5 Nutrients That Help Your Brain

You are your brain. If your brain is unhealthy than you will have little energy and will likely already be on the path to serious illnesses. On the other hand, if your brain is healthy you will have more energy, increased memory, and motivation.

Many nutrients will increase the healthiness of your brain, but the following are the best five nutrients.

Omega-3s

If you want your brain at top capacity, then Omega-3 fatty acids are vital.  Research shows that a certain Omega-3 fatty acid, named docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), can improve cognitive functions that tend to lessen as we age! 

Omega-3 rich foods include fish like anchovies, salmon, and sardines. The ideal average intake is 2-3 platefuls of fatty fish over a 7-day period.  Foods like walnuts, flax, hemp seeds, and chia are also excellent sources of Omega-3.

Antioxidant Vitamins

Foods containing antioxidant minerals and vitamins protect against damage to the brain. They do this by preventing free radicals. Free radicals are high reactive molecules that are missing an electron. As a result, free radicals seek completion. They do this by joining with other molecules. 

These free radicals can damage cells, especially brain cells, when they attach to a cell’s molecules causing inflammation. The antioxidants prevent free radicals from doing damage by connecting with them, so the free radical has all the electrons it needs. When the free radicals are whole, they will not seek to attach to cell molecules. 

Plan your diet by picking more fruits and vegetables, which are excellent sources of antioxidant vitamins C and A.  For getting the antioxidants selenium and vitamin E, select seeds and nuts such as Brazil nuts and almonds.  

Vitamin B12 and Folate

A lack of Vitamin B12 and folate can raise levels of homocysteine in the blood, which is an amino acid that is connected to cognitive damage. 

To obtain folate, look to your dark green vegetables, such as asparagus, leafy greens, broccoli, avocado and Brussels sprouts. Both folate and Vitamin B12 can be obtained from protein, but different sources. The protein for folate comes from plant-based foods such as lentils, peas, and beans; while Vitamin B12 comes from animal or meat protein such as sardines, salmon, beef, and tuna. 

Water

Everyone knows water is essential. But many people still do not drink enough. About 75% of brain is made up of water. When someone doesn’t get enough water, i.e. when dehydration occurs, minor cerebral injury can take place.  

Drinking more water seems easy enough. However, often this is easier said than done because we tend to lose our sense of thirst the older we get.  Get in the habit of drink a glass before every snack and meal, set reminder alarms on your phone to drink water, and have a poured glass of water readily available as a visual cue to drink.  

Additionally, foods rich in water, like lettuce, watermelon, celery, pineapple, cucumber, and others deliver water and other essential nutrients for the brain. 

Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients act as anti-inflammatory and antioxidants agents in the body. A type of phytonutrients, known as polyphenols, may activate neuroprotective pathways and raise spatial memory performance. In other words, polyphenol can increase neural activity in the brain allowing for better thought processes and memory storage. 

Surprisingly, modest portions of dark chocolate and red wine help increase brain health because these foods contain very high levels of polyphenols.  Other sources of polyphenols are berries, red grapes, citrus fruits, and teas.

Getting these nutrients will help your brain function properly, thus allowing you to function properly. 

If you have a healthy diet and are partaking of many of these nutrients regularly and are still feeling as if your brain is still not healthy, try taking supplements. Supplements will help your body not only get the nutrients you need, but also provide elements that will increase your bodies absorption of the nutrients you are focusing on. To learn more, check out (article about what nutrients help with absorption).

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