The human brain is a complex organ which requires the right kind of nutrients to ensure proper functioning. Regular intake of brain-supporting nutrients has shown signs of improvements in various aspects involving cognitive functions.
On the other hand, nutritional deficiencies can lead to cognitive decline and developmental disorders. Therefore, the knowledge of what vitamins are good for your brain is essential to ensure optimum brain performance.
What Vitamins Are Good for Your Brain?
Improving the brain’s functions and productivity is achieved by getting the right kind of nutrition. Here are some of the essential vitamins for a healthier brain:
1. Vitamin B
Vitamins belonging to the B group offer the best benefits to brain health. Some even say that the “B” stands for the brain due to its numerous correlations with this particular organ. Essentially, the B vitamins are involved in the conversion of nutrients into neurotransmitters which enhances energy production, improves focus, and increases alertness towards better cognitive capabilities.
Here are the different types of B vitamins and their functions:
- Vitamin B1 or thiamin plays a major role in the conduction of nerve impulses. The lack of this vitamin can lead to a chronic memory disorder known as Korsakoff syndrome which is commonly experienced by alcoholics or those with AIDS.
- Vitamin B3 or niacin helps boost concentration, focus, alertness, and productivity to its optimum levels. People who are deficient with this B vitamin may suffer a decrease in energy, slower learning capacity, and becomes distracted easily.
- Vitamin B9 or folic acid has an important role in the formation of nerve tissues and the synthesis of amino acids in the body. A deficiency of this particular B vitamin is associated with developmental problems, especially in children.
- Vitamin B12 or cobalamin helps improve memory and slows down the cognitive decline in people suffering from early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Its deficiency is common to those who have stomach issues, strict vegetarians, and diabetes patients who are taking metformin.
Fruits and vegetables such as avocado, asparagus, green beans, lentils, potatoes, and spinach are good sources of Vitamin B. Fish, meat, and poultry products such as crabs, cheese, milk, and eggs also offer a great concentration of this essential vitamin.
2. Vitamin C
The Vitamin C or ascorbic acid concentration in the brain is said to be at its highest in the pituitary gland. This is a powerful antioxidant which protects the brain against oxidative stress caused by alcohol and medications.
Additionally, Vitamin C helps you focus better due to the production of norepinephrine and dopamine which are responsible for controlling attention and response actions.
Despite its importance, Vitamin C is not stored in the body, so it is important to get adequate amounts daily by consuming food items such as green vegetables and citrus fruits. Some of the goods sources of Vitamin C include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, lemons, oranges, and strawberries.
3. Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 promotes overall vitality, including cognitive function, optimal mood, cardiovascular function, bone and muscle strength, and immune response. It also enhances the concentration levels and boosts focus with its fast-firing brain functions.
Low vitamin D3 level in the body is often related to low energy, depression, and even impaired brain functioning; therefore, increasing the risk of mental health issues.
This essential vitamin should be present in the body to be able to consistently perform at its optimum levels. A 20 to 30 minutes exposure to direct sunlight can help together with consumption of mushrooms and seafood such as herring, oysters, salmon, sardines, shrimp, and tuna.
4. Vitamin E
Vitamin E exhibits the same mechanism with Vitamin C when it comes to brain health due to its powerful antioxidant. The intake of this vitamin can also help older people who are suffering from mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease; however, it can be risky especially for those with cardiovascular diseases due to its blood-thinning effect.
Overall, the low levels of Vitamin E in the body can contribute to poor brain functioning. Thus, it is still essential to have enough amounts of this essential vitamin by eating nuts, seeds, dark-colored fruits such as avocados and blueberries, and vegetables such as bell peppers and spinach.
5. Vitamin K
Typically, Vitamin K is associated with strong bones, but this vitamin is also essential with regards to brain functions due to its effects in the sphingolipids or the fatty acid compound present in the cell membrane of the brain. The increased intake of Vitamin K has shown effects on the behavior and cognitive functions among older patients.
Among the good sources of Vitamin K are fish products, eggs, cereals, and green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, kale, and parsley.
Supplementation as an Alternative
Getting the brain-supporting nutrients from various food sources is valuable to ensure a boost in the brain functions. However, these dietary vitamins are not always achieved with a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle. Hence, the use of supplements is very helpful to fill the gaps.
Most supplements are available in highly concentrated systems that are carefully crafted using the finest and clinically proven ingredients. These come in various forms to be able to satisfy the needs of every user. It is essential to always seek medical help to ensure safety before taking a dose.
The brain is a complex organ whose functioning depends greatly on the amount of micronutrients present. Knowing what vitamins are good for your brain helps you plan the perfect diet to ensure achieving these essential nutrients.
Nevertheless, despite all the efforts of eating nutritious foods, the deficiencies in some nutrients are still experienced. One cannot afford to have a deficiency in any of these essential vitamins as it can affect the normal brain functions leading to developmental problems and psychiatric illnesses both in children and adults. Thus, the need for proper and guided supplementation arises to help fill the gaps.
Also, these foundational vitamins and supplementation are best supported with proper exercise to help your body and brain stay fit. Getting enough sleep is also critical to ensure proper brain health and development.
Overall, one can benefit from a proactive health plan and lifestyle changes to prevent vitamin deficiency that can hinder the protection and full-functioning of the super brain.