I don’t like to take pills. I don’t take medicine of any sort and I don’t want a vitamin that resembles a pill. So in an attempt to increase my vitamin B intake without supplements, I went searching for some foods that are naturally rich in it. I see now why I’m having an issue.
Number 1 on the list of world’s healthiest foods rich in vitamin B-12 according to the George Matlejan Foundation? Calf’s liver. Numbers 2 – 9 aren’t much better either. Down there at the bottom we have yogurt holding strong for the vegetarians. Unfortunately, I don’t really like dairy products either. Ack.
An interesting thing about B-12 is that neither animals or plants can produce it naturally. The levels of B-12 in the foods above is based on the animal’s (or yogurt’s) interaction with the tiny microorganisms that create it–yeast, bacteria, mold and algae.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though. While I am most certainly lacking B-12, it seems that my most apparent symptom (chapped lips) is a result of a B-6 deficiency. B-6 is responsible for the regeneration of cells especially those that regenerate quickly–like skin. Foods rich in B-6 are more up my alley. Spinach, bell peppers, cauliflower, bananas, celery, broccoli, etc.
But wait. These foods make up the bulk of my diet. What gives?
Turns out birth control sucks your body dry of B-6. Yeah, that’s a pill I do take. It doesn’t actually steal your B-6; it just makes it near impossible for your body to absorb it. Who knew? In fact, approximately 75% of women taking birth control and not taking B-6 supplements are vitamin B deficient. This is why I hate taking pills.
I guess I’ll stick with my B Complex vitamins.