
- Encourage healthy parasympathetic nerve function
- Support healthy liver function
- Support brain and nervous system function
- Support the body’s metabolism
- Provide coenzymes and cofactors needed for cellular function
You are probably curious about B vitamins in foods. Is it enough? Can you get B Vitamins nutritionally through your diet?
B Vitamins are found in a number of foods and I tend to create many of my meals with vitamin B rich foods in mind. The question theses days is, are our foods still as nutritionally dense and chemical free as they once were? I recommend incorporating as many of the below list in conjunction with a high quality B vitamin. That way we are covering all our bases and obtaining optimal well being.
B1- THIAMIN- Wheat germ, peanuts, beans, spinach, kale, blackstrap molasses
This B vitamin helps make new cells, protects the immune system and helps break down simple carbohydrates.
B2 – Riboflavin – Almonds, wild rice, milk, yogurt, eggs, brussels sprouts, spinach, soybeans
B2 is an antioxidant that fights free radicals. It also helps in red blood cell production and may help with migraines.
B3 – Niacin – Yeast, red meat, eggs, beans, chicken, tuna, split peas
B3 boosts HDL cholesterol, which is the good cholesterol.
B5 – Pantothenic acid – Avocados, yogurt, eggs, meat, beans
B5 breaks down fats and carbohydrates, produces sex- and stress-related hormones, and gives you healthy skin.
B6 – Pyrodoxin- Chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, lentils, sunflower seeds, cheese, brown rice, carrots
This vitamin helps regulate levels of homocysteine, an amino acid linked to heart disease. It’s also essential for good sleep as it helps produce serotonin, melatonin and norepinephrine. It possibly also helps reduce inflammation in sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis.
B7 – Biotin – Barley, liver, yeast, chicken, fish, potatoes, cauliflower, egg yolks, nuts
Biotin promotes healthy hair, skin and nails, and helps regulate glucose levels. It is essential for pregnant women as it helps with fetal growth.
B9 – Folate – dark leafy greens, asparagus, beets, salmon, root vegetables, milk, bulgur wheat, beans
This necessary vitamin helps with depression and memory loss. It’s also used in pregnancy for fetal growth and helps prevent neurological birth defects. You can get this vitamin from:
B12 – Cobalamin – Dish, shellfish, dairy, eggs, beef, pork
B12 is a helper. It helps B9 produce red blood cells, and it helps iron produce hemoglobin (Hemoglobin is a protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood). It is only found in animal products.
In order to get enough B12 if you are a vegan, you can take supplements – one tablet equaling 10 micrograms a day or one tablet equaling 2000 micrograms per week. You can also eat fortified foods to equal 3 micrograms per day.