What Are Brain Supplements and How Do They Work?
People are always looking for ways to sharpen their focus and improve memory, especially as they age. Many people take supplements daily to help improve the functioning of the brain. What are these supplements, and how do they work? Keep reading to find out.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Tuna and salmon are high in omega-e fatty acids, a kind of unsaturated fat with anti-inflammatory effects and builds cell membranes in the brain. Some research also suggests that omega-3s may protect the brain following a concussion or brain injury. Fatty fish, nuts, seeds, eggs, and yogurt contain omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, BiOptimizers has brain supplements that can be added to any diet to improve brain function.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant in the body that guards against oxidative stress, which is a major contributor to the decline in cognitive health as people age. Vitamin E is also an anti-inflammatory, keeping DNA healthy and helping the structure of the brain stay healthy. Avocados, red peppers, mango, nuts, seeds, and dark leafy greens contain vitamin E.
Vitamin B6, B12, and B9
The brain needs vitamins B6, B12, and B9 for normal functioning. A lack of these vitamins increases the risk of memory loss and other brain declines. Vitamins B6, B12, and B9 (also called folate) help increase neurotransmitters to take messages from the brain to the body. Foods such as bananas, oranges, and cantaloupe contain vitamin B6, broccoli, greens, eggs, and sunflower seeds contain folate. Only meat and fish products contain B12, so people who eat a plant-based diet often need a supplement for this important vitamin. A B12 supplement is also recommended as people age to help with memory loss.
Vitamin C has long been known for its ability to help the immune system, but it also helps the brain by lowering the inflammation in the brain. Kiwi, red and green peppers, berries, cauliflower, and tomatoes contain vitamin C.
When Supplements are Important
Nutritionists and doctors alike agree that getting these important vitamins in food is the best source. However, there are circumstances in which a supplement would be beneficial. Someone with an allergy or dislike to a group of foods (such as dairy or seafood) or someone with a limited diet (like vegan) may benefit from supplements.
Be sure to take high-quality supplements if you do take them. Look for certifications from places like Consumer Lab or the US Pharmacopeial Convention. The product must go through testing for quality before it can gain approval. Choose supplements that improve blood flow (such as Gingko Biloba), support brain support (Omega-3 fatty acids), and help build neurotransmitters (L-theanine). Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K are also beneficial vitamins, and taking supplements of them can be beneficial.
Some other common and helpful supplements include L-carnitine, which has been shown to improve cognition and neurotransmitter function. Mushrooms also have connections to brain health. Mushroom supplements can improve attention, mood, cognition, and focus. Ginkgo Biloba can improve memory and provide more healthy blood flow to the brain.
For optimum health, eat healthy foods full of brain-boosting vitamins and nutrients. When it isn't possible to eat enough of these foods, or if your doctor or nutritionist thinks you need more, consider adding a high-quality supplement to your diet to improve overall brain functioning.