There are eight B Vitamins to be exact, and they help maintain healthy skin and muscle tone, enhance your immune and nervous system functions, and promote cell growth and division.
The eight B vitamins are B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12 - and they all have other names that you're probably more familiar with.
Most people get these vitamins in the food they eat. If you have food restrictions, whether you don't eat meat, dairy products, eggs, or whole grains for whatever reason, you may need to take supplements. When a supplement has all 8 of these B vitamins, it's referred to as vitamin B complex. If you buy separate B vitamins, then they are referred to by their specific name (B1, B12, etc.)
Allow me to explain each one...
|Vitamin||Benefits||Food Sources||RDA for women 19+|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||Helps the body convert carbohydrates and fat into energy; essential for normal growth and development; helps to maintain proper functioning of the heart and the nervous and digestive systems||Green peas, spinach, liver, beef, pork, navy beans, pinto beans, soybeans, nuts, bananas, whole grain and enriched cereals, and breads||1.4 mg/day|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||Required by the body for the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins; helps with cellular processes||Asparagus, okra, chard, almonds, leafy greens, cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, meat, eggs, and fish||1.2 mg/day|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||Necessary for energy metabolism in cells; DNA repair; produces several sex and stress-related hormones that are produced by the adrenal gland; helps remove toxins and chemicals from the body||Chicken, beef, tuna, salmon, milk, eggs, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, dates, sweet potatoes, asparagus, avocados, nuts, whole grains, beans, mushrooms, nutritional yeast||14 mg/day|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||Required to sustain life; is critical in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins||Whole grain cereals, beans, eggs, meat, some energy drinks||5 mg/day|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine and Pyridoxamine)||Help enzymes do their job in the body; helps the nervous and immune systems function properly; necessary for overall good health||Nuts, liver, chicken, fish, green beans, salad greens, wheat germ, nutritional yeast, sea vegetables, and bananas||1.3 mg/day|
|Vitamin B7 (Biotin or Vitamin H)||Used in cell growth; the production of fatty acid; metabolism of fat; plays a role in the Krebs Cycle in which energy is released from food; helps with the transfer of carbon dioxide; helps maintain a steady blood sugar level; found in many cosmetic products to help with your skin and hair||Beans, nutritional yeast, cauliflower, chocolate, egg yolks, fish, liver, meat, molasses, dairy products, nuts, oatmeal, oysters, peanut butter, bananas, soy products, mushrooms, wheat germ, and whole grains||30 mcg/day|
|Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)||Helps the body make healthy new cells; taken before and during pregnancy can help prevent major birth defects of the baby's brain and spine||Leafy greens such as spinach, dried beans and peas, sunflower seeds, oranges, asparagus, broccoli, liver, enriched cereal||400 mcg/day|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||Necessary for the synthesis of red blood cells, the maintenance of the nervous system, and the growth and development of children||Animal products such as meat, eggs, dairy products, nutritional yeast, and fortified cereals||6 mcg/day|