There are eight vitamins that form the vitamin B Group. Each of them are essential for the healthy and normal function of your body.
They cannot be stored in your body so you need to consume them regularly.
Extended cooking, food processing and excess alcohol consumption can destroy or reduce the availability of many of these vitamins.
These vitamins help a variety of enzymes do their jobs, ranging from releasing energy from carbohydrates and fat to breaking down amino acids and transporting oxygen and energy-containing nutrients around the body.
There are many different symptoms of vitamin B deficiency. It depends on which of the eight vitamins in the B group is low. Some examples include fatigue, confusion, anaemia, balance problems, loss of appetite and many more.
Vitamins from the B group are found in many foods; but they are easily destroyed by cooking, processing and alcohol.
Which foods are good sources of vitamins in the B group? According to HealthDirect:
Thiamin - B1 is found in fish, meat, wholewheat breads, fortified cereals and yeast extracts.
Riboflavin - B2 is found in dairy products like milk, yoghurt and cheese), yeast extracts, eggs, wholemeal bread and fortified cereals.
Niacin - B3 is found in meat, chicken, fish, nuts and yeast extracts like Vegemite or nutritional yeast flakes.
Pantothenic acid - B5 is found in liver, meats, milk, eggs, yeast, peanuts and legumes.
Pyridoxine - B6 is found in meat, fish, wholewheat foods, nuts and vegetables.
Biotin - B7 is found in liver, cauliflower, peanuts, chicken, yeast and mushrooms.
Folate - B9 is found in liver, legumes, wholemeal breads and cereals, and leafy green vegetables. The more these foods are processed or cooked, the less folate they will have.
Cyanocobalamin - B12 is found in animal-based products (such as meat, fish, eggs and milk) and certain fortified cereals.
Vegetarians and Vegans can struggle to get enough B12, fortified cereals can often contain B12 (check the pack) as do nutritional yeast flakes which many vegans use as a cheese substitute.
Vitamin supplements are readily available, but medical advice is recommended before taking any supplement as sometimes an excess of one vitamin can mask a deficiency of another. Further, some vitamins can be toxic when taken in excess.