Niacin, also known as Vitamin B3, is one of the most important Vitamin’s that your body needs. A lack of Niacin in the body can cause serious problems. One of the biggest problems it can cause is issues with the brain. Depression, dementia, suicidal thoughts, etc. Over all, it supports the function of the nervous system and the brain. In addition, Niacin can also be used to treat diabetes and arthritis (in conjunction with other Vitamins and Minerals).
To expand on the issue of depression, many studies link depression to Niacin deficiency.
“In the brain, low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin are associated with depression. One of the building blocks of serotonin is the amino acid tryptophan, and one of the building blocks of tryptophan is niacin. Tryptophan also helps the body supply itself with niacin. If tryptophan is divided between serotonin production and niacin production, serotonin production is likely to be inadequate. Supplemental niacin and tryptophan can improve symptoms of depression.” Read more at Livestrong.com
Unfortunately, unlike FAT, the body does not store Niacin. It leaves the body in large quantities daily, so it is imperative to eat foods that contain this or take a natural supplement.
“Men need about 16 mg per day and women need 14 mg per day unless they are pregnant or nursing (pregnant and breastfeeding women have higher niacin requirements)” – Fitday.com
Niacin has a lot to do with metabolism and energy levels. According to the Live Strong website, “it helps convert the macro-nutrients into their building blocks, which are smaller carbohydrate molecules, such as glucose, amino acids and fatty acids.” If you’re feeling tired, you could be lacking in Vitamin B3, NOT caffeine 🙂
Where is this super Vitamin found? Red meat, liver, kidneys, chicken, turkey and fish. (Fish is my favorite which is why it’s in bold!) There are always restrictions in that a lot of red meat is not healthy for the heart and fish contains mercury, so it is best to be conservative with how much you eat them. As far as veggies, most green leafy vegetables have niacin as well as asparagus, beans, carrots and tomato. Eat veggies as raw as possible. When you cook them, you’re also cooking away the nutrients.
SO – eat your greens, don’t eat TOO much meat, and cook your veggies as raw as possible. You’ll feel great, I guarantee it 😉