Vitamin B12, a bacterial product, is found in organ meats, liver, beef, eggs, whole milk, cheese, whole wheat bread and fish. Small amounts can also be derived from the fermented soy products miso and tempeh. It is essential that vegetarians consume a vitamin B12 supplement to maintain optimal health. Vitamin B12 participates in the metabolism of energy and blood cell formation.
Folic acid is mainly found in fruits and vegetables. Dark leafy greens, oranges, orange juice, beans and peas are the best sources, as well as Brewer’s yeast, which supply additional B-vitamins. Folic acid and B12 work together in helping to maintain normal red blood cells.
Vitamin B2 is found in liver, dairy products, dark green vegetables and some types of seafood. Vitamin B2 serves as a co-enzyme, working with other B-vitamins. It promotes healthy red blood cell formation and plays a crucial role in turning food into energy. Vitamin B2 aids in the breakdown of fats while functioning as a co-factor or helper in activating B6 and folic acid.
Poultry, fish, whole grains and bananas are the main dietary sources of vitamin B6. It participates in the metabolism of nutrients. Some athletic supplements include vitamin B6 because it aids in the conversion of glycogen to glucose for energy in muscle tissue.
Foods rich in magnesium include unpolished grains, nuts and green vegetables. Green leafy vegetables are potent sources of magnesium because of their chlorophyll content. Meats, starches, milk, refined and processed foods contain low amounts of magnesium. Magnesium is a component of the mineralized part of bone, and is necessary for the metabolism of potassium and calcium in adults.
Potassium is an electrolyte stored in the muscles. Foods rich in potassium include bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, avocado, raw spinach, cabbage and celery. Potassium is an essential mineral that helps maintain fluid balance in the body.
Thiamin plays an important role in nutrients metabolism and nerve function.
Pantothenate (Vitamin B5)
Pantothenic acid is used in the release of energy, as well as in the metabolism of nutrients.
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
Niacin is found in dairy products, poultry, fish, lean meats, nuts and eggs, as well as legumes and enriched breads and cereals. Niacin is important for the conversion of food to energy.
Biotin can be found in food sources, such as egg yolks, peanuts, beef liver, milk, cereals, almonds and Brewer’s yeast. Biotin takes part in healthy cell formation and the metabolism of nutrients.