People do so many things to help keep their brains healthy. They play brain-boosting games on their smartphones and make sure they get enough sleep. But have you thought about how your diet and your intake of certain nutrients may be impacting your brain health? Here are four nutrients that all impact your brain's overall function and vitality; thankfully, they are all easily supplemented.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
This specific type of fatty acid is known to be good for brain chemistry. They help form the myelin sheath that surrounds neurons, and in the process, they help protect against degenerative conditions like Alzheimer's disease. Many Americans do not get enough omega-3s in their diet, since they do not eat enough of the foods that are high in this nutrient. Fish, walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seeds are all awesome sources if you prefer to get your omega-3s naturally.
Vitamin E is a lubricating nutrient. That's why you see it recommended for skin so often; it helps keep skin soft and supple. Vitamin E also helps keep your nerve tissue soft and pliable, which can help protect against common brain-related ailments. Good sources of vitamin E include eggs, most nuts and seeds, and leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale. Most multivitamins contain vitamin E, so if you're taking a multi, there's a good chance you're already getting enough for your brain.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means it helps cells protect themselves from damage that would be caused by free oxygen radicals. By this process, it can help protect your brain from everything from cancer to infection. The best-known source of vitamin C is, of course, oranges, but there are plenty of other foods that contain just as much: spinach, red peppers, and even broccoli.
Magnesium plays a role in the formation of brain connections that are critical for memory. Without enough magnesium in your diet, you'll be at a higher risk for memory loss and general deterioration of brain function. Magnesium deficiencies are quite common as many people do not eat enough nuts, seeds, and veggies to meet their magnesium needs. And many foods today are grown in magnesium-deficient soils, so even they don't contain the magnesium they should.
Talk to a doctor to learn more about brain health nutrient therapy. The healthiest diet is a balanced diet, but sometimes supplements are a good idea.