Vitamin B1, also known as Thiamine, plays an important role in how humans function in everyday life. Thiamine is one of eight essential B vitamins responsible for converting carbohydrates into fuel for the body. Without them, the body wouldn’t be able to metabolize fats and proteins in order to sustain itself. Additionally, the entire span of these vitamins play a part in more than just energy production.
What Does Vitamin B1 Do for You?
One of the most prominent aspect of thiamine in the body is the metabolism of food to create energy for the muscles. This is also true of most B vitamins, but thiamine has other uses as well.
Enhancing the Nervous System
As a co-enzyme, thiamine helps in several biochemical processes including the maintenance and development of the nervous system. This can indirectly help in cognitive abilities including the increase of your overall mood. It can also be said that enhancing the nervous system could affect everything from fine motor control to the function of internal organs. It’s the conduction of nerve impulses that makes this possible.
It is believed that thiamine contributes to the immune system. In many cases, it’s used to help treat AIDS, diabetes and a slew of other ailments. Experts believe that it can also be used to prevent things like cervical cancer and types of kidney disease.
According to some studies that I am unable to verify, B1 is related to protecting the eyes from developing cataracts. It is believed that several of the B-complex family contributes to eye maintenance in a similar fashion to vitamin A. Unfortunately, I am unable to support this claim as I can’t find viable evidence.
Thiamine is believed by some to be linked to maintaining the functionality of the heart. Unfortunately, there is little evidence to support this claim. One link between heart failure and vitamin deficiencies is through the use of diuretics. As B vitamins are water-soluble, excess amounts can be lost through urination. However, this is not evidence to support vitamin B1 to improve the cardio vascular system. Any water-soluble vitamin and mineral is lost in the same way. On the other hand, the vitamin’s ability to maintain the nervous system itself my be related to organ functionality, which includes the heart.
How Can You Tell if You’re Thiamine Deficient?
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can do a lot of damage to the human body. Since B vitamins cannot be stored in the body for extended periods of time, they can be depleted quite quickly. However, it’s a rare case for someone to be deficient in thiamine given that it’s in plentiful supply in many kinds of foods.
Headaches can be common for a wide range of deficiencies. It’s been found that low levels of vitamin B1 can cause these types of problems. However, headaches are some of the most common of symptoms for a variety of problems in the human body.
Low levels of B vitamins can also be a contributing factor to fatigue. Since these vitamins contribute to metabolizing food for energy, it’s understandable how you could feel sluggish without thiamine.
Some studies have been done to connect low levels of thiamine to depression in adults. This is another way in which conduction of nerve impulses can play a role in human mentality. However, there are many vitamin deficiencies that can cause depression. Determining thiamine deficiency specifically may be difficult to do on your own.
What Kinds of Foods Are Rich in Vitamin B1?
Vitamin B1 is not able to be stored by the body like others. This means that the human body needs a continues supply of all B vitamins to remain healthy. Here are a few common foods that can contribute to getting a balance of thiamine.
Most green veggies and leafy edibles will give you a bit of thiamine in your daily diet. Green peas offers some of the highest as you could consume as much as 30% of your daily intake for B1 per cup.
Pork loin, tenderloin and chops are all high in vitamin B1. In fact, you could get more than 50% of your daily value in a single meal. This is also dependent on consuming at least three ounces as a single serving.
Many types of nuts contain decent amounts of vitamin B1, but Macadamia Nuts are some of the most rich when measured per cup. In fact, one cup of these nuts will give you more than a three-ounce slab of pork chop.
Fish is one of the best types of food to eat as it offers a great deal of health benefits. Although you may not get the same thiamine levels as you would from pork, you’ll also benefit from omega-3 fatty acids and a lot of other health contributions.
Flour itself contains a great deal of vitamin B1. This means that things like bread are actually good for you. The trade-off with these kinds of goods is the increase of carbohydrates in most cases. However, this can be offset if you plan on doing some exercises or weight training in order to burn the carbs as energy.
In reality, thiamine is quite abundant on this planet. From animals to plants, it’s quite easy to get enough B1 to sustain yourself. This is why it’s a rare case to see someone with a thiamine deficiency. Just keep in mind that varying degrees of thiamine can be lost in the cooking process. In fact, roasting and steaming foods can retain B1 better than if you were to fry them.