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Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2 is a water soluble vitamin. Since it is a water-soluble vitamin, it cannot be stored in the body and should be replenished every day. It is essential for our body functions and helps in the processing of amino acids and fats. It is required for breaking down carbohydrates. It also doubles up as an antioxidant, which prevents tumors and slows down aging. It plays a major role in energy production and represents an essential nutrient in your diet. Riboflavin has key role to play in maintaining overall human health. Some of its major health benefits are given below.
- Helps in Energy Production
Riboflavin plays a major role in the production of energy by assisting in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
- Helps in Red Blood Cells (RBC) production
Vitamin B2 is essential for the formation of fresh red blood cells and antibodies in humans, which increases circulation and oxygenation to various organ systems of the body.
- Regulates Growth and Reproduction
Riboflavin is very important for ensuring proper growth and development of the reproductive organs, and the growth of body tissues such as the skin, connective tissue, eyes, mucous membranes, nervous system and the immune system. In addition, it also ensures healthy skin, nails and hair growth.
Vitamin B2 helps to regulate the thyroid activity.
- Prevents Disease Conditions
Vitamin B2 can help to prevent many common conditions like migraine headaches, cataracts, acne, dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and eczema.
- Prevents Acne
Riboflavin helps to improve the mucus secretion of the skin and might clean up the skin pustules that are so common with acne.
- Protects the Nervous System
Vitamin B2 can help in treating various nervous system conditions such as numbness, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, anxiety and epilepsy, among others. It is thought that riboflavin, when used along with vitamin B6, is effective for treating the painful symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Essential for Normal Growth
Riboflavin is associated with the formulation of proteins, making it essential for normal growth of the body.
- Ensures Healthy Eyes
Vitamin B2 plays a major role in ensuring healthy corneas and perfect vision.
- Boosts Mineral Absorption
It helps in the absorption of minerals such as iron, folic acid and other Vitamins such as B1, B3 and B6.Helps Repair Tissues: Riboflavin plays an important role in the repair of tissues, the healing of wounds and other injuries that can take a long time to fully recover.
- Protects the Digestive Tract
It plays a major role in maintaining and protecting the mucous membranes in the digestive system.
- Healthy Fetal Development
Vitamin B2 is essential for the healthy progression of pregnancy, it is regarded as an essential ingredient of a future mother’s diet, along with Vitamin A.
- Increases Immunity
Riboflavin also helps to enhance natural immunity by strengthening the antibody reserves and by reinforcing the defense system against infections.
- Helps to Slow HIV/AIDS
Studies have shown that riboflavin can slow down the progression of the AIDS virus.
Vitamin B2 can be found in various food sources, though usually in negligible quantities. The most important sources of riboflavin are dairy products, brewer’s yeast, dry-roasted soybeans, edamame, and liver. Some of its other sources include oysters, lean meats, mushrooms, broccoli, avocados and salmon. Oily fish, including mackerel, eel and herring are also rich sources of riboflavin. The list also includes eggs, shellfish, wild rice, dried peas, millet, sunflower seeds and beans to add B2 in your diet. Dark leafy green vegetables, such as asparagus and spinach, whole grain products, and mushrooms are also rich in riboflavin. Cabbage, carrots, apples, figs and berries have a comparatively low level of Vitamin B2. Fortunately, vitamin B2 is not lost during cooking, unlike many other vitamins. However, it is destroyed by strong light and baking soda. Remember to have a well balanced diet to ensure the supply of riboflavin, which needs to be replenished daily.