Brain Health Vitamins
Vitamins are important for the body’s nourishment and normal growth and are required by the body in small but essential quantities from dietary sources.
There is no other organ in the body that requires as high a concentration of vitamins and minerals as the brain. Why? It’s because of all the work it does! It has many, many tasks to perform 24/7. It never takes a break.
Therefore, if you want to keep your brain functioning at an optimal level, make sure you get enough of the following vitamins. There’s nothing more powerful than a brain running on all cylinders!
The human brain is composed of around 86 billion neurons that help transmit information via neurotransmitters. Vitamin C plays a crucial role in the production of these neurotransmitters which have a significant impact on the way you sleep, focus and remember things. Besides assisting in the production of neurotransmitters, vitamin C helps protect the brain from free radical damage.
Vitamin C functions as a potent detoxifier. It can enter the blood-brain barrier and remove toxic metals from the brain. Experts suspect that these metals in the brain are part of what is causing problems such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin C also improves blood flow to the brain, keeping it well-nourished with increased levels of oxygen and nutrients. Guava, black currant, red pepper, kiwi and orange are few of the many best sources of vitamin C that you can eat daily.
Vitamin D is famous for its ability to promote better bone health. However, few people realize its crucial role in brain health. Vitamin D helps with managing moods, blood circulation and memory function.
A vitamin D deficiency is linked to many problems in regard to mood, immunity, attention and sociability.
Vitamin D helps with basic cognitive functions being performed. One study involving mature adults showed that having higher levels of vitamin D led to improved cognitive function.
So, if you want to give your brain a boost, make sure you get plenty of vitamin D, by getting out in the sunshine and/or through your dietary sources. Foods containing vitamin D include eggs, sardines, salmon and tuna.
The brain needs a sufficient supply of vitamin E. This fat-soluble vitamin is an antioxidant that has protective effects on the brain. It is known to protect cell membranes from the adverse effects of oxidative stress.
Unfortunately, the brain is highly susceptible to free radical damage and the risk increases as a person ages. The effects of free radical damage have been found to be the main contributor of neurodegenerative diseases.
A deficiency of vitamin E may result in problems with balance and coordination. It can also lead to abnormal eye movements.
Vitamin E also helps in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and has also been found helpful in slowing down the progression of the disease.
Sunflower seeds, wheat germ, hazelnuts and almonds are some of the best sources of this essential brain healthy vitamin.
Vitamin B1 or Thiamine
Vitamin B1 has a critical role in the maintenance of several brain functions. The brain needs energy. It is a huge energy-consuming organ of the body. The brain actually requires one-fifth of the body’s overall energy supply for it to be able to function at full force. This is where vitamin B steps in.
Vitamin B serves as the cofactor – a non-protein chemical compound which is needed for enzyme activity – to millions of energetic reactions taking place in the brain. For example, if you need to burn glucose for energy, you need thiamine to make it happen, and glucose is one of the most important energy sources for each brain cell.
Vision impairment, brain fog and dizziness are some of the symptoms of a vitamin B1 deficiency. Seaweed, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds and lentils are good sources of thiamine.
Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid
One study shows that high levels of folic acid in the body helps slow down cognitive decline among the aging population. Folic acid is essential for DNA and neurotransmitter health. It also aids in cellular detoxification as well as healthy functioning of the nervous system. It plays an important role in amino acid synthesis for proper nerve tissue development.
Although it is primarily recommended as being an important vitamin for pregnant women, folic acid is crucial in all ages and genders. A deficiency of this vitamin contributes to the onset of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
In a separate three-year study which had more than 800 participants aged 50 and above, it showed that those participants who took folic acid supplements had better scores in their memory tests. These results were comparable to people more than five years younger than the study participants.
Excellent sources of folic acid include dark green leafy vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, okra and avocado.
Make sure you add plenty of healthy foods mentioned above to provide your brain with the necessary vitamins it needs for healthy brain function.
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