Vitamin B: Eat Your Watercress, Arugula, and Spinach
B complex is a family of B Vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, B4, B6, and B9. These nutrients play a unique role in keeping our bodies healthy and energized. B&W Quality Growers’ watercress, arugula, and spinach contain these powerful nutrients!
Eating a well-balanced diet is essential to getting the nutrients your body needs. Therefore, incorporating the world’s most nutrient-dense food should be on everyone’s plate. Watercress blows other foods out of the water regarding taste and nutrition. In addition, it’s the only food on the planet to score perfectly on both the ANDI and CDC rankings.
Let’s look at these complex B Vitamins and how they support our bodies, what a deficiency might look like, and how to ensure you’re getting an adequate amount of these vitamins each day.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Thiamine plays a crucial role in your metabolism by converting nutrients into energy. Vitamin B1 also aids in your body’s proper nerve function.
People often take thiamine for inflammation of the nerves, digestive issues, diabetic nerve pain, and heart disease. A thiamin deficiency is known as beriberi. Common symptoms of Vitamin B1 deficiency include loss of appetite, low energy, nerve damage, irritability, tingling in the arms and legs, nausea, blurry vision, and confusion.
Foods high in Vitamin B1:
- Fortified grains, pasta, rice, and bread
- Nuts and seeds
- Legumes, including soybeans and black beans
Try our Glazed Salmon with Sesame Watercress Salad and get your Vitamin B1 through food today.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Riboflavin helps you turn your food into energy and acts as an antioxidant.
It’s rare for people in the United States to be deficient in Vitamin B2. Still, it can become an issue for those who misuse alcohol. The symptoms are confusion and cracks along the side of the mouth.
Foods high in Vitamin B2:
- Lean meats
- Fortified grains and bread
Try our Spinach and Feta Fritters for breakfast.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Niacin is pivotal in converting your food into energy, also known as metabolism. Vitamin B3 also helps maintain good digestion, a healthy appetite, cellular signaling, and DNA production and repair.
Low Vitamin B3 can result in digestive problems like abdominal cramps and nausea. Extreme deficiency may also result in mental confusion, or a condition called Pellagra, with symptoms like fatigue, vomiting, aggression, paranoid or suicidal behavior, hallucinations, and rough and bright red tongue and skin.
Foods high in Vitamin B3:
- Meat, including beef, pork, fish, and poultry
- Some nuts and legumes
- Fortified grains and bread
Try our Chef Ming’s Beef and Watercress Recipe for a healthy dose of Vitamin B3 today.
Vitamin B4 (Choline or Adenine)
Adenine supports brain function and the cell membrane as it binds to Thymine, one of the four nucleobases in our DNA nucleic acid, and adds to safeguarding the equilibrium of the structure. Additionally, Vitamin B4 binds to our Uracil to stabilize RNA nucleic acid structure. Vitamin B4 is also essential for normal fat metabolism, aids in the proper functioning nervous system, regulates liver function, and minimizes excess fat deposits.
Vitamin B4 or adenine may help in improving some of the symptoms and even in preventing some health conditions, including anemia, arteriosclerosis, insomnia, headache, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s, diabetes, high cholesterol, indigestion, cancer, fatigue, stress, duodenal, gallstones, dandruff, alopecia, heart palpitations, gout, infection with bacteria and viruses, faster wound healing, phlebitis, hypertension, allergies, asthma, muscle cramps, infertility, vaginitis, wrinkles, acne, psoriasis, and sore gums.
Those who may be low in Vitamin B4 can experience skin disorders, blood conditions, nausea, slow physical growth rate, allergies, fatigue, vertigo, sensitivity to insulin, weak muscle, GI problems, depression, exhaustion, anemia, and lower immune function.
Foods high in Vitamin B4:
Try our Arugula, Watercress, and Parmesan Salad recipe.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Pyridoxine aids in amino acid metabolism, red blood cell production, and the creation of neurotransmitters.
Low Vitamin B6 often resembles anemia. Patients show signs of skin issues, like itchy rashes and cracks around their mouths. Insufficient amounts of B6 can also result in depression, confusion, and nausea and increases the likelihood of other infections.
Foods high in Vitamin B6:
- Poultry, fish, and organ meats
- Potatoes and other starchy vegetables
- Non-citrus fruits
Try our Crispy Duck Breast with Marinated Peaches recipe for a nice serving of B6.
Vitamin B9 (Folate)
Folate is a water-soluble vitamin essential in red blood cell formation. Your body needs this nutrient to maintain its genetic building blocks, DNA and RNA, and metabolize amino acids. Because it’s water-soluble, the body can’t store B9, but it needs to be replenished regularly through your diet. In addition, folate is critical during pregnancies to reduce the risk of congenital disabilities in the brain and spine.
Low Vitamin B9 presents similar to anemia, weakness, fatigue, trouble concentrating, irritability, frequent headaches, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and mouth sores. In addition, pregnant women with folate deficiencies can lead to a baby developing spina bifida and neurological problems.
Foods high in Vitamin B9:
- Peanuts and other nuts
- Beef liver
Try this Green Goddess Pasta Salad with Spinach recipe.
Most people can get all their B Vitamins with a well-balanced diet, including lean meats, leafy greens like watercress, fruits, and fortified grains. Because Vitamin B is water soluble, the risk of consuming too much is lower than other nutrients. The older population, pregnant women, and those with certain health conditions are more vulnerable to Vitamin B deficiencies. But we can all work to consume our nutrients naturally through food rich in vitamins and minerals.
If you suspect you might be low in any nutrient, be sure to consult with your local physician.
Did you know that until the renaissance, watercress was used as a breath freshener and palate cleanser, as well as for medicinal purposes?
B&W Quality Growers is the world’s largest grower of distinctive leafy greens®, including watercress, arugula, and spinach. With over 150 years of experience with these healthy, flavorful SuperLeaves®, we remain true to our legacy of superior nutrition, flavor, quality, and sustainability.
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Author: Ruth Bozeman has over 20 years in the marketing and health and fitness industries with a proven track record of trust and innovation.