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Vitamin B1, also called thiamine or thiamin, is one of 8 B vitamins. All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy. These B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, also help the body metabolize fats and protein. B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver. They also help the nervous system function properly, and are needed for good brain function.
All B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning that the body does not store them.
Like other B complex vitamins, thiamine is sometimes called an "anti-stress" vitamin because it may strengthen the immune system and improve the body's ability to withstand stressful conditions. It is named B1 because it was the first B vitamin discovered.
Thiamine is found in both plants and animals and plays a crucial role in certain metabolic reactions. Your body needs it to form adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which every cell of the body uses for energy.
It’s rare to be deficient in thiamine, although alcoholics, people with Crohn’s disease, anorexia, and those undergoing kidney dialysis may be deficient. Symptoms of thiamine deficiency are fatigue, irritability, depression and abdominal discomfort. People with thiamine deficiency also have trouble digesting carbohydrates. That allows a substance called pyruvic acid to build up in their bloodstream, causing a loss of mental alertness, difficulty breathing, and heart damage, a disease known as beriberi.

 As a rule of thumb, legumes and vegetables are the richest whole food sources of vitamin B1. Nuts and seeds can also be concentrated in vitamin B1. Below are some further details about vitamin B1 and the World's Healthiest Foods.
Many of the World's Healthiest vegetables rank as good sources of vitamin B1. These vegetables include broccoli, onions, green beans, summer squash, carrots, kale, and tomatoes. More nutrient-rich and ranking as very good sources of vitamin B1 are green peas, beet greens, Brussels sprouts, spinach, cabbage, eggplant, romaine lettuce, and crimini mushrooms. And topping our WHFoods list as an excellent source of B1 is asparagus.Very good sources of vitamin B1 in the seeds group include sunflower seeds and flax seeds. Good sources in the legume group include navy, black, pinto, lima, and kidney beans, as well as lentils and dried peas.
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