It’s common to think that eating whole foods, fruits, and vegetables can help us lose weight and lower our risk for heart disease.
What is not so common is to hear that in addition to these benefits, there are others that affect our brain: it improves memory, increases memory. concentration, And even can prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamins and brain health
In recent years, researchers have been able to understand more precisely what vitamins are they improve brain function and that they will have a greater impact on health. Here are some of the benefits that vitamins provide to our brains:
1. Vitamin E
There is some evidence to suggest that vitamin E may benefit memory in older people. A recent study by the American Medical Association found that high levels of vitamin E prevent and they delay the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
For a long time, it was thought that the component of vitamin E called alpha tocopherol was the most important, but another called gamma tocopherol is “definitely what has neuroprotective properties,” says Aimee Shunney, health education coordinator. be at Brooklin University Hospital, New York.
When consuming foods rich in vitamin E, such as asparagus, the almonds, the tomatoes, the we where he olive oil, Amounts of alpha and gamma tocopherol are ingested.
Regardless of age, it is important to take the correct amount of vitamin E. this vitamin is not commonBut it can happen in people on a low fat diet.
2. Vitamin B9
Vitamin B9 plays an important role in the formation of dopamine, epinephrine (adrenaline) and serotonin, neurotransmitters in the brain. In fact, each B vitamin plays a key role in preserving brain function and mental acuity. Starting with folic acid (vitamin B9), which is essential for premature brain development, these vitamins help our body and brain in many ways.
Several studies have linked impaired memory with inadequate levels of folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6. Low levels of vitamin B9 are linked to high levels of homocysteine, an amino acid produced in the human body. High levels of homocysteine in the blood can damage the lining of the arteries and cause the blood to clot more easily than it should. This increases the risk of clogging of the blood vessels due to the formation of a clot (thrombus) inside the vessel. A thrombus can pass through the bloodstream and get stuck in the lungs (pulmonary embolism), brain (stroke) or heart (heart attack).
3. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 plays a number of roles in the body, including the formation of myelin, A layer that covers the axon of some neurons. In general, a neuron with axons coated with myelin transmits nerve impulses about a hundred times faster than a myelinated neuron, producing greater efficiency in the functioning of the body.
Vitamin B12 is mainly found in meat and fishAnd, therefore, vegetarians are more likely to have deficits. This deficit can lead to memory loss, mental retardation or a negative effect on mood.
4. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 helps convert tryptophan to serotonin, a chemical found in the brain. Low serotonin levels are associated with depression and obsession. Vitamin B6 deficiency can cause confusion, depression, memory loss, a faster rate of brain degeneration, difficulty paying attention, fatigue, and insomnia. Therefore, adequate intake of vitamin B6 can lead to increased mental energy, motivation, clarity of thought, better memory formation, improved focus and neural health, as well. better quality of sleep (promotes the creation of melatonin).
In addition, studies seem to indicate that this vitamin is also involved in the formation of dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine and GABA. This latter neurotransmitter plays an important role in reducing stress and anxiety, and helps calm and relax the brain.
Finally, vitamin B6 is also important in the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in memory coding, information consolidation, and working memory functions.
Among the foods rich in vitamin B6, we can find: chicken, Salmon, Tuna, green pepper, spinach, broccoli, peanuts, by integral, O Lentils.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is renowned for its importance in preventing cancer, colds and cardiovascular disease, but its benefits for the brain and mind are not as well known. A study conducted by the Medical Research Unit of McGill University in Canada found that vitamin C increases serotonin levels and, as a result, improves mood.
For Jean Carpenter, author of The Miraculous Brain, “it makes sense to take vitamin C, and vitamin C could make you smarter.” Carpenter argues that taking vitamin C can improve memory and cognitive function, and therefore improve intelligence test scores.
Like vitamin E, vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants. The combination of these vitamins has a preventive effect on the development of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Some sources of vitamin C are: Orange, the strawberries, el broccoli, the spinach where he grapefruit.
6. Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is mainly obtained by the action of ultraviolet rays (sunlight). Hence the importance of sunbathing rationally and appropriately, especially in the case of children, where vitamin D deficiency can lead, among other consequences, to dental caries and bone malformations. In addition, this vitamin is also found in certain fish such as salmon or sardines.
According to research, vitamin D is necessary for normal brain development and may prevent multiple sclerosis (EM). Research recognizes that it is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system, by regulating and suppressing the proliferation of inflammatory cells linked to the activity of MS. It appears that vitamin D supplementation in MS patients may be beneficial and therefore recommended given the few side effects it causes.
On the other hand, joint research by the University of Pittsburg (United States) and the Technical University of Queensland in Australia, concluded that vitamin D could play a regulatory role in the development of seasonal affective disorder (SEA ). This disorder is a type of depression linked to seasonal changes and is thought to affect 10% of the population, depending on geographic location.