4 Essential Nutrients To Improve Brain Power

4 Essential Nutrients To Improve Brain Power

People eat for slimmer waistlines, but rarely do they focus on nutrients that nourish the brain. Even though the brain only accounts for 3% of total body weight, it uses 17% of the body’s energy. In order to fuel the brain and keep it functioning properly, you have to include specific nutrients in your diet. What are those nutrients? This article aims to highlight what you need to improve brain power.

Historically, food has been thought of only as a source of building material and energy for the body. Various foods have the ability protect against certain diseases, or enhance the function of certain organs and systems in the body. Within recent years, there has been exciting evidence about how dietary factors influence mechanisms and molecules in the brain. For example, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids supports cognitive processes. Contrarily, a diet that contains a lot of unhealthy trans and saturated fats increases the risk of neurological dysfunction. Continue reading to learn more about the nutrients you need to eat to fuel your brain.

Vitamin K

The brain depends on vitamin K for optimal performance and cognitive function. Vitamin K works to prevent excessive bleeding by helping the blood clot. It’s actually a group of compounds that appears as vitamins K1 and K2, which you can obtain from leafy greens and other vegetables. Many people overlook the importance vitamin K, but it may exhibit anti-aging benefits. One study found that older people with low levels of vitamin K had dysregulated calcium levels in the brain, which may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. You can find vitamin K in chili powder, leafy greens, basil, broccoli, and more. 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant that works to reduce the rate of cognitive decline. Several studies found that vitamin E helps to boost memory as the brain ages, which is a helpful way to fight neurodegenerative diseases. Preliminary studies found that vitamin E may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Some researchers argue this is because of vitamin E’s ability to fight oxidative stress. A 2014 study found that one type of vitamin E, tocotrienol, may protect the brain from developing white matter lesions. These lesions have been linked to an increased risk of stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s. You can find vitamin E in hazelnuts, wheat germ, kiwi, spinach, mango, avocado, and broccoli.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

If you want to improve memory, your brain cells have to be able to communicate efficiently and quickly. Nerve cells shrink as the brain ages and blood supplies to the brain decline. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), work to promote optimal electrical signaling between nerve cells. Omega-3s also work to reduce inflammation and may even fight memory loss and improve concentration. According to a 2014 study, researchers found that postmenopausal women with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had larger brain volumes. Researchers commonly link Alzheimer’s disease to smaller brain volume, proving omega-3s to be promising for your brain. Since the body cannot manufacture omega-3s on its own, you have to obtain them from dietary sources. Some great omega-3 foods include leafy greens, nuts, seeds, flaxseed oil, avocado oil, and certain fish. 

Choline

You can refer to choline as the brain’s instant messenger. It helps to provide connections between the brain and muscles, supporting memory and retention. Choline is necessary for visual memory, as in the type of memory that helps people remember a new route after driving it only once, for example. The more choline you have, the less you have to rely on your GPS??? The body uses choline to produce acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter that is necessary for optimal brain and nervous system function. It also helps with memory, mood, and muscle control. You can find choline in Brussels sprouts, lima beans, whole eggs, shiitake mushrooms, soybeans, wheat germ, and cruciferous vegetables. 

2022-05-10T23:35:22-07:00

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