B1: A Poem

While I was in school studying to become a nutritionist I was required to explain the benefits and uses of a vitamin in a creative way. I decided to write a poem! 

B1 is a vitamin also known as Thiamin,

The first one in the family

Of vitamins that start with “B”,


If you want to harm B1, put it in water and turn the heat on,

For boiling, cooking, or any moist heat,

Will cause B1 to fade in defeat


This water-soluble vitamin, however, fares much better in dry weather,

Baking or heating, as long as it’s dry,

B1 can usually survive


But sugar and coffee and tannin from tea,

Will also threaten its integrity,

Smoking and drinking are also unwise,

As nicotine and alcohol cause B1’s demise


But don’t be alarmed if you load up on B1,

For through its excess, no harm can be done,

B1, in any amount, you see,

Has no proven toxicity.


In fact, a disease known as MSUD,

Can even be treated by taking this “B”

Maple Sugar Urine Disease,

B1 can treat with the greatest of ease,


Even in treatment of alcoholics,

B1 has been known to assist,

Along with Childhood Beriberi,

Which can stunt kids growth and swell legs and feet.


A lack of B1 in the body, in fact,

Can mess with the gastrointestinal tract,

As well as the nervous system and heart,

Which all need B1, their jobs to impart


B1 is important for the brain too,

Without it, your gray matter is stew,

Affecting your balance and attitude,

Those starved of B1 can become very rude


As with so many nutritional problems these days,

B1 deficiency results from people’s ways,

For a diet of takeout and sugar filled foods,

Leads to skin problems, neurosis and some quite sickly dudes.


So how do you know if you’re lacking B1?

Listen to your body for signs you need some!

Feeling tired, cranky, depressed and can’t sleep?

Get some B1 and stop being so weak!


If you’re clumsy and your tummy or chest really hurts,

B1 could be what you need to try first.

Leave it too long and your symptoms could worsen,

Causing your heart to skip and your vision to blur some.


Don’t get enough B1, and when you grow old,

You may not remember a thing that you’re told.

Senility and neurosis, schizophrenia too,

Can be traced to a lack of B1 within you.


What else can I tell you about Vitamin B1?

According to my book, there’s another function:

B1 acts as a coenzyme thiamin pyrophosphate.


Because I can’t rhyme that, we’ll say “TPP”,

And I’ll tell you it helps produce energy,

Break-down of Glucose, to be precise,

Helping our bodies metabolise.


Ethanol becomes water and carbon dioxide,

Fatty acids and sterol are produced on the side,

By converting carbs to fat which we store,

B1 gives us energy which we can use for…


Jumping or running or walking around,

For bouncing or dancing - energy will abound!

Whatever you use your energy for to have fun,

I won’t judge, just stay still till I’m done!


For B1 isn’t quite finished yet,

There’s more to this vitamin, to which I’ll now get.

Did you know B1 helps get messages from

The nerves to the muscles, so you can have all that fun?


B1 aids proper muscle tone too,

So if you wanna get ripped, B1 is for you!

It protects our nerves with a myelin sheath,

Taking good care of the nerves underneath.


Okay, so we know B1 is the bomb,

But where on earth do we get it from?

Rice husks and the germ and bran of wheat,

Are good sources, along with brewer’s yeast.


It’s in blackstrap molasses, and other grains too,

Just be sure that your grains and flours are true!

For refining and processing can serve to deplete

The amount of B1 you will actually eat.


Look to oats and millet, veg and nuts too,

For moderate sources of B1 for you.

Avocado, legumes and sunflower seeds

Provide B1 to a certain degree.


My time to talk about B1 is now done,

So please, go out and use your B1 to have fun!

It protects your nerves, makes your muscles strong too,

So wherever you go, keep your B1 in you!


Jessica Mitton


Jessica Mitton is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Culinary Nutrition Expert. She believes in a holistic approach, taking into consideration the body, mind and spirit. She is fascinated by the healing potential of food and how it can contribute to an individual’s overall health. A passionate creative force in the kitchen, Jessica is continually working to develop her own highly nutritious and equally delicious recipes, made from whole, organic and locally sourced ingredients. Most of all, she enjoys the opportunity to share her passion and knowledge with others, helping them to become their healthiest possible self!