Vitamin B1, also recognized as thiamine, plays a vital role in helping the body switch carbohydrates and fats into energy. It is crucial for normal growth and development and helps to maintain proper performance of the heart and the nervous and digestive systems. Vitamin B1 is water-soluble and cannot be stored in the body; however, once absorbed, the vitamin is concentrated in muscle tissue.
Vitamin B1 deficiency is rare; however, deficiency sometimes occurs in people who abuse alcohol because excessive alcohol intake significantly decreases the body’s ability to absorb this vitamin and interferes with its chemical reactions in the body.
In the early stages of a vitamin B1 deficiency, symptoms may include poor appetite, irritability, fatigue, and weight loss. As the deficiency becomes more advanced, weakness, nerve damage that may affect the hands and feet, headache, and rapid heart rate may also develop.
A good source of vitamin B1 is found naturally in all these foods, which contain at least 0.1 mg of the vitamin per 25-100g:
- Wholemeal bread
- Bran flakes
- Soya beans
Green Peas is an excellent source of vitamin B1, peas also contain significant amounts of beta-carotene, niacin, folate, vitamin C, and protein.