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