B vitamins need an introduction because there are so many of them, and they are really important, so I want to make sure I do them justice.
First of all they are considered a water-soluble vitamin, which means they are found in plant foods, our bodies don’t store them (like fat-soluble vitamins) and they are easily lost during cooking & transport. Raw produce actually loses the majority of its vitamins when exposed to light, air & time. This is one of the many reasons to buy local and seasonal produce! Not only are you supporting your local farmers, but you’re getting higher quality produce, rich in vitamins.
This is a little off topic, but speaking of seasonal produce, I sent my husband to the grocery store the other night (while I started on dinner), and a couple items on our list were broccoli & cucumber. When he came back he told me that the broccoli cost $2.99 and the cucumber was $1.99! I know we live downtown Toronto where everything’s expensive, but this can be avoided. During the fall and winter months I would recommend buying squashes & root vegetables, like butternut, spaghetti or acorn squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips and parsnips. They are seasonal & affordable, and last week I used a few of them to make an amazing stew (inspired by a recipe from Making Love in the Kitchen) that you have to try. Not only is it seasonal, but a warm & comforting meal when it’s so cold outside.
Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Stew
2 Tbsp coconut oil (can also use grapeseed oil)
4 cups fresh butternut squash or just the straight part, not the bulb (pre-chopped is a huge time-saver!)
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, chopped
2 small yellow onions, chopped
2 tsp minced ginger from jar (or fresh)
1/2 cup green lentils
1 cup water & 1 cup veg stock (or 2 cups water)
1 can of coconut milk (full fat or light)
2 1/2 tbsp yellow curry powder (Goat brand is great!)
2 tsp of sea salt
Heat oil in a large pot and add onions. Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add curry powder, ginger and a little of the water and stir until well mixed.
Add lentils, all vegetables, remaining water and coconut milk
Stir well, cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low, and let it simmer for 30 minutes or until veggies become soft.
Curry will continue to thicken after the cooking process, especially once it’s left in the fridge overnight.
Add sea salt to taste.
Serve over brown rice, quinoa or eat on it’s own with some whole wheat bread for dipping!
Ok, back to the vitamins.
B vitamins are important to get enough of as they help you better metabolize your food, and assist your body in using that food for energy. They are also important for overall health; a key piece of the puzzle in helping your intricate body system function properly!
There are fourteen individual B vitamins to speak of, but they are usually referred to as a group because they share many common characteristics. However, each B vitamin has a unique super power. Stayed tuned to learn more about all the different B vitamins!
In my opinion, a B50 complex supplement is only necessary if you have a deficiency that has been determined by a nutritionist or naturopath as a result of symptoms of imbalance.