Your brain is kind of a big deal.
This powerhouse consumes 20% of the body’s calories just to think, controls essential organs like our heart and lungs, and allows us to be who we are.
That’s why it’s so critical to take good care of it. The right care can boost our short- and long-term brain function, and with just some simple changes to our diet.
If you’re ready to sharpen your mind and promote better brain structure, you’ll want to get more of these important vitamins for brain health.
Most Important B Vitamins For Brain Health
If you’ve paid any attention to brain health supplements, you probably know that the benefits of B vitamins can’t be overstated. These eight water-soluble vitamins are critical for overall body function, but they’re especially important in promoting brain health. Here are the most important vitamins to look out for.
1. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Found in everything from beans to grains to seeds, Thiamine can be found everywhere in the brain and nerve tissue. This essential vitamin plays a critical role in the function of the nervous system.
People who have a B1 vitamin deficiency may find themselves at risk for Korsakoff syndrome, is a chronic memory disorder that often occurs with alcohol misuse and other conditions.
2. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
In addition to maintaining blood cells and helping vision, this vitamin ensures nervous system function. Found in lean meat, eggs, and leafy vegetables, vitamin B2 can also help ease certain types of headaches.
3. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
B5 assists in overall brain function and neurotransmitter synthesis. It can also help the metabolism with energy yield, which in turn reduces fatigue. In a healthy, balanced diet, you’ll find vitamin B5 in members of the cabbage family, whole grain cereals, and potatoes.
4. Vitamin B9 (Folate)
This vitamin occurs naturally in leafy vegetables, orange juice, and beans. Folate is necessary for proper brain health, as it can help reduce tiredness and allow us to maintain mental function.
5. Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Vitamin B12 may play a role in defending the brain from atrophy, though more research must be done on the topic. However, studies have linked vitamin B12 deficiency to memory loss, especially in older adults. B12 supplements may improve memory, however.
In addition, some research shows that B12 plays a huge role in overall body health, including helping to create energy. For more information, click this link.
Additional Vitamins For Brain Health
While B vitamins are often considered star players in the world of brain health, they’re far from the only vitamins to matter. A number of other essential vitamins can keep your brain healthy and strong, including the following.
6. Vitamin C
Like the B vitamins, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin we often get from dietary sources like citrus fruits or green vegetables. Vitamin C supports critical functions like brain development, neurotransmitter functionality, and blood vessel formation. In addition, one review study found that those with better brain health had higher amounts of vitamin C in their blood.
7. Vitamin E
This fat-soluble antioxidant helps protect us against damaging free radicals, which is why you may see it promoted in dermatological settings to fight skin damage with aging. However, this vitamin is just as important for brain degeneration with age!
Found in nuts and seeds, some studies suggest that vitamin E may help protect brain neurons from oxidative stress, though more research is needed.
8. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is critical for the nervous system, and thus for mental health as well. This fat-soluble vitamin helps activate some of the proteins in the nerve cell. It also supports the synthesis of some components of the myelin sheath, which insulates the nerves.
If you have low levels of vitamin K, you may find yourself at risk for lower cognitive performance, including memory performance.
How To Take Care Of Your Brain
Knowing what types of vitamins are essential for brain health is a good start, but there are several other things you should know to take better care of your brain.
Most importantly, it’s time to reconsider your diet. Some essential vitamins, like vitamin C, cannot be stored in the body. This means that we need to get daily amounts of them from food or other sources (90 mg per day for vitamin C, for example).
For some of us, this may require some dietary shuffling. Work to eat more of the foods that impact your brain health, and fewer of the ones that don’t. You should also know how the boy absorbs the vitamins you’re eating. Water- and fat-soluble vitamins are stored differently, meaning you may need to incorporate them into your diet at different times.
If you know you have a hard time getting enough vitamins into your diet, it may be time to consider opting for a vitamin supplement. This can help you optimize the levels of vitamins in your body, boosting your brainpower without the strain to find the right foods for each meal.
Make The Most Of Your Mental Health
Your brain does a lot of heavy lifting, and you only have one of them to work with. Make sure to take good care of it by getting your hands on more of these essential vitamins for brain health. With a few dietary changes, you’ll find that taking care of your current and future mental health is a breeze!
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