Why do we need vitamins?
Vitamins carry out important functions in our body, which is why it is important to have enough intake of those vital compounds. Our body for example is not able to produce all needed vitamins, which is why it is important to have an external intake. Those who eat well-balanced, fresh and varied, are usually well supplied with vitamins. But there are phases in the life of a woman in which the body needs a plus in certain vitamins.
One of those vitamins are B Vitamins. But what do they do and what are they really good for?
B Vitamins are divided into 8 different water-soluble vitamins: Vitamin B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pryidoxine, pyridoxal 5 phosphate), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate) & B12 (cobalamin)- all of them serving a specific purpose. If all 8 Vitamin B’s are present at once it is referred as Vitamin B Complex.
In general B vitamins play an important role for women’s health, since they enhance immune and nervous system function, contributes to a normal metabolism, are good for a healthy mind, regulate our hormonal activity and even reduce tiredness and fatigue.
Biotin for example plays an important role in the metabolism of lipids, proteins and carbohydrates. There is some evidence that it is even good for skin health and it supports nails and hair. Vitamin B12 on the other hand is needed for nerve tissue health, brain function and the production of red blood cells. Also folate is vital for woman, since deficiency may lead to an incomplete close of the vertebral column. Therefore, young women of childbearing potential should pay close attention to enough folic acid intake.
Now the question arises, where the treasure of these vitamins can be found. B-Vitamins can be found in different kind of food categories such as turkey, tuna and liver. But also in legumes, whole grains, potatoes, bananas and yeast. Vitamin B12 nevertheless is not abundance available in plants, which means that vegans are highly advised to take B12 supplements, since our body needs it for a normal function of the neurosystem, a normal red blood cell formation and the homocysteine metabolism. Also, anyone who is taking hormonal contraceptive might have an increased demand for Vitamin B6. In any case it is necessary to eat nutrition’s high in Vitamin B and if not otherwise possible it is advised to take supplements to compensate. My recommendation for Vitamin B Complex is from Pure Encapsulations, since no unnecessary excipients are present in their products but only the natural compounds the body really needs.
Moreover, I have created a Beetroot Bourguignon recipe, which is not only high in B Vitamins but also mouth watering. It was inspired by the dish: Beef Bourguignon and I have created a vegan version for all vegans out there who need a little bit more of those B Vitamins! J Obviously anyone who is not living vegan should give this dish a try!
Ingredients for 6
- 2 large beets, peeled and cut into pieces
- 6 carrots, cut into slices
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Thyme twigs
- Olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 250 ml of red wine
- 500 ml of vegetable stock
- 300 g mountain lentils
- 300 g peas
- 1 slice of butter
- 200g fresh salad
- 1 avocado
- Balsamic vinegar
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan, fry the onion and garlic until glazed. Add the beetroot, carrots, thyme, salt and pepper, cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir tomato paste, red wine and vegetable stock and simmer for 20 minutes over low heat.
- Meanwhile, rinse off the mountain lentils and boil in double the amount of water, then simmer gently for about 15-20 minutes. Cook peas until ready. Rinse them and place them together with the butter in a food processor. Salt and pepper the puree and set aside. At the same time wash the salad and cut the avocado into cubes. Prepare the salad in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- When the lentils are ready pour away remaining water, cover and set aside.
- Try the stew, and add more wine, vegetable broth and herbs to your taste.
- Take the thyme twigs from the pot, serve the finished bourguignon with the lentils and pea puree.