Here are the vitamins and minerals to consume to have a healthy brain
5 mins read

Here are the vitamins and minerals to consume to have a healthy brain

Sorting through the myriad of foods and supplements can be a difficult task. From immune-boosting remedies to little energizing capsules, how do you know which products will make a real difference when it comes to maintaining your brain health? Whether you’re looking for the best vitamins or minerals, or want to incorporate more brain-friendly foods into your diet, here’s advice from brain health nutritionist Kirsten Brooks.

The most important vitamins and minerals in the short term

Taking care of your brain health isn’t just about preventing long-term disease: it’s also about providing short-term help. Indeed, the effects of certain vitamins and minerals can diminish in stressful situations, which can harm mental functioning.

Short term, B group vitamins are therefore particularly important. “B vitamins are necessary for the production of energy (the brain is a very energy-demanding organ) and for the production, among other things, of neurotransmitters, explains for the site Sylist Kirsten Brooks. Vitamin B6 is particularly importantbecause it is necessary for the production of serotonin and melatonin – the hormones of mood and sleep.

In the same way, magnesium is also important for brain health. In addition to its anti-inflammatory function, it plays a key role in reducing neuroinflammation, a type of low-grade inflammation in the brain that can promote depressive symptoms, as well as poor cognition. Magnesium also has a stabilizing effect on the nervous system, making it more resistant to stress and, therefore, preventing vitamin reserves from quickly depleting.

Vitamin C also has important short-term effects. “Unlike many mammals, we cannot produce vitamin C ourselves,” explains the nutritionist. “We therefore depend on food sources. (…) It is a very protective antioxidant for the brain. Low levels can cause a bad mood, and lead to a loss of concentration.

The most important vitamins and minerals for the long term

Many nutrients have a positive long-term impact on brain health. Omega 3 are an excellent example. “We can’t produce omega 3 ourselves. That’s why these nutrients are called essential fats,” says Kirsten Brooks. “They’re largely found in oily fish, and most people don’t eat them. enough. In addition to fatty fish, omega 3 is also found to a lesser extent in vegetarian products such as nuts, flax or chia seeds.

The nutritionist continues: “Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are necessary for the proper functioning of the brain, because they reduce brain inflammation and ensure the effective functioning of the membranes of our brain cells, and the communication between them. Pregnant women and babies especially need it to ensure healthy brain function.”

Choline – a B-type vitamin – is also essential for brain health. It plays an essential role in maintaining healthy cell membranes where neurotransmitters attach, and produces acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter essential for attention, memory and learning. Finally, vitamin D is important. “It plays many roles in the brain, particularly protecting it from damage, underlines the nutritionist. A vitamin D deficiency can also accelerate age-related cognitive decline.”

What foods are most beneficial for brain health?

Want to determine which foods are most beneficial for keeping your brain healthy? Nothing could be simpler: you just need to target those rich in vitamins and minerals. Here are some examples of foods to include in your diet to do this:

  • Vitamin B6 : tuna, chickpeas, salmon, oats, peanuts, poultry, potatoes and other starchy foods
  • Magnesium : spinach, legumes, nuts, wholemeal bread, soy, seeds
  • Vitamin C : citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, kale, kiwi
  • Omega 3 : fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring), flax seeds, walnuts, chia seeds
  • Choline : eggs, soy, fish, mushrooms, beef, poultry
  • Vitamin D : salmon, eggs, cheese

Eating gut-healthy foods can also benefit your brain health. “A brain-friendly diet should also contain plenty of fiber and polyphenols,” explains Kirsten Brooks. Eating these is very important to ensure you have healthy gut bacteria, which have a huge impact on brain function via the gut axis. -brain”.

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