When you start cutting carbs out of your diet, you may inadvertently be cutting certain vitamins out too. It’s common for people who go gluten-free to all of a sudden become deficient in iron, calcium, copper, zinc, vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamins D, vitamin E, and/or vitamin K.
Vitamin B6 is one of those important vitamins. Grains and starches are some of the best sources of this vitamin, so when you cut things like wheat and rice you cut a massive source of this important nutrient out of your diet. That doesn’t mean vitamin B6 comes solely from these high-carb foods. There are some great low-carb good whole foods that will help you maintain healthy levels of vitamin B6.
Health Canada recommends between 1-2mg a day with an upper limit of 100mg a day for adults. It’s hard to get too much vitamin B6 from food, but you can easily get too much through supplements. Exceeding the daily upper limit can lead to toxicity. Vitamin B6 toxicity can cause life-long nerve damage. According to Dr. Amy Burkhart, some of the symptoms include, “Painful numbness and tingling of the hands and feet, ataxia (loss of coordination in body movement), painful skin lesions, nausea, heartburn, and photosensitivity.”
So what is vitamin B6? It’s a co-factor for many of the body’s metabolic functions. It is needed for glucose, amino acid, and lipid metabolism. We need vitamin B6. Our metabolism keeps us alive. It takes the resources in our body and breaks them into usable resources and waste. A healthy metabolism is also vital in order to maintain energy levels, burn fat and recovery.
Vitamin B6 Foods
Pistachios: This green nut is a great source of vitamin B6. It is also a good source of thiamin, copper, and manganese.
Pistachios offer many health benefits. This nut has shown to promote healthy lipid levels and also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These effects have shown to promote heart health and improving cholesterol levels. They have a high satiety effect, so eaten in moderation this nut can fight hunger and in turn help with weight loss.
Pistachios can be very healthy, but they can also contain aflatoxin. They can easily become moldy if they are not harvested and stored correctly. While they’re not as high in carbohydrates are a grain, they do have 8g of sugar per 100g. They are high in dietary fibre, good fats, and protein, which help balance the sugars out. You’re not going to want to start eating a cup of these nuts a day, but they are a decent snack that’ll help bring vitamin B6 back into your diet.
Garlic is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese. Garlic has been used for millennia as a natural health booster. It is powerful at removing toxins from the body and can improve the body’s resistance to inflammation. It also doesn’t take mass amounts of garlic to have a huge impact. Garlic is potent and a few cloves can prove beneficial.
Garlic has many positive effects including anti-fatigue properties, improves sex drive and male fertility, and improves bone density in post-menopausal women. These are just a few of the many healing effects of garlic.
Salmon and other fatty fish like tuna and mackerel are all good sources of vitamin B6. Salmon is also a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, protein, niacin, vitamin B12, and selenium. Fatty fish, especially wild fatty fish, have so many health benefits.
One of the greatest benefits of adding fatty fish to your diet is for the high levels of omega-3. Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that most people are not getting enough of. Ogema-3 is needed for proper neurological development. People getting proper levels of omega-3 have a substantially slower cognitive decline, helping prevent dementia. It also helps produce more grey matter in the brain. Grey matter is responsible for important brain functions including memory. Furthermore, it reduces your risk of depression. Above all of this, it helps reduce inflammation!
Organ meat, particularly turkey liver, contains good levels of vitamin B6. Organ meat is high in micronutrients. Turkey liver is an especially good source of phosphorus, vitamin A, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, iron, and selenium.
Liver can be a great addition to your diet. Its high levels of nutrients make it an overall health booster. Liver can help reduced oxidative stress, improve red blood cell formation, improve the nerve system, reduce the risk of depression and anxiety, and can have many anti-aging effects to boot.
If you’re not a fan of fish or organ meat then emu is probably your best animal source of vitamin B6. Meat, in general, contains some vitamin B6, but emu contains more than most, and is an easy way to get your daily-recommended value. Emu is a good source of thiamin, phosphorus, zinc, protein, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, iron, and selenium.
Unfortunately, emu meat isn’t stocked in most grocery stores, and emu farms are few and far between. However, you can find it around if you look.
There are advantages to eating (whole) foods outside of your normal diet. By exploring a wider selection of meats, vegetables, and fruit, you’re introducing yourself to a greater variety of micronutrients and antioxidants. Plus it can be fun to continue finding and trying new foods.
At the same time, it is always important to make note of how your body reacts to new and different foods. Introducing foods may also introduce unknown allergies and food sensitivities, so be mindful.
Vitamin B6 foods that are good for a low-carb diet are relatively easy to find. They may not have as much of this healthy vitamin as grains, but incorporating a variety of these foods into your diet will help keep you from becoming vitamin B6 deficient. Supplements can be great at times, but vitamin B6 isn’t a supplement most people will need to take, and can even be harmful. Whenever you can, get your nutrients from good whole food.