Vitamins and Minerals
Our body cannot produce B vitamins itself. That is why we have to take in sufficient amounts of them every day. They are decisive for all phases and forms of energy production in our metabolism. Each individual cell is dependent on sufficient B vitamins. The effects of all B vitamins overlap, complement each other and are interwoven. A lack of B vitamins quickly becomes noticeable through a general loss of vitality, such as reduced physical or mental performance or resilience, fatigue, a weakened nervous system and increased susceptibility to infection. At the latest when some of these symptoms appear repeatedly or unexpectedly and for no obvious reason, then a concrete suspicion of vitamin B deficiency is obvious. A vegan diet can be the result of a vitamin B deficiency.
Vitamin B5 (Panthothenic acid)
Vitamin B5 has an important function in the entire energy metabolism and is needed to produce the nerve messenger’s acetylcholine and taurine as well as the hormone melatonin. The latter controls the day/night rhythm and initiates the deep sleep phase. A restful sleep is among other things important for a good memory. Melatonin also acts on the hippocampus – the brain area that is important for learning and remembering. It is found in wheat germ, sunflower seeds, liver, asparagus, crabs and meat. The average daily requirement of an adult is about 6 mg.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the body’s own energy production and blood formation and is involved in the formation of myelin, which acts as a protective shield for the nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain, as well as nerve impulse conduction. A vitamin B12 deficiency is usually accompanied by a folic acid deficiency. Since vitamin B12 is produced exclusively by microorganisms, it can only be supplied via animal products such as meat, fish, milk and eggs.
Vitamin B12 has a very complex molecular structure. This is why the body often finds it difficult to absorb the vitamin, even if sufficient B12 is present in the food. Only when vitamin B12 is present as methylcobalamin in the body can it enter the normal metabolism and fulfil the tasks for which vitamin B12 is so urgently needed.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Vitamin B6 is indispensable for amino acid metabolism, is involved in the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and the immune system. Serotonin not only makes you happy, but also provides peace and balance.
Vitamin B6 is found in almost all foods such as liver, yeast, fish, dairy products, corn, soya and green vegetables. However, the vitamin is very sensitive and can be destroyed during cooking. The daily requirement of an adult is between 1.2 mg and 1.6 mg. An increased need exists when taking the contraceptive pill, when calorie intake is severely restricted in older people and when alcohol abuse is long-term, as well as during pregnancy and lactation. A lack of vitamin B6 is also noticeable in mood swings, concentration difficulties, insomnia and irritability.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Vitamin B1 is particularly important for the carbohydrate metabolism of nerves, brain and muscles. Thiamine is found in whole grain cereals, wheat germ, peas, pork, yeast, oat flakes, liver and natural rice.
Vitamin B1 supports our positive mood and is an indispensable help in coping with stressful situations such as illnesses and anxiety states (test fears, phobias). As the body can only store small amounts of the vitamin, it must be regularly supplied with food. If there is a lack of this vitamin, the body can no longer convert the carbohydrates into glucose (glucose). However, our brain is dependent on glucose to maintain its function.
Too little thiamine (vitamin B1) in the organism can lead to disturbances in carbohydrate metabolism, thus to loss of appetite and weight. Beriberi is the best-known deficiency disease in the absence of vitamin B1 in the body. Disturbed nerve function and muscle atrophy are the result. Further indications for insufficient vitamin B1 supply are lack of concentration, general irritability and depression. The normal requirement of a healthy adult is covered by 50-100 mg.
The trace element iron is vital and a nourishment for the nerves. An iron deficiency is caused in particular by a vegetarian diet, because meat and sausage are the most important sources of iron in our diet alongside vegetables and bread. In order to prevent the symptoms of iron deficiency, a meat-containing diet is the best solution. In addition to vegetable iron suppliers such as broccoli, spinach, nuts, corn and whole grain products, sufficient vitamin C should also be taken in. Missing minerals such as iron lead to iron deficiency anemia and insufficient oxygen transport. This not only affects the physical well-being of people who are active in sports, but also their cognitive performance – as numerous studies and scientific studies have shown. The daily requirement for men is 10 milligrams, while women need 15 milligrams. As a rule, those who experience persistent concentration and learning difficulties may suffer from iron deficiency, which can be remedied by iron substitution.