Vitamin B Complex
The B Vitamin ComplexThe list of B vitamins includes thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9), and methylcobolimin (B12). Although you may choose to supplement the B vitamins separately, I am lumping them together because they often coexist in the same food and overlap in their health benefits. Deficiency of B vitamins increases homocysteine levels, a marker of accelerated aging. Anemia, dementia, heart disease, hypertension, depression, dandruff, cracks in the corners of the lips, acne, and swelling or edema are among the long list of symptoms of Vitamin B deficiency. Tiredness, weakness, lack of energy and lack of concentration are common symptoms of B deficiency. Dr. Russell Blaylock wrote in his June 2007 newsletter that over half the population is deficient in B6, folate, and B12, and having low levels of these can produce the same amount of DNA damage as radiation.
MTHFR: Genetic Vitamin B Deficiency
Last summer I learned about a genetic mutation that causes Vitamin B deficiency and it is more common than you would think. Since learning about this mutation, I have found out that three of my friends have it. It is called MTHFR (which stands for something I can’t remember). If you have this gene from your mother and father (called a double mutation) you will suffer from the ability to make the enzyme responsible for converting B’s to their end metabolites. The effect on the body is accelerated aging and the symptoms form a long list of chronic ailments and diseases that are seemingly premature. The list includes autoimmune diseases, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and even autism. If you have chronic illness or have been “sickly” your whole life, you should get this simple genetic test. The cure is easy, you just take supplements of the metabolites of B’s, especially of folate.
Foods with Vitamin B
Luckily for me, vegetables are high in all the B vitamins except B12. Beans, especially chickpeas (i.e. hummus), potatoes, bananas, lentils, nutritional yeast, rice, nuts, seeds, spinach, molasses, chili peppers, prepared marinara sauce, onions, raisins, watermelon, and winter squash are good plant sources of B vitamins.
Supplementing Vitamin B
Because I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have stress in their lives or anyone with a perfect diet, I recommend taking a Vitamin B complex supplement once or even twice a day. A note of caution when choosing which supplement to take; folate is preferred over folic acid which has been linked to cancer, and methylcobalamin is the preferred form of B12, as cyanocobalamin can be useless in the elderly and chronically ill. As mentioned in my letter about B12, I recommend using B Activ by Xymogen once or twice a day. It can be ordered from naturalhealthyconcepts.com. If they ask if you have ordered it before or who recommended it, just tell them your nutrition educator, Kristi Whitley, told you to get it from them. (I’m serious. The manufacturer requires that they ask this because it is supposed to only be sold by professionals.)
Here is a great recipe for getting your B’s! It has to be made with a high-speed blender. A regular blender or food processor won’t work. No worries! Sam’s has two models of high-speed blenders for under $140 right now. These mega-watt models are what you need to make nut butters, which are the key to “creamed” soups. You will also love them for smoothies in an instant with no stopping to stir, shake, etc. They are so powerful they can turn frozen fruit to sorbet! Enjoy!
Tomato Basil Bisque
Traditional bisques are very cheesy and creamy. This one is no different except that it is vegan! My carnivore husband says that is tastes as cheesy and creamy as any he has had. You can get nutritional yeast flakes at your health food store or Whole Foods. They are what make it “cheesy” and packed with B’s so don’t skip them. If you must, you can substitute Veggie Parmesan made from rice or soy, but it isn’t as healthy as the yeast flakes.
½ cup of raw cashews, preferably soaked in purified water for about 4 hours and drained (This improves the digestibility of the nuts.)
1 14.5 oz can of white beans, drained
¼ heaping cup of nutritional yeast flakes
½ cup of purified water, more if necessary to blend the nuts, etc.
1 jar of organic, sugar-free, tomato basil marinara, I prefer Trader Joe’s brand.
1 small can of organic tomato sauce
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Place the nuts, beans, nutritional yeast, and water in a high-speed blender and puree until smooth adding more water if necessary to get a smooth consistency.
Place the nut mixture in a large saucepan and add the remaining ingredients and heat over medium heat. Taste and adjust the seasonings and add more water for thinner soup if necessary. Freezes well.
All the best,
12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.