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"B" Healthy - Keeping A Balanced Diet

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B vitamins are a set of eight different nutrients, including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12.

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamin, is water-soluble and helps break down carbohydrate molecules from food into energy.

Vitamin B2 is also known as riboflavin. A deficiency in vitamin B2 can lead to symptoms such as mouth ulcers, cracked lips, inflammation of the lining of the mouth, iron-deficiency anemia, etc.

Say hallo to vitamin B3 or niacin. Vitamin B3 acts as a coenzyme called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, (NAD), which is essential for reactions of more than 400 enzymes. There are plenty of options out there for you to choose from, such as nutritional yeast, peanuts, quinoa, muesli, brown rice, acorn squash, etc.

Vitamin B5 (also known as pantothenic acid) is needed in our cells to help break down carbohydrates and lipids for energy.

Our body can’t produce vitamin B6 by itself, and thus must come from natural foods in our diet. Sources of the nutrient include avocados, pistachios, bananas, quinoa, sunflower and sesame seeds, chestnuts, tomatoes, etc.

Biotin is also known as vitamin B7. Tempeh (or fermented soya beans), peanuts and peanut butter, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, mushrooms, avocados, etc., are all wonderful biotin-rich foods you can include in your hearty vegan diet.

Next, vitamin B9 in its natural state is called folate, while the synthetic form is called folic acid, which is used in supplements.

Vitamin B12 partners with vitamin B6 and B9 to break down homocysteine, an amino acid that has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Because vitamin B12 is essential for healthy nerve cells, a deficiency can lead to neurologic conditions, such as paresthesia. According to the World Health Organization, the recommended daily intake is 2.4 micrograms.

Lastly, always keep a balanced and healthy diet with a variety of vegetables, fruits and nuts to ensure that you’re getting all the B vitamins as much as possible.
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