Best Food Sources of Vitamin B and signs of its deficiency

B vitamins are a class of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in cell metabolism. Though these vitamins share similar names, they are chemically distinct compounds that often coexist in the same foods. In general, dietary supplements containing all eight are referred to as a vitamin B complex. Here are 15 best sources of Vitamin B. Vitamin B is found in a variety of foods such as meat, wholegrains, and fruits. Here are Best Food Sources of Vitamin B and signs of its deficiency.

Best sources of Vitamin B

Get all eight B vitamins ​from a variety of foods:

  1. Whole grains (brown rice, barley, millet)
  2. Meat (red meat, poultry, fish)
  3. Eggs and dairy products (milk, cheese)
  4. Legumes (beans, lentils)
  5. ​Seeds and nuts (sunflower seeds, almonds)
  6. Dark, leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, kai lan)
  7. Fruits (citrus fruits, avocados, bananas)

Signs of vitamin B deficiency

The most common signs of vitamin B deficiency, specific to individual B vitamins, are given below:

Vitamin B6 deficiency:

  1. Anaemia
  2. Skin disorders such as seborrheic dermatitis
  3. Inflammation of the mouth (oral ulcers)
  4. Soreness and cracks at the corners of the mouth, chapped lips
  5. Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
  6. Irritability, confusion and depression

Vitamin B9 deficiency (folate or folic acid):

  1. Anaemia
  2. Increased risk of birth defect (in pregnancy)
  3. Mood changes (irritability, forgetfulness)
  4. Sore mouth and diarrhoea

Vitamin B12 deficiency

  1. Anaemia
  2. Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
  3. Memory lapses
  4. Mood changes (mental confusion, agitation)
  5. Unsteadiness and poor muscle coordination

Vitamin B2

The signs and symptoms of riboflavin deficiency (also known as ariboflavinosis) include

  1. Skin disorders
  2. Hyperemia (excess blood) and edema of the mouth and throat
  3. Angular stomatitis (lesions at the corners of the mouth)
  4. Cheilosis (swollen, cracked lips)
  5. Hair loss,
  6. Reproductive problems
  7. Sore throat
  8. Itchy and red eyes, and degeneration of the liver and nervous system

While a vitamin B supplement may be beneficial in certain cases, it’s always best to seek dietary sources first and to discuss any supplements you want to take with your healthcare professional.

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15 Best sources of Vitamin B

B vitamins are a class of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in cell metabolism. Though these vitamins share similar names, they are chemically distinct compounds that often coexist in the same foods. In general, dietary supplements containing all eight are referred to as a vitamin B complex. Here are 15 best sources of Vitamin B.

1. Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard boiled eggs pack in all the B vitamins. One or two hard boiled eggs with breakfast or lunch will contain B12, B6, biotin, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin.

2. Milk

Looking to sip your B vitamins rather than chew? A cup of milk accounts for around 29% of the daily recommendation for riboflavin, nearly half the recommendation for vitamin B12, along with B6, biotin, niacin, thiamin, and pantothenic acid. (If you’re lactose-intolerant, oat milk is a great vitamin B-rich alternative.)

3. Beef Liver

Beef liver is a vitamin B12 powerhouse, containing around 1000 percent of the recommended daily intake in one serving. You’ll also get 75 percent of the recommended intake of niacin, along with pantothenic acid, folate, biotin, and B6.

4. Oranges

If you’re looking for fruit with a decent amount of B vitamins, oranges are a good choice. This citrus contains folate, B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid.

5. Beef

Beef is a great source for all your B vitamins: B12, B6, biotin, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and pantothenic acid.

6. Chickpeas

Hummus lovers will be pleased to hear that chickpeas are packed with B vitamins, including vitamin B6, folate, thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin.

7. Dark Leafy Greens

Spinach and other dark leafy greens are a great source of numerous B vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6, and folate.

8. Fortified Nutritional Yeast

A great option for non-meat eaters who are looking to up their B12 intake, fortified nutritional yeast contains up to 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B12, though the actual amount will vary depending on the specific product. It also contains vitamin B6,  biotin, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.

9. Whole Grains

Containing thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate, whole grains like brown rice and barley are some of the most commonly recommended sources of B vitamins. Many whole grains are also fortified with folate, which is important during pregnancy.

10. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a great vegetarian source of various B vitamins, including folate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, and vitamin B6.

11. Bananas

Bananas are an easy, on-the-go source of B6, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.

12. Lentils

For tiny legumes, lentils contain a whole lot of B vitamins. Whipping up a pot for the week will help you maintain proper levels of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate.

13. Carrots

Raw carrots contain thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and vitamin B6. Whether tossed in a salad or dipped in hummus, carrots are a pretty good way to consume some vitamin B, especially if you’re looking for something light.

14. Almonds

If your go-to snack of choice is nuts (and you’re also after some vitamin B), grab a handful of almonds, which contain riboflavin, biotin, thiamin, niacin, folate, and vitamin B6.

15. Avocado

Great news to everyone in the avocado toast fan club: Avocado is an excellent source of numerous B vitamins, including vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, and pantothenic acid.

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