The brain is the third largest organ in our body; followed by the liver and skin. It serves as the central hub for all communication throughout the body. As we age our brain begins to deteriorate. Fortunately there are many supplements that help support brain health.
How Important is Brain Health?
The brain plays a part in almost every function in the body. When the brain is sluggish or not working optimally other processes suffer. The brain is made up of three main parts, the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brainstem. The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain. It is responsible for the senses, thinking, speaking, and reading. The cerebellum controls our balance and coordination abilities. The brain’s stem controls involuntary actions like breathing and blinking.
Nerves, water, and about 60% fat make up the contents of the brain. Cultivating a healthy diet and lifestyle promotes ideal brain development. There are many additional ways to support our health, one of which is supplementation. Supplementation is meant to fill in the gaps in our diet so that our bodies maintain a healthy balance of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Listed below are some vitamins and minerals that are good for brain health.
- B Vitamins: B9 (Folate), B12, and B1 (Thiamine) B6 (pyridoxine) B2 (Riboflavin)
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids- fish oils
- Fiber- Prebiotics and Probiotics
What Supplements Help With Focus And Concentration?
Healthy brain function depends heavily on our dietary choices. Our foods are the energy sources of our organs. Modern-day food production has depleted our food’s nutrient value. Over Farming practices have also resulted in soil fertility decline. Finding supplements that help support brain focus and concentration are needed now more than ever. Adding these supplements to a nutrient-dense diet can ensure that you are supporting your brain health in every way you can. These are some of the most common supplements used:
- Vitamin D
- Panax Ginseng
- Gingko Biloba
- acetyl-L carnitine (ALCAR)
What Disrupts Concentration And Focus?
Many people struggle with focus and concentration. With increasing technology, there are many distractions to lose one’s focus and attention. Many people have a condition called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity (ADHD). This inability to focus is actually a neurodevelopmental disorder. This disorder affects over 9 million people in the United States. There are numerous symptoms people experience with ADHD and limited focus is one of them.
Mineral deficiencies can alter one’s ability to maintain focus and concentration. Many of the supplements that most people are deficient in affect focus and attention. Vitamin deficiencies such as D, B, and magnesium are quite common. Most of us do not get enough vitamin D from the sun especially in the winter months. The soil has depleted much of the magnesium content from our food resulting in deficiencies and people generally do not eat enough dark leafy greens.
What Is The Best Brain Supplement For Seniors?
Challenging the brain with memory games or other activities to keep that area of the brain active may help delay this process. There are also a variety of supplements that one could include in their diet. Omega-3, curcumin, and green tea are common memory supplements used by seniors.
As we age not only do our bodies change but so do our brains. In our 30’s and 40’s our brain function starts to decline slowly. Our brains actually start to shrink, shrinking at different rates depending on the person. Certain areas of the brain may shrink more than others. Many people, as they get older, begin to lose their memory. They may experience the shrinking of their hippocampus which is the area of the brain responsible for memory.
Alzhiemer's and Dementia
More than six million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. Worldwide there are over 50 million people who have Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Alzheimer's disease affects areas in the brain in charge of memory and motor function. These connections are slowly damaged over time within the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is not curable but experts have found ways to delay the damages and slow the process.
A study conducted on Alzheimer and dementia seniors show a slower rate of brain health decline when incorporating B vitamins specifically. Grey matter in the brain decreases as we age. This two-year study showed that out of the 150 senior participants those who were given B vitamin supplements experienced less degeneration in certain areas of the brain.
What Is The Best Memory Supplement?
We have learned that B vitamins, fish oils, among other supplements help to support various parts of the brain. The parts of the brain that control memory are supported by these vitamins as well. In addition, some people use Astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is an antioxidant found in fish and sea life. Pink-colored sea animals like shrimp and salmon help provide brain protection as our memory ages.
In addition to the supplements mentioned previously, many adults also incorporate Huperzine A. This supplement is from Chinese club moss. Though there is a lack of long-term research some evidence suggests that it increases levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Suggesting that it may help improve memory by protecting the nerve cells that become damaged over time. More research is needed to determine if Huperzine A is a safe and reliable supplement.
Does magnesium help with brain fog?
Brain fog is a very real feeling though it is not an official diagnosis. Many of us experience brain fog due to an imbalance or related condition. When someone experiences brain fog they usually have difficulty focusing, comprehending, and remembering things. Magnesium is a wonderful brain vitamin.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient needed throughout the body for many reasons. One of them is that magnesium acts as a calming adjacent. It not only encourages stress relaxing responses in our body but also in our brain. It helps prevent the overstimulation of nerve cells which can cause cell death and brain injury.
What Vitamins Are Good For Brain Development?
The first few years of a baby’s life are the most crucial when it comes to brain development. Through every interaction, their neurons are making connections between cells which help their brains grow and thrive. There are several great supplements to include for brain development.
In addition to all the wonderful B vitamins, Vitamin C, D, E, Magnesium, and fish oils there is Coenzyme Q10. This is an antioxidant produced in our bodies naturally during development and cell autophagy. During the process of autophagy, the body targets cells that need recycling. Coenzyme Q10 helps to support this process as well as heart health.
What Is The Best Natural Brain Booster?
Eating a nutrient diet full of dark leafy greens, fruits, and whole grains will help support your brain during all the highs and lows. Incorporating an exercise regimen that builds strength, endurance, and helps combat stress is also beneficial. There are a few other supplements that have gone unmentioned.
Caffeine continues to be a debated dietary topic. Caffeine affects everyone differently. For many people, coffee provides the brain with a boost of energy. Individuals report feeling more energetic, alert, focused, and less depressed. Resveratrol is another helpful supplement. This strong antioxidant helps protect the brain from cell damage. This is naturally found in dark fruits like grapes and blueberries and contains anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Supplements Can Help
The brain is one of the most important, if not the most valuable organs in the entire body. It controls everything we do and everything we are. By adding some of these supplements to your diet you can enhance the positive effects on the brain. Taking a proactive approach to help support brain health is very important especially as you age.