What you eat and take into your body plays a vital role in your brain health. Some foods and nutrients are obviously better than others so it is important to make sure you are getting enough to avoid a deficiency. However, which nutrients are these, and where can you find them. Continue reading to learn more about some nutrients that boost brain health.
Nutrients That Boost Brain Health
Vitamin B12 has many health benefits. It helps keep blood and nerve cells healthy and also is used to make DNA. Out of all of the B vitamins, vitamin B12 is also one of the best vitamins for brain health. In fact, research has shown that “Low levels of vitamin B12 have been associated with neurocognitive disorders.” An example of such is dementia. This makes it especially important to get the recommended daily amount of 2.4 mcg (micrograms) each day through your diet or through supplementation. You can get adequate amounts of vitamin B12 from a plethora of foods such as:
- Beef Liver
Even though vitamin B12 is found in many foods, it is not found in any plant foods unless they are fortified. This can make it harder for vegetarians and vegans to get enough, which is where a B12 supplement may come in handy.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is used as an antioxidant in the body. Studies have also shown that it may be beneficial for Alzheimer’s patients. In a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, participants took 2,000 IU (international units) of vitamin E each day. The study found that high doses of the vitamin can help with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s by reducing the speed of functional decline. However, it is important to remember that taking any more than 1,000 IU each day of vitamin E is extremely risky for people with cardiovascular disease. You can get vitamin E from many sources including:
- Vegetable oils
- Green veggies
- Fortified cereals and fruit juices
In addition to the previous vitamins, vitamin C can also boost brain health and memory due to its antioxidant properties. However, a review of over 50 studies back in 2017 showed that the best benefit of vitamin C is for those who happen to be deficient in that vitamin.
A paper that was published in 2014 stated that ” Increasing evidence is pointing to vitamin C as an important redox homeostatic factor in the central nervous system, linking an inadequate dietary supply of vitamin C to negative effects on cognitive performance.” What this means is that more and more evidence is pointing to a link between vitamin C deficiency and poor brain health.
This again shows that you should make sure you get enough of it to help avoid things like Alzheimer’s disease or age-related mental decline. To avoid deficiency in vitamin C, you can find it in many different foods such as:
- Citrus fruits
- Bell peppers
- Fortified products
This is another one of the nutrients that boost brain health. Along with brain health, vitamin K is used for proper blood clotting and healthy bones. One study that was published to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), showed that it influences a type of fatty acid compound in brain cell membranes called sphingolipids by synthesizing (making) them. These are commonly believed to protect the cell surface. This can also include the brain cells too. Without vitamin K, you won’t be able to produce these sphingolipids to protect your brain cells. You can get vitamin K from a plethora of foods such as:
- Leafy greens
- Vegetable oils
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are two of the three omega-3 fatty acids. These have been linked to many health benefits including improved brain health. One study showed that by itself, DHA has been linked with improved thinking skills, reaction times, and even memory for people who have not been getting enough. This makes this nutrient important for people to get.
On its own, EPA is not always linked with improved brain function. However, one study showed that it is associated with better mood for people with depression. Many people find that they can get adequate amounts of these omega-3 fatty acids from foods such as:
There are many different nutrients that boost brain health. In order to receive the benefits of these nutrients, you need to make sure that you do not have a deficiency. This can be done through eating a well-balanced diet, but sometimes supplementation may be necessary. Here at Liquid Health, we manufacture supplements that are designed to help improve aspects of brain health. We have our Attention formula along with our Neurologic formula. For more information on either of these, please visit our website here. In addition to that, check out one of our previous articles for some Tips for a Healthier Mind.