B for mutton!

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B for mutton!

26th Jan 2016

Week two of our A-Z and we're on to B!
B Vitamins...there are so many of them that it's worth me taking 2 days to cover them so here goes.

B1 - Thiamin
Releases energy, promotes growth, regulates appetite and a healthy digestive and nervous system. It's destroyed by light and heat and although wheat initially contains it the milling process can destroy it hence the addition of B vitamins back into bread.

It can be found in Marmite and other yeast extracts, wholemeal flours, sunflower seeds, liver and some nuts as well as brown rice and pork, beans, buckwheat and rye.

B2 - Riboflavin
Combines with protein to regulate breathing, helps with growth and promotes healthy skin and eyes. Also unstable in light hence the dark packaging of most supplements!

Found in yeast, liver and kidneys, almonds, wild rice and egg yolk as well as oily fish.

B3 - Niacin
Like B1 it's required for energy release and good digestion and nervous system and like B2 is good for skin. It also is required in the sythesis of steriods and fatty acids. This one is more stable.

It can come form the sources listed above and also lean meat and poultry.

B5 - Pantothenic Acid
Regulates carb and fat metabolism and helps with resistance to stress and as other promotes a healthy immune and digestive system. Lots of this one can be lost in many processes such as those involving heat or freezing or canning.

Sources include many of those mentioned above and also broccoli and avocados.

As you can see a lot of the sources of these B vitamins are animal - these are the vitamins that a lot of vegetarians and vegans lack. A varied diet is great for all especially those who don't eat meat, in order to ensure they get a good intake of all of these B's.

I take a B supplement for stress reduction - I've noticed a real difference since taking it. However, it may indeed be better for me (and you!) to indentify the food sources and try to manage any issues that way if we can.

Day two on that huuuuuge group of vitamins known as B:

B6 - Pyridoxine Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate
This one metabolises carbs and protein and sythesis hormones and fatty acids like B3. As with many of the others it promotes a healthy nervous system and it also aids with hormone balance. It's very unstable so eay to lose in cooking, on exposure to light or in milling.

Sources include yeast, sunflower seeds, bananas beans, pork avaocados, egg yolk, soybeans, wholewheat flour and oily fish.

B12 - Cobalamin
An important vitamin in creating red blood cells, lipids and helping a maintain a healthy gut and for DNA synthesis. You can't get this one from plant sources at all. If you're a vegan you MUST supplement for this one.

Sources are all animal proucts - liver, shellfish, kidneys, oily fish, egg yolk, lamb, beef and cheese.

Folic Acid
Like B12 is involved in the creation of new blood cells and DNA synthesis, also RNA synthesis. Promotes a healthy gut and nervous system too. Another very unstable one and supplementation is advised before and during pregnancy.

It can be found in yeast, black-eye peas, soy beans, liver, kidney, green leafy veg, figs and avocados.

Again we see that B's can be lacking in a plant based diet. You may also be suffering low B's if you experience high stress and feelings of panic frequently.

A varied diet containing lots of green leafy veg, meat and oily fish and beans will go towards ensuring that you have enough in your diet although as we can see heat often destroys them so cooking will need to be gentle - don't boil your veggies to mush, try a steamer and leave them with some bite!

The berry that is often touted by fitness and health blogs etc is the blueberry - well I'm not going to go on about that one as it's actually native to North America and we're in the UK and I would prefer to get fresh, indigenous spieces. In saying that, if you live in the North of the UK you may find a very close relative of the blueberry growing on hills and moors - the bilberry, it is native and looks like the blueberry but is not exactly the same.

The berry that most of use will see, even in hedges in suburban areas is the blackberry. Although please be careful as blackberries picked near busy roads, they may indeed have a high lead content due to the use of lead in petrol for many years prior to late 90's.

So, what are they good for and how do you get/use them?;

Your skin and gut will benefit from these berries as will you heart as thye contain a substance similar to aspirin. Fresh berries are best - so go pick some yourself out in the country and use within 3 days. You can now get packets of berries from the supermarket but there is little guarantee that they have not been in cold storage for a longer period than that leaching out there goodness.

Blackberry leaves can also be used to make tea - which was a traditional remedy for diarrhoea, mouth ulcers and bleeding gums. The berries are also great in a crumble with apples, and make a nice vinegar for use as a dressing or to soothe a sore throat.

I remember trips out into Northumberland to pick berries and the lovely crumbles and blackberry jelly made by my Nan. They're tiny little pockets of tastiness those berries!

What other muscle do you think of that startd with B afterall!

Biceps - Bi = two parts.
It flexes the lower arm i.e. moves it closer to the upper arm.
It's seen as a sign of masculinity in mnay cultures - just think of Popeye!
But guys - remember to work it's opposing pair - the tricep on the other side of the upper arm that does the opposite job!

Bicep curl video