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The Importance of Vitamin B6 in a Healthy Diet

A report released by the website World’s Healthiest Foods, run by the George Mateljan Foundation, describes the health benefits of Vitamin B6 in a healthy diet and which foods are most likely to contain this important vitamin.

Vitamin B6 is shown to play a part in several bodily functions related to overall health.

These include:

 Metabolizing carbohydrates

 Making red blood cells

 Making dopamine, serotonin, and GABA, which foster brain health

 Making amino acids that contribute to the health of the nervous system

To determine which foods are the best sources for B6, the World’ Healthiest Foods has created a chart that rates foods as “excellent,” “very good,” and “good.” Many of the best foods that contain vitamin B6 are plant-based, such as:

 Bell pepper

 Bok choy

 Turnip greens

 Spinach

 Garlic

 Bananas

 Winter squash

 Collard Greens

 Potatoes

 Sweet potatoes

Vitamin B6 is also found in meat, with the number one source being tuna. Other meats rich in vitamin B6 include turkey, beef, and chicken. The report recommends that consumers eat vitamin B6 in fresh foods in order to get the most benefit. Although vitamin B6 is relatively stable in food storage, a food can lose about 25% of its original vitamin B6. Also, prolonged heat exposure will also degrade the amount of B6 as well. There is little vitamin loss in foods that have been boiled or steamed.

A healthy male or female between 19-50 years old should get 1.3 milligrams of B6 daily. The numbers are slightly higher for older men and women, as well as for women who are pregnant. Women who are lactating should get 2.0 milligrams daily. Interestingly, when the human body uses B6 it also uses magnesium. Thus, the report recommends that people eat foods that contain both vitamin B6 and magnesium, like spinach and tuna.

Vitamin B6 is just one of the B-vitamins that helps the human body stay healthy and function normally. Want to know more?

Read the full article here: Vitamin B6-pyridoxine.