Okay, so far, we've covered the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) as well as vitamin C. Now, we let's start talking about our B vitamins. I'm betting many of you associate B vitamins with vitamin B6 and B12. Am I right? Can you think of any others? How many of you knew that thiamin (aka thiamine) is also a B vitamin? That's right! Thiamin is also known as vitamin B1. So, have you ever wondered why all the B vitamins are grouped together and called, well, the B vitamins? It's because, in unison, they all work together - almost in a symphony-like way - to help the body metabolize energy nutrients (fat, protein, carbohydrates) and also promote new cell formation.
That said, even though the B vitamins have interdependent relationships with one another, each one has its own unique nature, contributing to the body in its own unique way.
So, back to thiamin. As mentioned above, its chief function is to assist in energy metabolism. This means it helps turn the sandwich you had for lunch into energy. But, that's not all - it also helps nerve processes and their associated muscles.
If thiamin performs these major functions in the body, it only makes sense that a deficiency would present in equally important ways: beriberi, heart problems, muscular weakness and pain, poor memory, and even paralysis.
How much do we need? The DRI recommended amounts are 1.2 mg/day for men and 1.1 mg/day for women. That means a bowl of enriched cereal or a cup of white rice will more than suffice. Other great sources of thiamin include pork, fish, seeds, nuts, and black beans. Fish tacos with a side of beans and rice, anyone? Nutritional yeast is also a wonderful source of thiamin, a source many vegans use. But, you don't have to be a vegan to try (or use) it! For those who are new to nutritional yeast, it adds a cheesy/nutty flavor to whatever it is you're making - salads, pastas, soups. Some use it as a substitute for Parmesan. In fact, I throw it on top of my pasta and pizza every time! It's a versatile additive that can spruce up so many dishes. Try it like this or this!
Be well, everyone!