HomeHealth5 Natural Sources of Vitamin B-6 There are eight members of the B-vitamin family, and each of them plays a very important role in your body’s internal functions. While the B-vitamins work best when taken together, each individual B-vitamin is also vitally important to your overall health and wellbeing. Today, we’re going to look at vitamin B-6, what roles it plays in your body, and five natural sources that will help you get the B-6 you need from the foods you eat. The Role of Vitamin B-6 in Your Body B-6—also called pyridoxine—is a water-soluble vitamin found in many of the foods we eat. Water-soluble vitamins are easily dissolved in water, making them quickly available for use in the cells and tissues. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins like B and C are not stored in the body for future use. This means you must get more of the vitamins from the foods you eat daily. B-6 plays a crucial role in both your physical and psychological health by assisting your body to accomplish the following: Produce healthy red blood cells Metabolize carbohydrates Produce neurotransmitters in your brain Liver detoxification Prevent inflammatory conditions throughout the body Mood booster Natural painkiller Regulate blood pressure Decrease asthma occurrences Regulate sleep cycles 5 Foods to Eat to Get Enough Vitamin B-6 Fortunately, vitamin B-6 is found in a wide variety of foods—both plant-based and animal-based. By eating a well-rounded diet of whole foods, you can easily satisfy your daily requirements of B-6. Leafy Green Vegetables Cooked and raw leafy greens like spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, Swiss chard, beet greens, kale, and mustard greens pack a walloping nutritional punch. Add them to salads or cook them into savory side dishes to get a healthy dose of B-6. Beef, Turkey, and Chicken Grass-fed beef and the white meat in turkey and chicken have the most B-6, although dark meat also has good levels of the vitamin. Tuna Seared tuna steaks, raw sushi tuna, or canned tuna are all good sources of vitamin B-6. Cruciferous Vegetables While leafy greens (above) are part of the cruciferous family, other members of the family are also high in vitamin B-6. Cabbage, Napa cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower boast high B-6 levels. Nuts and Seeds Sunflower seeds and pistachio nuts lead the pack in B-6 levels, but all nuts and seeds are a good source of the nutrient. A small handful of nuts or seeds as a mid-morning snack provides a nice B-6 energy boost. The Bottom Line on Vitamin B-6 Vitamin B-6 is a vital nutrient for your health. Fortunately, you don’t need much to gain all of its benefits, and by eating a well-balanced diet, you’ll generally get all the B-6 you need. Vitamin B-6 Supplementation B vitamins work best when working in concert with each other, and because they come from different food sources, it may be difficult to get enough of some of the B vitamins. While vitamin B-6 deficiencies are very rare in the West, where most people have access to adequate amounts of food, your body requires more B-6 as it ages. Those who are 50 and over—and especially those with poor diets—might consider supplementing with a B complex that includes B-6.