Vitamins and minerals are essential to the body for healthy growth and maintenance. Furthermore, the brain is an amazing complex organ that helps us to stay mentally alert while improving memory and stress management. Here are some of the best vitamins and minerals to boost brain power and general health…
There is some evidence to suggest that vitamin E can benefit the mind and memory in older people. Studies have shown that high amounts of vitamin E can help people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Participants took doses of 2,000 international units (IU) a day. However, this amount is unsafe; taking more than 1,000 IU a day is especially risky for people with cardiovascular disease, especially for those on blood thinners. It also increases the risk of prostate cancer.
Regardless of your age or condition, you should be able to get enough vitamin E from your food. Ask your doctor if you’re interested in additional amounts. Vitamin E deficiency is rare, although it may occur in people on low-fat diets.
The vitamin is found in:
- dark-colored fruits, such as blueberries, avocados, and blackberries
- vegetables, such as spinach and bell peppers
Magnesium is called by many “the mineral par excellence” it is used in over 300 processes in the body and over 50 in just the brain alone. It improves neural plasticity, meaning the nerves are able to adapt and avoid damage easier.
While good for the bones, vitamin D is one of the catalysts in the brain that turns on and off the neurotransmitter synthesis and nerve growth systems. When your vitamin D levels are low, your ability to keep and form new neuro connections is inhibited. Some research that is looking to be promising is the use of high levels of vitamin D supplementation for Alzheimer’s and dementia prevention and reversal. Vitamin D is one the nutrients you don’t need a supplement for. In healthy people, 15-30 minutes of sunlight exposure over 25% or more of the body is enough to produce all the vitamin D for a day. Foods like mushrooms are also rich in vitamin D.
Called ascorbate in the body, this vitamin is a powerful anti-oxidant. The highest concentrations of ascorbate in the body are found in the brain and neuroendocrine tissues, where most of the body’s energy is most used. Ascorbate is a regulator for over a dozen different neurochemicals and can reduce the risk of stroke. This vitamin can be found in citrus fruits and green vegetables.
Vitamin A is a potent signaling molecule in the brains of growing and adult animals, regulates numerous gene products, and modulates neurogenesis, neuronal survival and synaptic plasticity.
One of the deficiency signs for B6 is depression and memory loss. Having enough of this vitamin is key to keeping your memory sharp. It’s also a key nutrient for producing hemoglobin. Without sufficient B6, you lack proper blood production. This can mean low energy, anemia, low body oxygen levels and shortness of breath.
This one has a big impact on neuro health. B12 is responsible and one of the primary nutrients for the production of the myelin sheath that covers the nerves. When a deficiency arises, this sheath becomes exposed, which leads to neuropathy and pain. It’s the reason why so many vegetarians and vegans get sick. Excess B12 doesn’t help brain function, as studies are showing. We take what we need and expel the rest.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is responsible for proper transmission of neuro impulses. Lacking riboflavin can lead to migraines, Parkinson and Alzheimer’s diseases, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) is important to the maintenance of healthy brain cells. It’s a potent antioxidant and plays a role in the signaling between nerve cells which in turn can help with mental agility. Niacin may even help improve the brain’s memory function
Folic acid helps reduce homocysteine in the brain. But reducing these levels, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease progression can be halted. Will it help boost your brain function? Possibly. It can help protect the brain from the oxidative stresses of heavy studying and work stresses.
This is a supplement you don’t want to overdo. Too much iron can accelerate dementia and brain deterioration. However, too little causes energy problems. Iron is a primary component in our blood, and without it we become anemic and fatigued.
Otherwise known as Thiamin, Vitamin B1 plays an important part in good brain health. It is one of the numerous B vitamins found in abundance in brain and nerve tissue, along with playing a role in the conduction of nerve impulses. Severe lack of this vitamin has also been found to lead to chronic memory disorder known as Korsakoff Syndrome, that is most often seen in alcoholics and people suffering from diseases like AIDS.
This is found in high amounts in Zinc containing neurons, found exclusively in the forebrain. While scientists don’t know precisely how zinc plays a role in brain health, they believe that the deficiency is associated with different psychological and neurological impairments. Alterations in zinc homeostasis have been found in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease sufferers. Foods that are high in Zinc include nuts, beans and cooked leafy green vegetables.
Proper copper levels are essential to the health of the brain. The brain consumes 20-percent of the oxygen taken in through respiration. This high demand for oxygen and oxidative metabolism has resulted in the brain harboring the body’s highest levels of copper. Copper and its transporter, a protein called Atp7a, are vital to human thinking.
The brains cognitive abilities change with time an age can bring quite a challenge remembering things. Chromium helps modulate brain function which then leads to increased brain activity even as the brain ages. Chromium promotes hypothalamic functions, which prevent negative effects of aging on the brain and its functions.
Oxidation byproducts like free radicals are present throughout the body. Their activity poses serious risks to the body including the cognitive functioning. Powerful antioxidants in manganese take care of the damage caused by free radicals. Moreover, the mineral also stimulates faster transmission of electrical impulses to speed up the cognitive function.
Experts have associated disturbed psychological health with selenium deficiency. In an experiment, people suffering with severe depression were given selenium supplements. Improvements in their mood and behavior gradually begun to change, proving that selenium deficiency can lead to mental disorders.
Potassium helps send more oxygen to your brain, which let it do its job better. When you don’t get enough you‘re limiting the amount of oxygen that makes it to your brain and you’ll experience the side effects, which may be subtle at first but will worsen until the problem is corrected.
Biotin, along with many other B vitamins, has been shown to help prevent symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Many of the studies on biotin’s benefits for Alzheimer’s disease still show preliminary results due to many being partial or unofficial studies, but so far the evidence is looking conclusive to show a real potential in preventing and in some cases treating the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia among other neuro-degenerative diseases.
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