Beyond Vitamin D
Warm rays of sunshine bound through the calm clear air, and the natural production of vitamin D that they trigger, can make anyone feel just a bit better about the day. However, while Vitamin D is the talk of the town when it comes to lifting your mood and improving your energy, it may be worth taking a look at some of the less popular but equally essential vitamins that play a role in these feelings.
B vitamins, which often fly under the radar, play a significant role in energy production and help maintain the liveliness and stamina of your body. While a good D supplement will definitely help, without adequate amounts of B vitamins, your body may still struggle to supply natural energy, enthusiasm and exhilaration.
The key role of B vitamins is to help make energy and release it when your body needs it. Like catalytic spark plugs for the human body, the many varieties of B vitamins act as co-factors that facilitate natural reactions in the body such as the metabolism of fat and protein. Vitamin B12, for example, aids in the production of red blood cells, necessary for the proper transportation of oxygen throughout the body. Without enough B12 your body has to work harder to supply the oxygen for movement and energetic actions.
B vitamins are also key players in the functioning of the nervous system, helping keep the system in balance. People under stress and with symptoms of fatigue often find that B vitamins help restore feelings of relaxation and calm with a sense of natural energy and vitality. Health of the hair, skin, eyes and liver are also bolstered by adequate intake of B vitamins.
It almost seems too good to be true. A natural vitamin that calms stress while energizing the body and enhancing external appearance as well as internal health? The B vitamin family certainly deserves more attention and appreciation for their nourishing and healing impact on the whole body. While many of the ailments in our modern society are factors of the high stress lifestyle, lack of B vitamins may play a significant role in accentuating the symptoms.
Unfortunately, the modern lifestyle and diet filled with sugar, processed food, high heat cooking, less nutrient dense foods, overuse of antibiotics and excess alcohol diminish the amount of B vitamins the body is able to retain and use. Foods that used to be staples of the human diet, such as liver, organ meats, sardines and the germ and bran of cereal grains, are the highest natural sources of B vitamins but make infrequent appearances in our modern diet. Leafy greens, beans, peas, milk and meats have some amounts of B vitamins, but levels are decreasing as the production of these foods becomes more and more industrial.
Getting more B’s and feeling the benefits of a more well rounded supply of essential vitamins is easy to do with whole foods, but needs to be paid more attention to in the every day diet. While each B vitamin, plays a slightly different role within your body, they are often found together in natural food sources and have many interrelated and dependent functions, it is suggested that they be supplied to the body together. B vitamin supplements are often the chemical forms, and unless you are instructed by your healthcare provider, should be used with caution. The best source for natural and effective B vitamins is healthy whole foods grown in well-cared for soil.
Check back Thursday for a list of the best whole food sources and a B vitamin power packed recipe.