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Wednesday, October 14, 2015
B Vitamin breakdown

These key nutrients play an important role in keeping our bodies running by converting food into fuel. But the way we cook and process our food destroys the nutritive value. So watch how you take them.

What they are

B vitamins are a group of eight distinct nutrients that you need to ingest from food or supplements-your body can't produce them on its own. Among their many functions, the most critical is to help your body's cells operate at their bes

Why you need them

Without enough B vitamins, your metabolism slows, making it harder for your body to convert food into energy, says Lovneet Batra, clinical nutritionist, Fortis La Femme. If your B shortages are severe enough, the symptoms can include poor immune function, anaemia, itchy rashes, and even depression.

How to consume more

"Eat a diet that's rich in lean meats, eggs, dairy, leafy green vegetables, and whole grains, and you'll be good to go," Batra says. Fortified energy drinks and cereals may provide B vitamins, but beware of the caffeine or sugar overload. Processed food, aerated drinks and foods high in preservatives can decrease B12 absorption, she adds. And if you're a vegan, fermented foods like idli, sprouts, tempeh, seaweed, and spirulina can be good sources. Probiotics (such as yogurt, miso, and kimchi) are good sources too as they stimulate the growth of the colon flora, which produce vitamin B.


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