By now, it is well known that a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables supports weight management, stabilizes blood sugar and cholesterol levels, aids energy, and lowers the risk of debilitating and life-threatening ailments like heart disease. Now, studies are indicating that there is a direct link between proper vitamin and mineral intake and healthy brain function. Sure enough, available data conclusively states that a diet rich in the right vitamins and minerals can preserve memory, boost concentration, stave off depression, and combat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. With this in mind, here are some of the best vitamins and minerals to support brain health.
Researchers have discovered that Omega 3s are vitally influential molecules regarding our brains’ abilities to perform. They:
- Preserve cell membrane health
- Facilitate synaptic communication
- Assist in the synthesis and function of neurotransmitters
- Support brain blood flow
- Aid in the growth of brain tissue
- Support cognition
As a species, humans lack the enzyme needed to synthesize Omega 3s, meaning the only way to optimize brain health via these fatty acids is through dietary and supplemental measures.
It’s widely accepted that B Vitamins such as folate (B9) and Cobalamin (B12) are central to the brain’s ability to produce important neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These vitamins also help maintain a healthy central nervous system, aid in energy production within cells, and can fortify the brain against dementia and memory loss.
B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning that the body has trouble storing them. In effect, this means that diets and supplemental regimens rich in B Vitamins are essential for strong brain function.
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for supporting proper cognitive function. Studies from renowned institutions like MIT have shown that magnesium in supplement form boosts both neuronal plasticity and synaptic density, two key players in our abilities to learn and recall. As an added bonus, it is a strong regulator of the nervous system and can assist in the generation of relaxed mental and physical states.
As far as minerals go, calcium is one of the most important for healthy brain function. It is a nerve cell messenger that regulates our nervous system and ensures the efficacy of neurotransmission across our synapses. Calcium also plays a key role in long-term mental processes, such as memory.
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