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Vitamin B6 Benefits: Foods To Eat To Prevent Deficiency

From health benefits to food items rich in this nutrient, here is everything that you need to know about Vitamin B6.  

Written by: Charu SharmaPublished at: Nov 10,2021
Updated at: Nov 10,2021

What we eat has a great impact on our health and overall body functioning. As we all are aware of different essential nutrients such vitamins and minerals for keeping ourselves healthy along with the overall growth and development. While we all know about the importance and benefits of consuming a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin F and fatty acids. An essential vitamin that usually gets skipped off is vitamin B6. A nutrient that is known to promote brain health, reduces the symptoms of depression, treats nausea, aids the production of hemoglobin, improves eye health, helps in preventing cancer and is also known to be helpful in reducing inflammation. Where this nutrient comes along with so many benefits for your health and well being and helps you to stay fit, let us take a look at the health benefits of this nutrient and some food items that has an abundance of this vitamin with ou expert Ms Deepti Khatuja, Deputy manager, Clinical nutritionists, Fortis Memorial Research Institute

Benefits of Vitamin B6

A vitamin that can do all from preventing cancer to improving eye health and from treating nausea to reducing inflammation. Known for enhancing brain development, let us know get a step ahead and get to know about the benefits of consuming vitamin B6 and adding it into your daily diet with Ms Deepti Khatuja, Deputy manager, Clinical nutritionists, Fortis Memorial Research Institute. Here’s what Ms Deepti has to say about this- “Known as Pyridoxine, Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin. This vitamin exists in three forms – pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine which contains an amino group; and their 5’-phosphate esters. Pyridoxal 5’ phosphate and pyridoxamine 5’ phosphate are the active coenzyme forms of vitamin B6.  These are interchangeable in the body. 

Some important functions of Vitamin B6 in the body are the metabolism of proteins and fats. Pyridoxal phosphate, the Coenzyme form of this vitamin, is required for the metabolism of amino acids and conversion of tryptophan to nicotinic acid. It is also associated with the metabolism of essential fatty acids. Vitamin B6 also plays an important role in cognitive development through the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters and in maintaining normal levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood. Vitamin B6 is involved in glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis, immune function and hemoglobin formation. 

Recommended Dietary Allowance is Average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all healthy individuals; often used to plan nutritionally adequate diets for individuals. RDA for vitamin B 6 is from 0.1mg/day (in 0-6 months) to 2.00mg/day for average adults (vary for different age groups). However, during pregnancy and lactation the RDA increases to 2.5 mg/day. 

Deficiency leads to peripheral neuritis, anemia, glossitis, cheilosis and seborrheic dermatitis, angular stomatitis. 

Vitamin B6 is found in a variety of foods. The richest sources of vitamin B6 includes beef liver, fish and other organ meats along with potatoes and other starchy vegetables, and fruit (other than citrus). Most of the dietary vitamin B6 can be obtained from fortified cereals and pulses also.”

Foods Rich in Vitamin B6

As by now we know all about the benefits of vitamin B6 and ways in which it can impact our overall health, let’s take a quick look at some of the food items that are a rich source of this essential vitamin. 

#1. Spinach

Also Read: Fact Or Myth: Can You Eat Spinach And Milk Together?

Since childhood we all have been told to consume this green leafy vegetable by our parents and teachers. Even the cartoon makers have emphasised a lot over the nutritional benefits of this vegetable and hence we all have grown up watching popeye eating spinach and getting those popped up muscles. Consuming this vegetable would not make you strong as popeye in a minute but it surely has a lot many health benefits. Rich in vitamin B6, this vegetable is known for preventing anemia by increasing the hemoglobin levels in the body to strengthen the immune system and from boosting hydration to improving eye health. 

#2. Fish

One of the best foods for non-vegetarians and an absolute favourite of bongs, fish is a food item that consists of various essential nutrients. A rich source of vitamin B6, consuming fish can cut down the risk of stroke and enhance brain health along with preventing asthma and treating depression. Including vitamin B6 rich fish in your regular diet can improve your health to quite a large extent.

#3. Potatoes

A vegetable that is known to create its space from anywhere to everywhw\ere, potato isone of the most versatile vegetables that is a great source of vitamin B6. Rich in antioxidants, potatoes are known to improve the blood sugar levels in the body along with enhancing digestive health. 

#4. Eggs

An absolute breakfast favourite that can be consumed in various forms starting from sunny side up, half-fried omelette, boiled egg to egg bhurji and egg curry. Eggs are rich in various nutrients such as proteins, fats, vitamin D, folate, omega-3, selenium and vitamin B6. Egg is a superfood which helps with weight management and also improves eye health.

#5. Avocado

A fruit that has recently gained a lot of popularity all over the world due to its nutrient rich profile and myriad health benefits. Avocado is a fruit that is loaded with fiber and is rich in potassium. A regular consumption of this fruit helps in enhancing nutrition absorption, provides relief from symptoms of arthritis, prevents cancer and can protect your eyes. Rich in antioxidants, including this fruit in your regular diet can benefit your overall health.

#6 Meat

Also Read: Is Your Child Allergic To Banana? Here Is What You Need To Know

Where raw meat is said to be harmful for a person’s health due to the risk of bacterial growth, when cooked properly this meat can provide various benefits and help to make you fit. While we all are aware about the presence of an abundance of protein in meat, it is important to know that it is a rich source of vitamin B6 as well.

#7. Bananas

A delicious, easy to eat and carry fruit which is popularly known for the abundance of potassium content in it, banana is also rich in another essential nutrient that is vitamin B6. This delicious fruit comes with many health benefits such as improving blood sugar levels, aiding digestive health, improving kidney functioning, supporting heart health and aiding weight loss. 

With inputs from  Ms Deepti Khatuja, Deputy manager, Clinical nutritionists, Fortis Memorial Research Institute

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