Vitamin B plays a big role in our overall well-being, from fueling cell reproduction and maintaining a healthy digestive system to helping regulate the nervous system and offering protection against many kinds of cancer. That’s a lot for a vitamin to do, but vitamin B is, in fact, a family of 8 different vitamins, each with a distinct and unique role. For instance, B12, also known as folate, is essential to DNA function and producing red blood cells to prevent anemia. B1, or thiamin, helps our bodies break down carbohydrates to convert glucose into usable energy. It’s also essential to maintaining a healthy brain. B9, or folic acid, supports “the creation of cells in the blood-forming organs and bone marrow, and in the proper development of the fetal spinal cord during pregnancy.”
The good news about vitamin B is that it’s readily available in the foods we eat everyday: proteins like poultry, meat and dairy; leafy greens; beans, even breads and cereals (although these are often fortified – meaning B has been added).
Eating foods rich in various forms of vitamin B will help keep you energized for the fast-paced, feast-filled end-of-year celebrations. Here are three recipes high in vitamin B that will add sparkle to any holiday party or family meal.
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
(Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten)
This salad is full of seasonal flavors and every ingredient, including the Parmesan cheese garnish, is bursting with vitamin B goodness.
Herbed Quinoa and Red Rice Stuffing with Kale and Pine Nuts
(Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma)
High in fiber and gluten-free, this stuffing alternative provides vitamin B6 (cranberries, pine nuts and kale), folate (kale and pine nuts) and will wow your party guests. A fun alternative to traditional bread stuffing.
Tuna-Red Pepper Mousse Toasts
(Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine)
During the busy holiday season, having a quick appetizer available for drop-in guests or to take to events is a party-saver. This make-ahead appetizer is not only quick and easy, but the main ingredient, tuna, is a powerhouse of vitamin B12.