Energy-Boosting B Vitamins

Dried beans, peas, soybeans and whole grains
are rich sources of vitamin B1, thiamine.
Photo by Ronnieb,
B vitamins are known for their energy-boosting properties. But, what exactly are B vitamins and how can I get them from whole foods? Choose fresh whole fruits, raw vegetables, dried legumes and lean proteins daily.

Here's more about three popular B vitamins: thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.

Vitamin B1 - Thiamine
Thiamine is the leader of the B vitamins. Also known as B1, thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin. Excess thiamine is excreted through urine, so the vitamin needs to be replenished on a daily basis, according to The New York Times Health Guide online.

Thiamine's Purpose in the Body
Like other B vitamins, thiamine is crucial for chemical body processes. B1 converts carbohydrates into energy and helps the heart, muscles and nervous system function properly. When someone is deficient in thiamine, they may ... continue reading.

Asparagus is a good source of
vitamin B2, riboflavin.
Photo by Sideshowmom,
Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin
Also known as vitamin B2, riboflavin builds body tissues, helps maintain vision and controls metabolic activities in the body. Riboflavin in the heart, liver and kidneys protects cells from oxygen damage and promotes energy production in the cells.

The vitamin is a team player with other B vitamins. Riboflavin works together with enzymes to convert the amino acid tryptophan into vitamin B3, or niacin. Having enough vitamin B1 in the body helps ... continue reading.

Nuts and leafy green vegetables
provide niacin, vitamin B3.
Photo by Conejoaureo,

Vitamin B3 - Niacin
Niacin is a member of the powerhouse B vitamins. Also known as vitamin B3, niacin helps regulate digestion, metabolism and the nervous system. Niacin is responsible for converting food to energy. Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, works with enzymes in the body to convert the amino acid tryptophan into niacin.

Water Soluble, Replenish Often
Niacin is a water-soluble vitamin. Foods rich in niacin must be consumed regularly since excess vitamins are dispelled in the urine daily. The body does not store niacin for future needs.

Adding niacin to your diet is easy by ... continue reading.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!


What Does Vitamin C Do?

Strawberries are a whole foods source of natural vitamin C.
Photo by Mobius, Wikimedia Commons

When you feel a cold coming on, do you increase your vitamin C intake? If you reach for orange juice, strawberries or other vitamin C-rich whole foods, you're not alone. But, what does vitamin C do for the body and how do I know if I'm not getting enough?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has not been proven to prevent or cure the common cold or flu, according to the Mayo Clinic. But, reaching for vitamin C rich foods will boost your overall health.

The powerhouse vitamin can reduce chances for developing cardiovascular disease and hardening of the arteries. Vitamin C also encourages body tissue growth and functioning, including the formation of connective tissues, collagen, elastin, fibronectin and fibrillin.

Medical professionals often recommend vitamin C supplements for those with cancer, AIDS, tuberculosis and other chronic illnesses. The vitamin expedites wound healing and assists the body in processing carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Kirkland Vitamin C (500 mg), 500-Count, Tangy Orange, Chewable TabletsIf your body isn't absorbing enough vitamin C from your diet or nutritional supplements, you may notice an increased feeling of fatigue, depression, scurvy or muscle weakness. Tooth loss, oral bleeding and tender gums are another sign of vitamin C deficiency.

So, go ahead and load up on vitamin C-rich foods. Oranges, papaya, red bell peppers, strawberries, kale, grapefruit, broccoli and cantaloupe are natural whole food sources of vitamin C.

Sources and Suggested Further Reading:
Mayo Clinic: Ascorbic Acid (Oral Route)
 The Worlds Healthiest Foods: Vitamin C
NutraSanus: Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) Information Vitamin C Powder

Until next time,
Choose Healthy!

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