The B Vitamins
The B vitamins facilitate the metabolic reactions that release energy from carbohydrates, fat and protein, allowing them to become fuel for your cells. The B vitamins extract energy from food. Supplements are not necessary if you want to make sure you are getting enough Vitamin B, all you need is whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, meat alternatives and low fat dairy products. A good diet always trumps vitamin supplements. Make sure you have a healthy diet before you reach for a supplement.
The B vitamins are thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid, biotin, folate, B6 and B12. Collectively, the B vitamins:
Enable specific enzymes to function
Function in energy-producing metabolic reactions
Participate in other aspects of cellular metabolism
Some grain, bread and pasta products are void of B vitamins due to the milling process that removes the nutritious parts of the grain such as the wheat germ, bran and husk so it’s important to eat whole grain products like whole grain bread, oatmeal, brown rice and whole grain pasta. Enriching replaces the natural vitamins that are removed such as thiamin, riboflavin and niacin but Vitamin B6, magnesium and zinc are also removed during the milling process and enrichment does not replace these essential nutrients. So, for the last time, it is better for your body to have whole grains instead of enriched foods. EAT WHOLE GRAINS : )
USDA.gov. United States Department of Agriculture, 27 Jan. 2012. Web. 27 Jan. 2012. <http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/Resources/appendd.pdf>.
Insel, Paul M., R. Elaine. Turner, and Don Ross. Nutrition. 3rd ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2007. Print.