Getting All of Your Bs
Sometimes it pays to get all Bs! The family of B vitamins is a large and important one—in fact, there are eight of them. All are essential, and without them you can become sluggish and anemic, lose your appetite and experience abdominal pain. Lack of these vitamins can also lead to depression and cause numbness, tingling, muscle cramps, respiratory infections, hair loss, eczema, poor growth in children and birth defects.
The good news is you need only small amounts of B vitamins to reach the recommended dietary intakes.
A balanced diet that includes five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, as well as grains, protein and dairy, gives you the entire family of B vitamins. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding need more folic acid (vitamin B9) than others. They can get this additional amount of B vitamin by eating a folate-rich diet, dietary supplements and fortified foods.
You can get B vitamins from plant sources such as leafy green vegetables, beans and peas, and animal-based foods such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs and dairy products. Many cereals and some breads contain added B vitamins. In addition, one serving of Kretschmer Wheat Germ is an excellent source of folic acid.