A truly healthy lifestyle includes a wide variety of foods that provide a host of nutrients that are essential to life. I don’t like to value one nutrient above the other, what is important is variety and balance, but I do want to give you some more information on a few specific nutrients that many of us simply don’t get enough of. I also want to explain why they are important and how we can incorporate them into our healthy eating regimen easily. Let’s dive into nutrient #4: Vitamin B5.
B5 is, you might have guessed, part of the B vitamins group. The role of B vitamins in the body is to convert carbohydrates into glucose to produce energy. They also help the body use fat and protein, keep the nervous system functioning properly, and are essential for healthy skin, nails, and hair (you could say the B stands for Beauty!). B5 specifically is responsible for manufacturing red blood cells and the hormones produced in the adrenal glands, like cortisol and the sex hormones. When we don’t get enough B5, also called pantothenic acid, our adrenal glands actually shrink and we are less able to mitigate our stress levels. Our bodies also need this pantothenic acid to synthesize cholesterol, maintain a healthy digestive tract, and assist the body in absorbing other vitamins, like B2.
Our bodies do not store B5, so it is important to include a variety of food sources each day in order to get a good amount of this vitamin. Your best bets are avocados, sweet potatoes, shiitake mushrooms, lentils, green peas, chicken, turkey and broccoli. Here’s a great Whole30 recipe for Chicken Avocado burgers to get your started! Happy eating J
Makes: 4 patties
- 1 pound organic ground chicken
- 1 large ripe avocado – cut into chunks
- 1 chopped clove of garlic
- ⅓ cup Panko crumbs or Almond meal (to keep it Paleo-friendly)
- 1 minced Poblano or Jalapeño pepper (optional but recommended)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl and toss. Choose a firmer avocado and toss gently to keep the chunks intact.
- Shape into patties of whatever size you prefer and grill, either on a grill pan or on your outdoor grill.
- These will keep for several days in the fridge, or you can wrap each patty individually and place in a Ziploc bag for freezing.
- Serve with a side salad, or maybe some sweet potato “fries” and enjoy!