Today on the Zim’s blog we are continuing on our Zim’s Healthy Living series by looking at another vitamin grouping: vitamin B. To learn more about Vitamin A check out our post here.

Unlike other vitamins, vitamin B is actually a group of 8 different nutrients that are all important for our health. These nutrients are: B1 thiamin, B2  riboflavin,B3 niacin, B5 pantothenate, B6 pyridoxine, B7 biotin, B9 folate and B12 cobalamin. Each nutrient in this group help us turn the food we eat into energy. They also help us form red blood cells, and are crucial for the development and functioning of those cells.

In fact, of the 13 nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy the vitamin B group make up more than half of them. Most of them occur naturally in a bunch of different foods but particularly those with special diets like vegans can find themselves low, which is problematic to our health.

Fortunately eating enough vitamin B group-rich foods is simple. Generally speaking good sources include wholegrain cereals, meat, poultry, eggs, nuts fish, milk, legumes and fresh vegetables. As well as mushrooms, fruit, and seeds are often rich in vitamin B.

In addition, much of our breads are fortified with nutrients like folic acid, which is a synthetic form of folate. Vitamin B12 is perhaps the most difficult because it is found primarily in dairy, eggs, fish, meat and poultry. Vegans can have problems with fatigue and light-headedness because they are low in B12 but if they are careful and eat plant milk, cereal or soy they can avoid these problems.

Because vitamin B nutrients occur in so many foods most of us do not need to take it in a supplement form. Of course speak to your doctor about any concerns if you aren’t feeling well.

Vitamin B rich recipes are also easy to find online. You can make everything from salads, to salmon, to humus and it will all be easy and delicious. What are some of your favorites? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section.