Vitamin B1 is commonly known as thiamine. It is basically responsible for the healthy functioning of the nervous system and cardiovascular system. It is water soluble and difficult to store in the body for the same reason. It plays a major role in converting complex carbohydrates into simple sugars that can be used to produce energy for all cellular and bodily functions.
Besides these, vitamin B1 helps to maintain the muscle tone. It also has its hand in maintaining the health of skin, nails, mouth, hair and liver. Due to its stress relieving properties, it is also known as the anti-stress vitamin.
Sources of vitamin B1: some of the major and rich sources of thiamine are: eggplants or brinjal, sprouts of grams and beans, brussels, tomato, seeds of sunflower, leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage and lettuce, asparagus, potatoes, mushroom, whole grain cereals like wheat and rye, wheat germ and kidney beans. The richest Vitamin B1 source is the bakers’ yeast and liver.
Deficiency of Thiamine causes a disease known as beri. The common symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, loss of memory and insomnia, etc. in severe cases, abnormalities of the heart, nerves and brain are seen.
The benefits of including Vitamin B1 in your diet are as follows:
Energy production: Complex substances such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats are broken down into simpler substances to help the body produce energy to carry out its cellular and bodily functions. Vitamin B1 ensures that the complex substances are broken down completely to produce energy. It is a part of the pyruvate dehydrogenase system. It directly plays a role in the oxidation of sugars.
Nerve protection: Vitamin B1 ensure the proper formation of the myelin sheath around the body of the nerve cell for protection. A deficiency of thiamine degenerates the health of the nervous system.
Heart health: Vitamin B1 is directly involved in the production of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. It is the chemical that passes impulses from one part of the body to another. Based on studies, it is known that it prevents strokes and cardiac arrests.
Cataracts: Thiamine delays the formation of cataracts on the lens of the eyes. It keeps the eye healthy.
Anti-aging properties: Vitamin B1 prevents sagging and wrinkling of skin. It maintains a youthful glow.
Digestion: vitamin B1 promotes digestion by promoting the release of hydrochloric acid which is required for digestion.
Besides the above benefits, it helps to improve memory and concentration, prevents Alzheimer’s disease, improves the production of new red blood cells, relieves the effects of alcoholism and hangovers, and increases one’s appetite.
You now know the reasons why you must include the sufficient quantity of vitamin B1 or thiamine in your daily balanced diet. It promotes and maintains the general health of a person. The requirements depends on factors like age, gender, physical activities, pregnancy, etc.
By including this simple element in your diet, you can unlock the secret to your health.