The brain is a complex organ that needs a variety of nutrients to function properly. Nutritional deficiencies contribute to the emergence of mental disorders, cognitive decline associated with aging and developmental disorders. On the other hand, recent studies show that an increased supply of nutrients that support brain health can improve various aspects of cognitive function such as learning and memory capacity. That's why it's important to make sure you give your brain the right nutrients. Here are the 6 vitamins and minerals essential for a healthy brain.
1. Thiamine (B1)
The vitamin B complex is considered particularly important for brain health. Thiamine is one of the vitamins found in the brain and nerve tissues. According to a study published in The Journal of International Medical Research it plays an important role in managing nerve impulses. Its lack can disrupt brain function, lead to Korsakoff syndrome, create concentration problems, confusion in thinking, irritability and sleep problems. The richest source of vitamin B1 (thiamine) is beer yeast.
Among the sources rich in vitamin B1 (thiamine) are pork, beef liver, certain fish species like tuna, eggs, whole grains (bran) and whole grain bread (black bread, bran), brown rice paddy), sunflower seeds, nuts, peanuts, dried vegetables (beans, lentils) and potatoes.
Caution! High temperatures destroy vitamin B1 (thiamine), but it resists freezing.
2. Folic acid (B9)
Folic acid (B9) refers to a series of compounds known as folate which can be obtained from foods such as spinach, asparagus, lemon, dairy and liver. Half of the body's folic acid deposits are in the liver, and in the case of liver disease, vitamin B deficiency can occur. Folic acid plays an important role in amino acid synthesis and nerve tissue formation. Folic acid metabolism is highly dependent on the vitamin B complex. The recommended daily dose is 400 micrograms up to a maximum of 1000 micrograms. The lack of folic acid in the body can cause brain disorders, from minor changes in mood, such as irritability, thought problems, oblivion, severe depression and dementia. It also treats depression, combats brain attacks and prevents Alzheimer's disease.
3. Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)
The highest concentration of this essential vitamin is found in the brain, especially in the pituitary gland. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights against mental decline and brain attacks. The recommended daily allowance is 1000 mg.
Natural sources of vitamin C are: citrus fruits, acai juice, cranberries, pepper, strawberries, papaya, Brussels sprouts, spinach, red and green pepper, guava, thyme and fresh parsley, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli , cauliflower, kiwi and currants. Vitamin C is important for the synthesis of neurotransmitter dopamine and protects the brain against oxidative stress.
As for minerals, calcium is the most important of them for the healthy functioning of the brain. It plays a central role in the transmission of nerve cells, regulates the neurotransmitter function and controls the excitability of the nerve fibers. A low level of this mineral is less common, as the body contains a significant bone reserve. However, certain medications may lower your calcium levels and various health problems may occur. The daily calcium requirement is 1000-1200 mg / day in men, 1200 mg / day in women under 60 years of age , 1600 mg / day in women over 60 years.
The richest natural sources of calcium are: dairy products, unsalted sesame seeds, all nuts and hazelnuts, green leafy vegetables, cabbage, poppy, quinoa, figs, broccoli, green and dry beans, soy milk, rice milk, .
Magnesium is important for transforming the vitamin B complex into their active form. In other words, administration of magnesium-free supplements and other minerals is not as effective as the interaction between them helps the brain to function. One study shows that magnesium supplementation has improved working memory and long-term memory. Magnesium relaxes the brain and the nervous system, having calming effects. Deficiency of magnesium or calcium may lead to neurological problems. The daily requirement is based on caloric intake, in adults it is about 120 mg magnesium / 1,000 kcal
The best natural sources of magnesium are Brazil nuts, macadamia, almonds, pistachios, chestnuts, hazelnuts, apricot seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, avocados, kiwis, bananas, blackberries, strawberries, oranges, dates , apples (and apple vinegar). Although in many fruits there is magnesium, the most important resources of this microelement are germinated seeds, germinated cereals, wheat bran, oats and barley.
Zinc is found in high amounts in certain neurons that are only present in the brain. Scientists still do not know exactly what role zinc plays in maintaining brain health, but zinc deficiency is associated with various neurological affections. For example, changes in zinc levels have been detected in people suffering from Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
The best natural sources of zinc are: pumpkin seeds, beef and shrimp.
Our brain is an organ whose proper functioning depends on a multitude of micronutrients. Studies show that vitamins B, vitamin C and minerals are essential for the proper functioning of the brain. Moreover, any deficiency of these vitamins can lead to developmental problems in children and to mental illness in adults. A daily intake of these nutrients is very important if you want to keep your brain healthy and your mind sharp.