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Could Black Mean “B-Lack” As In Lacking B Vitamins????

May 29, 2018

Symptoms of B Vitamin Deficiency

Vitamin B deficiency typically results from difficulty absorbing nutrients from food. For example, people with Crohn’s disease are at risk for B-complex vitamin deficiency because their intestinal problems lead to nutrient malabsorption (McNulty, 2014). Confusion, anemia, skin conditions, gastrointestinal distress, depression, and tingling in the hands or feet are common signs of vitamin B deficiency. These symptoms often alleviate when a person begins getting enough vitamin B again; however, some symptoms may be irreversible.

In particular, lack of vitamin B1 (thiamine) leads to a type of dementia known as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (Erlich, 2015). Often seen in chronic alcoholics who do not have other sources of nutrition, the profound memory impairment observed in Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome does not resolve even after giving high doses of thiamine.

The Best Food Sources of B Vitamins

B-complex vitamins are readily available in supplement form. However, the best source of B vitamins is from whole foods. This is because the vitamins often work synergistically with other nutrients that are naturally present in food, magnifying their beneficial effects. Certain forms of B vitamins have a higher bioavailability when obtained through food versus through a supplement (Gregory, 2015). To ensure you get enough, consider the following food sources for the eight B vitamins:

  • Vitamin B1. Beans, seeds, and nuts are excellent sources of thiamine. Choose sunflower seeds, navy beans, black beans, lentils, or dried peas to get your daily recommended intake of this valuable vitamin.
  • Vitamin B2. Many vegetables are rich in vitamin B2. Eat cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, or broccoli to ensure you get enough.
  • Vitamin B3. Tuna, turkey, chicken, and lamb are good dietary sources of vitamin B3. For non-animal sources of the vitamin, eat peanuts or brown rice.
  • Vitamin B5. To get enough vitamin B5, eat mushrooms, cheese, fatty fish such as mackerel or tuna, avocados, or sweet potatoes.
  • Vitamin B6. Salmon, potatoes, avocados, dried plums, bananas, spinach, and hazelnuts are good sources of vitamin B6.
  • Vitamin B7. Nuts are an excellent source of biotin, with peanuts, walnuts, and almonds having particularly high amounts. Sweet potatoes, eggs, and oats are other good sources of this vitamin.
  • Vitamin B9. Lentils, chickpeas, asparagus, spinach, and orange juice are good natural sources of folic acid. Pasta, bread, and other products are typically fortified with this nutrient to ensure you get enough.
  • Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in fish, poultry, eggs, meat, and dairy products. Getting enough vitamin B12 is of particular importance to people following a vegetarian or vegan diet, as it is primarily found in animal products. Eating fortified breakfast cereals or fortified nutritional yeast products are acceptable non-animal sources of the vitamin.

In general, eating a varied diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and whole grains will help you get the B vitamins you need to thrive.

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