Here at Compass Longview, we are big proponents of a holistic approach to the modern gentleman lifestyle. And an essential part of this lifestyle is taking care of your brain. Among other things, such as adequate sleep and exercise, a nutritious diet is one of the core pillars of brain health.
In this post, we will cover four vitamins that will not only protect your brain but may also boost your concentration and cognitive abilities. Your brain health is critical not only to your overall health but also to your ability to accomplish your life pursuits and enjoy life.
Vitamin C Protects Memory
A report from the National Library of Medicine shows that oxidative stress (an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body) is a leading cause of dementia. This condition mainly affects many older adults’ daily lives by causing memory loss and impairing other cognitive abilities.
According to several studies posted on PubMed, Vitamin C —a powerful antioxidant —can aid in the fight against oxidative stress in the brain and protect your memory as you age. The recommended dietary intake of Vitamin C for adult men is 90mg and 75mg for women. That said, Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, meaning your body can’t produce or even store it.
Therefore you have to consume Vitamin C regularly to meet your dietary requirements. Some of the most common Vitamin C sources include citrus fruits, tomatoes, and potatoes, but in general, fruits and vegetables are good sources.
Vitamin B helps develop new brain cells
According to Dr. Irina Todorov, a family medicine physician, B vitamins – 1,2,3,6,9, and 12 are especially valuable to your brain and nervous system as they boost the production of neurotransmitters(chemicals that pass signals between nerves in the brain and body).
They also help produce the energy needed to develop new brain cells. These vitamins are water-soluble essential vitamins, which mean they are carried to the tissues without being stored in the body.
That’s why it’s crucial to eat B vitamin-rich food daily. Beans, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables – especially leafy greens – are really good sources of B vitamins other than B12, which is primarily found in animal products like fish, meat, eggs, and dairy.
Research has shown that a diet adequate in B vitamins can boost cognitive functioning(mental abilities such as learning, problem-solving and concentration)
Vitamin E protects brain cells
Research is showing that Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, can also help fight off free radicals in the brain that often lead to cognitive impairments like Alzheimer’s. In this case, it plays a very similar role to Vitamin C mentioned above.
The brain is particularly prone to free radicals due to its high concentration of omega-3 fats that oxide easily. Vitamin E works by protecting the layer of fat on our brain cells from this damaging oxidation. This may help prevent the decline in mental performance that usually comes about with aging.
While fortified foods and supplements offer additional vitamin E, experts recommend getting it straight from the source of whole foods such as nuts, seeds, and avocado.
Vitamin D can improve mental performance
Several scientific studies at Universities in the UK have indicated that lower levels of Vitamin D can negatively impact your mental performance. More research is needed to completely understand the effects of vitamin D on the brain.
That said, this vitamine, which is famous for promoting strong bones, has now been linked to healthy brain function. Sadly, a lot of people in the world(an estimated 1 billion people) are considered to be Vitamin D deficient. While there is no set guidance, with daily recommendations ranging from 600–2,000 IU, getting some sunlight is one of the best ways to increase your vitamin D levels as the sunlight stimulates your skin to produce Vitamin D.
Also, because few foods naturally contain high levels of vitamin D, many foodstuffs are often fortified with vitamin D, so make sure to have a look at the ingredient lists. Dr Rhonda Patrick has studied the effect of Vitamin D and the Covid-19 and has shown significant evidence of the importance of a persons high vitamin D levels are significant for the person's ability to kick the virus and stay healthy.
Studies show that it is not one magic food but a combination of foods that help boost brain health. That means no one Vitamin will give you a ‘super brain.’ Also, you shouldn’t randomly take vitamin supplements.
Instead, seek your doctor’s recommendation if you need any specific supplements. Sometimes a few dietary changes are all you need to see changes in your concentration, mental productivity, and overall cognitive functioning.