We all know how complex the human brain is, don’t we? And we also know that it takes many nutrients to help it function well. Psychiatric disorders happen if there are nutritional deficiencies, along with that, there is age-related cognitive issues and decline and a plethora of other disorders of the mental kind too that happen. This is why, it is so important to have brain-supporting nutrients that will help improve the many aspects of cognitive functioning- memory and learning especially.
According to experts at OnHealth.com, they say: ‘For a long time, people believed that a common component of vitamin E called alpha tocopherol was most important, but another form called gamma tocopherol is definitely a protective antioxidant in brain disorders.’
Here are some of the top vitamins and minerals that are important for a healthy brain. Please read on and be well-informed.
Folic acid or folate
Very important for the brain and its health. When you have enough folate, you are more alert, and your memory is good and you can focus well too. Amino acid homocysteine blood levels are lowered by folate, which otherwise can damage the cells in the brain, say experts. You find folate and other trace minerals in plenty in green leafy veggies, fruits and beans.
Thiamine or B1
B group vitamins are known to be the best in aiding brain health, say experts. Thiamine is one of the many B1 vitamins found in the nerve tissue and the brain cells. B1 helps with the conduction of nerve impulses, say experts from The Journal of International Medical Research. A lack of this vitamin, can bring in Korsakoff syndrome, which is a very chronic memory disorder.
More of vitamin C
It is known to be a very important antioxidant which can fight against free radicals, before they attack the brain. You get to find vitamin C in plenty of foods- oranges, legumes, broccoli, strawberries and potatoes too. Research done at Johns Hopkins University showed that those who consumed plenty of vitamin C, had seventy eight percent less chances of developing Alzheimers.
“Recent clinical research has demonstrated that berry fruits can prevent age-related neurodegenerative diseases and improve motor and cognitive functions. The berry fruits are also capable of modulating signaling pathways involved in inflammation, cell survival, neurotransmission and enhancing neuroplasticity.” Say experts from NCBI.
One should not only focus on the best vitamins and minerals to have a healthy brain. There are other nutrients as well that are very important to have. For example, anthocyanins – they are basically pigments that bring vibrant colours to fruits and veggies. You would find them in any veggie or fruit that are blue, red, purple and black. Anthocyanins are known to be potent antioxidants, and they protect the cells of the brain too, from any toxins that one is exposed to. It is also known that anthocyanins work to support neutral signaling in the brain, and to help with the brain’s natural generating process of new brain cells and neurons as well. They also are known to have anti-inflammatory properties- good for general wellness and the brain at large.
Experts from YourHeights.com say: ‘Anthocyanins may prevent neurodegenerative diseases and help treat these diseases, in part by improving brain signalling and clearing the brain deposits that contribute to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and similar brain disorders.’
Also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D is known to be one of thee best vitamins the brain can have. If you take in plenty of sunshine, your body would get all the vitamin D it needs- so go for those morning walks, which is not only good for the body, but for the brain as well. Vitamin D, helps with cell differentiation and cell growth, say experts. And it also helps regulate gene expression, which means, where the DNA gives the body instructions.
According to PhD.com: Essential minerals that keep your brain healthy are iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium. Rich sources of these minerals include spinach, shellfish, whole grains and nuts.’
Did you know that Magnesium actually helps convert many vitamin B into active form? What it means in other words is that when you take any supplement on its own, it wouldn’t work. You need to have magnesium involved in the process, along with other minerals that will make the brain perform its activities. Research shows that magnesium supplements given to aged rats, showed an improvement In their long-term memory and working. This is because the mineral in the membranes of the cell helped transmit impulses better. The lack of magnesium can lead to brain disorders.
So here were the best vitamins and minerals that one should take and have to improve brain health.
Alicia Saville did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
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