Are You Getting Enough B Vitamins?

I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism soon after my daughter, who is now 13, was born. Once the right levels of medication were determined there hasn’t been a problem. When I decided to change to a vegan diet I found it commonly reported that eating soy could have a negative affect on thyroid functions. I don’t eat a lot of soy but definitely more than I have in the past. I’m all too familiar with how I feel when my thyroid levels are off and I felt fine, but I didn’t want to take a chance. I scheduled an appointment with my internal medicine doctor to see if he recommended testing my thyroid levels based on the change in my diet.

After a lengthy conversation about plant-based diets he recommended not only testing my thyroid levels but also a litany of vitamin levels as well. Throughout our conversation he seemed to be the most concerned overall about getting enough protein, carbohydrates, Vitamin D, calcium, iron and B vitamins. 

I’m happy to report that ALL of my tests came back positive with a report of excellent health. My thyroid medication will stay as is and no supplements recommended.

After my conversation with the doctor and having the lab tests and blood work done I was curious as to what exactly do B vitamins provide for the body and what foods are considered good sources. According to my doctor, a deficiency in one or more of the Vitamin B complexes can zap energy and brain power. I wanted to know more.

B vitamins play a bigger role in having a healthy body than I realized. They’re responsible for… cell metabolism, healthy brain cells, supporting nervous system and immune system functions as well as cardiovascular and respiratory health, proper circulation, mental outlook and cholesterol levels, fighting off free radicals, support for the formation of red blood cells, making energy from the foods you eat, muscle tone and even healthy hair and skin as well as overall energy and endurance levels.

Are you lacking B vitamins? Consider this…23 million or so people that are on a vegetarian or vegan diet along with 6 million women of childbearing age, 100 million baby boomers aged 50+ and nearly half of Americans who are stressed (which robs the body of B vitamins) are potentially at-risk for not getting enough B vitamins. Then add in the average American who eats an average American diet which is severely lacking in B vitamins. And what do you get? Energy crisis, brain fog and more. (Source: Garden of Life Magazine)

Recommended Daily Amount (Source: Livestrong)

Choline (B complex) men 550 mg; women 425 mg
Thiamin (B1) men 1.2 mg; women 1.1 mg
Riboflavin (B2) men 16 mg; women 14 mg
Niacin (B3) men 16 mg; women 14 mg
Pantothenic Acid (B5) men 5 mg; women 6 mg
Vitamin B6 men 1.3 – 1.7 mg depending on age; women 1.3-1.5 depending on age
Biotin (B7) adults 30 mg
Folate (B9)  adults 400 mcg
Cobalmin (B12) adults 2.4 mg

Total (approx.): men 622 mg; women 494 mg

B-packed foods (National Institute of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements):

eggs
sweet potatoes
mushrooms
broccoli
nuts
bananas
avocado
lentils
beans
legumes
grapefruit
strawberries
winter squash

 

Which of these foods do you eat regularly? Are you getting the recommended amount of B vitamins? Do you take vitamins daily?

About Jill Conyers

Loving life as a wife, mom of 2, health and fitness blogger and ultrarunner. I believe in the importance of wellness, living passionately by design and being the best that I can be.

Posted under #FitFluential, Ambassador, Menu Planning, Nutrition

14 comments on “Are You Getting Enough B Vitamins?

  1. congrats on your tests all having good results! thats awesom!! i regularly eat all of the foods on your list except for grapefruit. i never think to buy those! thanks for sharing all of the awesome info! i really learned a ton!! SPA love!

  2. I can relate so much! I eat a mostly vegetarian diet and have hypothyroidism. I have to be very careful about soy because I notice a big difference in my mood and energy when I eat it. So I work hard on taking in enough B vitamins and will even supplement for htem.

  3. So happy your tests came back with good results. I worry about my vitamin B. I recently found out that my grandmother and mother have been diagnosed with low vitamin B. So I am making an appointment to get mine checked!

  4. Such a great post! I too have thyroid disease and chronic migraine disease. My Dr. has me come in for B12 injections once a month because I am chronically low. There is some evidence suggesting that migrainer’s do no absorb oral B vitamins. Thank you for this very well written and educational post.

  5. Great information. I don’t take vitamins and try to get it all through food. I’d really be interested to see based on bloodwork if I’m successful.

  6. So if beans are packed with “B” and protein, doesn’t this resolve the protein dilemma….more beans!!
    I want your diet to be as awesome as possible so we don’t need pills!! (Then let me know what I need to eat!)
    *Also, stop eyeing my burrito filling….make your own!

  7. So glad your tests results came back so well! Mine? Not so much. I take B12 supplements and have a shot once every 2 weeks and still they only found “trace” amounts in my last blood tests :( I have to figure out what’s blocking the absorption. In the meantime, I’m here reading about you every day and enjoy your many successes, Jill!

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