In order to replenish the body, adequate amounts of water-soluble vitamins need to be consumed daily. Learn the best food sources of B-vitamins and vitamin C.
Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins dissolve in the body’s watery fluids, are not stored by the body, and any excess is flushed out through the urine. Because any excess water-soluble vitamins are passed out of the body, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, and lean proteins is important in replacing the body with these much-needed nutrients every day.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
B1 helps the body convert carbohydrates to energy and to maintain healthy brain, nerve, and heart cells. Quality sources of B1 include romaine lettuce, asparagus, spinach, sunflower seeds, peas, ripe tomatoes, cooked eggplant, Brussels sprouts, and mustard greens.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B2 helps the body convert food to energy and formation of red blood cells, and also helps promote healthy skin and normal vision. Excellent sources of vitamin B2 include mushrooms, calf’s liver, spinach, venison, low-fat yogurt, milk (2 percent), cooked soybeans, and lean beef tenderloin.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B3 not only helps the body convert food to energy, but also helps maintain healthy skin, nerves and digestive system. Excellent sources of vitamin B3 include crimini mushrooms and tuna. Very good sources of niacin include roasted chicken breast, salmon, braised calf’s liver, halibut, venison, turkey breast, and beef tenderloin.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
B5, another B vitamin used by the body to convert food to energy, also helps stabilize blood sugar, aids immunity, and protects nerve, brain, and muscle tissue. Excellent sources of B5 include calf’s liver, sunflower seeds, and mushrooms. Good sources of B5 include low-fat yogurt, yellow corn, steamed broccoli, and baked winter squash.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Used in the formation of red blood cells, antibodies, and insulin, vitamin B6 also helps to maintain normal brain functioning. Excellent sources of B6 include bell peppers, turnip greens, spinach, tuna, bananas, roasted chicken breast, roasted turkey breast, salmon, cod, halibut, snapper, and lean beef tenderloin.
Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Vitamin B7 is also needed for conversion of food to energy, but also may help prevent buildup of fat deposits. Excellent food sources of biotin include Swiss chard, tomatoes, and carrots. Very good sources of biotin include almonds, chicken eggs, onions, cabbage, cucumbers, and cauliflower.
Vitamin B9 (Folate, Folic Acid)
Used by the body in cell division and forming red blood cells, folic acid has been found to reduce neural-tube birth defects in newborns. Excellent sources of vitamin B9 include romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, mustard greens, braised calf’s liver, lentils, beans, beets, and cauliflower.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Vitamin B12 helps the body form red blood cells and is needed for normal nervous system functioning. Excellent sources of vitamin B12 include calf’s liver, snapper, venison, salmon, beef tenderloin, scallops, shrimp, halibut, and low-fat yogurt.
Used by the body for development and maintenance of fat, muscle, and bone, vitamin C aids wound healing and plays a role in the syntheses of hormone and increases the absorption of iron. Excellent sources of vitamin C include broccoli, bell peppers, strawberries, oranges, lemon juice, papaya, kale, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, and kiwifruit.
While eating a healthy, balanced diet may provide the body with adequate amounts of water-soluble vitamins, those who smoke, drink alcohol regularly or women who are pregnant and/or nursing may with to supplement their diet with a quality multivitamin to help avoid a deficiency.