What are the best vitamins and minerals for brain function?
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
Your diet plays a big role in keeping your brain healthy and functioning as you age. Taking in various vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients is critical to keep your brain performing at its best. While eating healthy is a great way to get these nutrients, using the right supplements can create the perfect balance and help the body better absorb the nutrients it needs. So, what are the best minerals and vitamins for brain function? In this article, we share important facts you need to know.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential in every diet for their brain-protecting, anti-inflammatory effects. Chronic inflammation can negatively affect your brain’s ability to function, which this nutrient prevents. On top of that, Omega-3 fatty acids are also used to build and repair cell membranes in the brain. Studies have also linked Omega-3s with lower levels of beta-amyloid, which is a protein associated with Alzheimer’s-related brain damage. It shows that Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for maintaining your brain’s structure and functioning.
When you want to boost your brain function, focus on three essential B vitamins: B6, B12, and B9. These three types of vitamin B are essential for normal brain functions. Having a deficiency in any one of the three can increase your risk of memory loss, concentration problems, and other signs of mental decline. This is because these vitamins are used in producing neurotransmitters, which deliver messages between the brain and body.
While this antioxidant is known for its immune system benefits, vitamin C is also vital in supporting the brain, by managing inflammation. Too much inflammation can cause brain damage, which could increase your risk of degenerative conditions — like Alzheimer’s. In one study that took place over 20 years, people who had a vitamin C-rich diet were able to preserve good brain functions even in old age.
Vitamin E is an important antioxidant for our body and helps protect our cells from oxidative stress, a type of damage caused by free radicals. Our brains are particularly susceptible to damage caused by oxidative stress, so it’s important to take preventative measures early on. Without enough vitamin E, our brain can experience long-term impairment, which is a major contributor to cognitive decline.
Previous research found that L-theanine can bind to glutamate, the brain’s most important excitatory neurotransmitter. L-theanine binds to brain cell receptors and blocks glutamate’s effects. This produces a calming, relaxing effect in which stress and anxiety fade. This is essential because when we experience stress, our brain is unable to think clearly.
Long-term stress can even permanently impair fundamental brain functions. A study showed that stress significantly reduced performances on learning and memory tests. Respondents also experienced increased oxidative stress in the brain and elevated levels of stress-response hormones. When treated with L-theanine before the stress is applied, respondents improved cognitive function, lower levels of stress hormones, and oxidative damage. These results prove that L-theanine can specifically reduce the degenerative effects of stress on our brain cells.
Inflammation is an important bodily response. It helps fight off bacteria and infection and helps repair damage in your body. However, chronic inflammation can be bad for your body — the response attacks your body’s tissues and cells. This leads to chronic inflammation playing a role in Alzheimer’s disease and various degenerative conditions. That’s why minerals and vitamins that fight chronic inflammation are important in preventing these conditions.
Turmeric has beneficial anti-inflammation properties that help fight against tissue damage. Additionally, one of the key effects of Alzheimer’s disease — amyloid plaque — is affected by turmeric. A study showed that turmeric can help clear the plaque and reduce buildups. Turmeric can also boost levels of the brain hormone BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which is used to make new neurons and can protect against brain degeneration.
All types of ginseng contain ginsenosides, which are nutrients that are responsible for this herb’s many health benefits. Ginsenosides have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties — which means it reduces the risk of diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Ginsenosides also trigger the release of acetylcholine, which is associated with learning and memory. Additionally, these brain-boosting effects are supported by ginseng’s anti-fatigue properties. This makes ginseng a great choice if you want to increase your mental performance and energy.
Ginseng even increases BDNF levels, a protein used in the growth of new neurons. BDNF also keeps existing brain cells healthy in several ways. It reduces brain inflammation, increases brain plasticity, and offsets the effects of stress on the brain.
To keep your mind sharp, take the right vitamins for brain function. While diet is important, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Taking brain-boosting supplements from Puritan’s Pride is a great way to keep up with a healthy lifestyle. Taking in our high-quality and vitamin-packed supplements will go a long way in boosting brain function, and reducing your risk of disease. Shop now!