The importance of vitamin B
When you are talking about Vitamin B we mean a group of water-soluble vitamins, with multiple properties, essential above all for the well-being of nervous system e liver. The B vitamins are also important for the health of eyes, hair e skin.
In children, a sufficient supply of vitamin B is especially necessary for proper development and functioning of the nervous system. According to a study published in December 2012, in volume 55 of Preventive Medicine, and entitled "Low intake of B-vitamins is associated with poor adolescent mental health and behavior", children and adolescents who do not introduce a sufficient amount of B vitamins are more subject to behavioral disturbances and they experience less psychological well-being.
Although this is not a conclusive study and further investigations are needed, the research is interesting in that it emphasizesimportance of these vitamins in children's diets.
Dietary sources of vitamin B
How can we guarantee our children a correct intake of vitamin B? Obviously, with a proper diet. So let's see what are the foods rich in B vitamins.
- Vitamin B1 or Thiamine. The main plant sources are legumes, whole grains, potatoes and green leafy vegetables. The main animal sources are offal, for example the liver.
- Vitamin B2 or riboflavin. The main plant sources are beans and peas. Brewer's yeast is also particularly rich in it. The main animal sources are, once again, offal. Egg white and milk are good sources of vitamin B2.
- Vitamina B3 o niacina. This vitamin is also present in large quantities in brewer's yeast. It is also found in chicken, many types of fish and, once again, in offal. The main plant sources are wheat germ and oil seeds (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, etc.).
- Vitamina B5 o acido pantotenico. The main sources of this vitamin are once again offal and brewer's yeast. Furthermore, wheat bran, sesame seeds and royal jelly also contain an excellent amount of it. It is found, albeit in smaller quantities, in eggs, legumes and wholemeal buckwheat flour.
- Vitamina B6 o piridossina. The main plant sources are bananas, soy, whole grains, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, buckwheat flour. The main animal sources are once again offal, but also white meat and fish.
- Vitamin B9 or folic acid. The main plant sources of folic acid are green leafy vegetables, wheat bran, asparagus and legumes. It is also found in large quantities in offal and eggs. Vitamin B9 is particularly sensitive to heat and, therefore, about half of it can be lost during cooking.
Vitamin B12 and folic acid
Incorporate vitamin B into children's diets
To ensure a sufficient supply of B vitamins for your children, it is therefore important that they follow a healthy and varied diet. Cereals lose most of their properties during refining; it would therefore be preferable to use slightly refined flours and cereals; for example, when we prepare pizza or biscuits at home, we should choose wholemeal flours and limit the use of 00 flour as much as possible.
White meats, fish, eggs, milk and dairy products, legumes and oil seeds are excellent sources of B vitamins.
Breakfast is a very important meal in everyone's diet, but especially for children. An example of a breakfast rich in vitamin B and nutrients in general? Milk and cocoa or yogurt, with a banana, a couple of homemade biscuits with buckwheat flour and a handful of oil seeds of your choice between walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts.
By following the principles of the food pyramid of the Mediterranean diet, children can be guaranteed a correct intake of vitamin B and all other nutrients essential for growth and general well-being.