B vitamins

There are many B vitamins, all needed in differing amounts to keep us healthy. B vitamins have different functions in our body but most of them (except folate) have a role in producing energy and supporting the nervous system to work normally. Eating a balanced diet as outlined in the Eatwell Guide should provide us with all the B vitamins we need. Different varieties of fish contain different B vitamins so eating a variety can make an important contribution to our intake as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Here’s the lowdown:

  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – Contributes to normal psychological functions and helps the heart to work normally. Find it in catfish, coley, mackerel, plaice, salmon and seabass.
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – Helps to maintain normal red blood cells and helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue. It’s important for normal vision and skin and plays a role in protecting cells from oxidative damage. Find it in crabmeat, flounder, herring, mackerel, mussels and sardines.
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3) – Contributes to normal psychological functions and helps to maintain normal skin. It also helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue. Many varieties of fish contain niacin.
  • Vitamin B6 – Important for making red blood cells and supports the immune system to work normally. It also contributes to normal psychological functions, helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue, and regulates hormonal activity. Many different varieties of fish contain vitamin B6.
  • Vitamin B12 – Important for making red blood cells and supports the immune system to work normally. It’s also needed for normal cell division, contributes to normal psychological functions and helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue. Most varieties are rich in vitamin B12.
  • Folate – Supports the immune system to work normally and contributes to normal psychological functions. It’s also needed for normal cell division and making blood. It helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue and supports the growth of tissues in mums-to-be. Crayfish and mussels both supply folate.
  • Biotin – Contributes to normal psychological functions and is needed for the body to use protein, carbohydrate and fat. It helps maintain normal hair and skin.
  • Pantothenic acid – Contributes to making and metabolising steroid hormones, vitamin D and some neurotransmitters. It plays a role in normal mental performance and helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue.


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