The 7 Best Sources of Vitamin B – Food, Supplements

Vitamins B are nutrients that our body needs to work optimally, no matter our BMI. [1] Most of us will get the RDA through our diet only; however, in some cases, additional help like supplementation may be necessary.

This is a group of 8 vitamins, i.e. thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, folic acid, and cobalamin. [2]

Knowing the importance of healthy vitamin B levels, our guide will help you:

  • Discover the best source
  • Learn more about sufficient amounts of it
  • Why supplements may also be important

Each of these vitamins has their role in maintaining our bodily functions. They directly affect our brain function, levels of energy, and the metabolism of cells.

They also avert infections, ensure good digestion and eyesight, promote appetite, maintain muscle tone, and more.

They’re especially pivotal for pregnant or breastfeeding women as they play a role in the brain development of fetuses and lower the chances of birth defects.

They also help the mother by increasing her energy levels, decreasing nausea and the risk of preeclampsia.

Continue reading to learn more about the best ways to supply your body with vitamins B and how to do it the right way!

The Best Sources of Vitamins B- Foods & Supplements

1. Salmon

This fish is abundant in a variety of nutrients and it’s also a great source of B vitamins. [3]

A 100 gram serving of it will provide you with thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, and cobalamin.

Moreover, it’s low in mercury and abundant in omega 3s, selenium, and protein.

  • One of the healthiest fish in the world
  • Great source of vitamins B
  • Improves the health in numerous ways

The best variant is wild-caught salmon. The combination of nutrients makes it an ideal immunity booster.

Opt for at least 2 servings of it on a weekly basis.

As it contains the vitamin B12, as well as choline and selenium, it can help improve our brain cognition and function, as well as the neurological health.

It’s also good if you have a higher BMI and trying to shed pounds- it has only 7 grams of fat and no carbs, yet it’s rich in lean protein that helps you keep a healthy muscle mass. [4]

2. Leafy Green Veggies

Did you know that several leafy green vegetables are abundant in folate or vitamin B9? [5]

The richest with it are spinach (raw and cooked), collard greens (cooked), cooked turnip greens, and raw romaine lettuce.

The best way to reap the nutritive benefits of these veggies is to eat them raw. This is because the process of cooking causes them to lose some of the folate whereas some may go into the cooking water.

  • Easy to add to any diet
  • Rich in folate (vitamin B9)
  • Beneficial for dieters

One useful way to lower the loss of this important vitamin B is to steam-cook them until they’re somewhere between crispy and tender.

Green veggies have a lot of other health benefits to offer and they’re also excellent for dieters with high BMI-they’re low in calories and carbs, yet abundant in fiber. [6]

They’re considered to be one of the most weight-loss friendly foods in the world, so you can lose by adding them to your diet, you can only win!

3. Milk

Milk is one of the best sources of vitamin B12- a single 250 ml cup will supply you with little under 50 percent of the RDA. [7] But, this isn’t the only vitamin B you’ll get from dairy milk.

Milk is also packed with B6, biotin, thiamin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. [8] In case you’re a vegan or you’re dairy-intolerant, oat milk is also a good option to up your vitamin B levels.

  • Milk has high vitamin B absorbability
  • Rich in several vitamin Bs
  • There’s a vegan alternative too (oat milk()

It’s also important to note that the vitamin B12 from milk is considered to be the best in terms of bioavailability, with around 51 to 79 percent absorption rate.

Milk products are also a great source of this vitamin and consuming it daily may be of aid in prevention of a deficiency.

Drink it on its own, combine it with oatmeal, etc. – there are numerous ways to add it to your diet and normalize your vitamin B levels!

4. Beef Liver

Liver from beef meat is indeed a powerhouse of vitamin B, i.e. vitamin B12. [9] It has an impressive 1000 percent of the RDA of this vitamin in only one serving.

But, it also has some other B vitamins to offer to you when you consume it, including folate, niacin, biotin, B6, and pantothenic acid. [10]

  • Liver is a powerhouse of nutrients
  • It’s highest in vitamin B12
  • Contains other B vitamins too

It may also be a useful diet addition to individuals with high BMI who’re trying to lose weight.

Namely, it’s abundant in protein and high protein intake has been linked with lower hunger and appetite, and consequently, a more effective pound shedding.

It also helps you build muscle mass and lower the risk of muscle loss, common in weight loss. And, it has only 175 calories per 100 grams, which is much lower than in the same amount of other muscle meats.

You can prep it numerous ways, for example sauté it with onions, make liver pate, braise it and top it with a variety of veggies, grill it, etc.

5. Whole Grains

Whole grains are abundant in nutrients and fiber, including vitamins B, i.e. thiamine, folate, and niacin. [11]

Whole grains, unlike the refined ones, have been linked with numerous benefits for health such as a reduced risk of diabetes, cardiovascular illness, and hypertension. [12]

  • Whole grains are healthier than refined ones
  • Effective for dieters
  • Rich in vitamins B and other important nutrients

These grains are the seeds of grass-like plants known as cereals. Whole grains are oatmeal, millet, popcorn, brown rice, bulgur, wild rice, barley, etc.

Whole grains can also be considered the seeds of non-grass plants and they’re the pseudo cereals like quinoa and buckwheat.

They’re not just an excellent source of vitamins B, but they’re also beneficial for those with higher BMI.

This is because they’re abundant in fiber and consuming foods that contain it prolong our satiety and avert overeating.

One study even linked whole grain consumption with reduced BMI and belly fat in people!

6. Eggs

If you want to up your vitamin B12 levels and you’re not a vegan or you just avoid eggs, they’re an amazing healthy source. [13]

One big and hard boiled egg will supply you with 6 mcg of this vitamin. You can eat them on their own, mix them in salads, and combine them with a variety of other foods to successfully meet your needs.

  • Rich in several vitamins B
  • Prolong the satiety
  • Numerous ways to cook them

They’re also a great source biotin- one egg gives you 33 percent of the RDA (yolk and white together).

Only liver contains more biotin than eggs do! They will also help you acquire other vitamins from this group, including B2, B5, B7, and B9.

What’s more, egg consumption may be beneficial for weight loss, so if you have a higher BMI, consider them in your diet. [14]

They better the metabolism and keep you full for longer and thus, may be of aid in how many calories you consume later on in the day.

7. Complex B Vitamins

These supplements are usually recommended to people who’re unable to meet their vitamin B needs through their diet. [15]

They come in pills or tablets that pack all of the 8 B vitamins in one unit.

  • Complex B vitamins contain all the 8 vitamins
  • Available in pill or tablet form
  • May be beneficial for everyone, not just with low amounts

Those who may need supplementation of this vitamin are pregnant or breastfeeding women, older individuals, people with specific health problems like cancer, anorexia, celiac disease, etc., vegans and vegetarians, and people who take some meds.

Even though some of these conditions make it pivotal to take this supplement source of vitamins B, according to research, it may also be good for individuals who don’t need a higher amount of these nutrients.

They’re particularly helpful in lowering anxiety by boosting the mood and reducing stress.

But, the amount you need depends on various factors, including age, gender, health, and nutrient needs.

Final Thoughts

Vitamins B are a group of vitamins that play a crucial role in our optimal health.

Since the body doesn’t produce any of them on its own, we need to acquire them from the best sources, including foods and supplements.

Luckily, there are plenty of healthy and nutritious food sources of vitamins B and we talked about some of them in detail, as well as how to best add them to your diet.

In terms of supplements, the complex B vitamins remain the best option and they can be of aid not just for those who’re unable to meet their RDA, but for everyone else.

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