The generative power of the brain is responsible for producing every thought, word, action and emotion humans feel. It’s composed of more than one hundred billion nerve cells called neurons. Like wires and gates in a computer, these neurons have the amazing ability to collect and broadcast electrical signals to every organ in the body. Needless to say, it takes a lot of fuel to power the most intricate and fascinating organ known to man. Choosing the right kinds of supplements to support brain health can do wonders for your overall well-being.
Energize with B Vitamins
Every one of the B vitamins is essential for cell metabolism, energy production and brain function. They include thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, folate and cobalamin. B12, also known as cobalamin, is the most important for brain health. B12, folate and pyridoxine (B6) is directly responsible for keeping homocysteine levels in a normal range. Homocysteine is a kind of amino acid that has been linked to poor cognitive function when levels of it are too high in the blood. In addition, B vitamins support energy and brain function by helping the body produce neurotransmitters (GABA, serotonin, dopamine), from red blood cells, and transport oxygen.
Fatty Fish for Omega-3s
To support healthy cognitive function, consume foods that are rich in fatty acids known as omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with lower levels of beta-amyloid in the blood. Beta-amyloid is a troublesome protein that is an ingredient in the creation of amyloid plaques that can be formed in the brain as people age. These plaque formations are believed to be directly responsible for the cognitive impairment as we age. Fatty fish like salmon, pollack and cod are high in omega-3s. Avocados, walnuts and flaxseed are other sources of omega-3s if you prefer non-meat sources. There are also a wide variety of omega-3 oil supplements to choose from.
Unstable molecules called free radicals are believed to be behind many of the changes that occur in our bodies as we age. An overabundance of Free radicals can cause damage to parts of cells, speeding up the aging process, and this can affect the brain as well. Antioxidants like vitamin C and Vitamin E can help stop this deterioration in its tracks and can sometimes reverse it. Low vitamin C and E levels in the blood have been directly associated with cognitive impairment and decline. Eating plenty of leafy greens, vegetables and fruit along with taking vitamin C and a full spectrum vitamin E supplement regularly can help keep this from happening. In addition, consider supplementing with other nutrients that can support your antioxidant defense like astaxanthin, amla, CoQ10 and resveratrol.