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Brain Health and Vitamins and Supplements

Good brain health and accurate functioning is linked to proper nutrition and exercise. The link between brain health and vitamins and supplements is similarly important.

While I believe that the best source of an adequate intake of necessary vitamins, minerals and supplements should come from healthy food sources, there are times when situations require additional and targeted consumption of specific supplements.

All of us want to have a healthy and properly functioning brain and all of us desire to have immediate and effective cognitive abilities along with a solid, strong memory however there are some life situations that decrease some of these functions.

brain healthAging is probably the most typical and prevalent of all issues behind decreasing cognition while lifestyle and poor food intake are close seconds.  A sedentary lifestyle without a balanced system of exercise will certainly limit our mental capabilities.  Improper nutrition lines up right there with exercise as situations that can be easily changed by each of us, but for some reason too many of us just don’t take it seriously.

The brain must have certain elements constantly feeding into it to operate with accuracy, but when other external situations-illness, certain learning challenges, lifestyle, etc. – decrease our ability to intake a proper supply of vitamins through foods, and these situations require an extra intake of these properties, and we have to be proactive and supplement certain vitamins and minerals.

I’ve spent several years studying subjects like physical exercise, mental exercises, nutrition and vitamin and mineral supplements and am a firm believer in an active and personalized program of each of these.

I feel that all of us, for the most part, can benefit from some supplementation.  What I’ve found and have included in this article are those that seem to be the most commonly referenced supplements throughout the medical .

Brain health and vitamins and supplements simply go together.

The most commonly recommended vitamins and supplements for effective brain health ~

Two supplements keep coming to the top of most informational sources I’ve found.

**Vitamin E – sunflower seeds

A common property of Vitamin E called alpha tocopherol has been found to be highly important, and another form called gamma tocopherol has been proven to be a protective antioxidant for the brain.

Vitamin E, based on many studies, plays a significant role in preventing the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by reducing certain stressors in the brain known as oxidative stressing. Many foods such as almonds, sunflower seeds and vegetable oils contain vitamin E,  however selecting a supplement with mixed tocopherols can offer a full spectrum of healthy fat-soluble nutrients.

Vitamin E and a mineral known as Selenium work in tandem to address free radicals in the brain. Vitamin E increases oxygen in the brain and strengthens the brain’s capillaries and red blood cells. It also maintains the proper balance of blood clotting while dissolving blood clots to prevent strokes. And Selenium removes heavy metals, like mercury, arsenic, lead and others which harm the brain by displacing or minimizing the assimilation of healthy minerals like zinc, copper and iron. Fatigue and stress, every day factors that affect us all, exhaust Vitamin E.

**B Vitamins –

The B vitamin complex in total supports the health of certain neurotransmitters like dopamine, epinephrine and serotonin. B6 plays a critical role in the formation of dopamine, epinephrine and serotonin.

The B vitamins, such as B1, B12, and folic acid, are extremely important for a properly functioning brain and nervous system. The body requires Vitamin B1 for myelin production. Myelin, which is a protective coating around nerve fibers, enables communication data to pass from one nerve cell to the next fluidly. The development of Alzheimer’s disease is connected to low levels of vitamin B12 and folate.

More stress whether physical, mental or emotional requires higher usage of the B complex vitamins and have to be replaced daily. Diets that are rich in whole grains, leafy green vegetables, beans and some fatty foods continually supple the required regimen of B vitamins.

B12 is primarily found in meats (beef, pork, fish, and poultry), and commensurately some vegetarian diets may be lacking in these critical minerals. This deficiency could lead to nerve damage, memory loss, low moods, and decreased mental acuity.

vitamins

 Vitamin C

Vitamin C is soluble in water which means that the body does not store it (like B Vitamins) and must be supplemented. Vitamin C is essential for brain health as it helps to protect your brain from free radicals and toxins.  Free radicals harm the brain, turning it less pliable, contributing to physical brain deterioration. Vitamin C can be found in foods such as cabbage, blueberries, red peppers, cooked leafy greens, and most fruits.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D assists the brain in reducing the potential for Alzheimer’s, increases arterial strength assisting the free flow of blood, helps memory and cognitive processes and fights against free radicals.

Along with the B Vitamin complex, it makes a very formidable foe against the aging process.

Magnesium

Magnesium protects portions of the brain from neurotoxins that are dangerous and damaging.  The dosage for protecting the brain in general is 400 milligrams one to three times a day.  Nuts, seeds, dark leafy greens, and whole grains have magnesium.  Highly heated (the canning process) and processed foods also lose a lot of magnesium making very lacking in the mineral.

Summing Up…

All of the vitamins mentioned work together to increase the viability of your brain.  Many sources will have other vitamin supplements in their lists, however those mentioned in this article are those which are mostly included in every list making these the vitamins that everyone agrees are necessary.

Author:  Tony Hensley

#brainhealth #vitamins #supplements

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