As brain supplements and memory-enhancing programs continue to flood the web over the years, it can take days to wade through the millions of search results and hundreds of products. Even then, the mass of information may become so exhausting that some consumers may just settle for the most available product without sufficient research. So, how can we determine which supplements truly work and which are still in the experimental phase?
There will always be new products emerging, and while being a guinea pig can help others and potentially yourself, it also comes with unknown risks. If a supplement still has insufficient research to prove its efficacy, it is indeed a double-edged sword. If you have already tried others and not felt an improvement, of course a new remedy will be enticing. However, it is essential to be wary, do your research, and consult your doctor before trying anything new.
Enter Brain Food
Not sure which supplement to choose, but want to start helping yourself immediately? Embarking on a brain-healthy diet is simple and safe, and in most cases, it’s also pretty delicious. The market is abundant in superfoods that include essential vitamins and minerals to boost your brain power, such as the familiar blueberry and wild-caught salmon.
Just a quick bit of homework will tell you that omega-3 fatty acids and B-vitamins are the top naturally-occurring nutrients to boost your brain power. Maintaining other aspects of your health, such as circulation, can lead to improved brain function, as well. Your brain depends on a healthy blood flow in order to work correctly, create normal amounts of cerebrospinal fluid, and not result in clots and stroke.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s are naturally contained in many foods, including flaxseed, wild salmon, edamame, walnuts, and wild rice, among others. Presently, omega-3-enriched foods are also appearing more often, as the importance of this nutrient has been validated in numerous studies. Omega-3 fatty acids have been known to contribute to cell health, reduce cholesterol, normalize circulation, and act as an anti-inflammatory. Most importantly, they contain DHA, an essential contributor to brain development, which has been suggested to lower the risk of mood disorders such as depression.
Vitamins B6 and B12 in particular have been linked to brain health, as many individuals who experience brain shrinkage have also been deficient in B12. Those with mood disorders and mental fatigue are usually suggested by doctors to consume higher quantities of B6. These vitamins can be found in blueberries and other non-citrus fruits, fish, potatoes, avocados, and legumes. As the impact of B-vitamins is becoming more widespread, more B6- and B12-enriched foods are making appearances on the shelves.
Commonly promoted for hair, skin, and nail health, vitamin E does more than smooth your skin – it has led to reduced cognitive decline in aging adults. Almonds and other nuts are a great source of vitamin E, including walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and seeds like flaxseed, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds. Unhydrogenated nut butters are also a great source of vitamin E, including peanut and almond butters and tahini.
Avocados, Whole Grains, and A Few More Essentials
Avocados promote healthy blood flow by lowering blood pressure, which leads to a healthier brain. These super fruits therefore reduce the risk of hypertension, a major source of cognitive decline. Whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice, and whole grain breads are equally important, as they also improve cardiovascular health. Wheat germ is also a great addition for anyone in need of a brain boost, as it contains vitamin E, fiber, and omega-3s all in one place.
Mild to moderate amounts of caffeine in certain individuals have also been linked to brain health. Coffee and tea have both been effective in research studies for reducing the risk of dementia, memory loss, and cardiovascular diseases. And back to fruits, pomegranates are rich in antioxidants which can also counter memory problems and brain damage from free radicals.
By B. Somers at East Coast Health Insurance, contributor to Wellness, Health Care, and Health Insurance – a resource for healthy living, well-being, and practicality.
Browse more information on nutrient deficiency and other potential causes of memory loss, and find the right course of action at echealthinsurance.com/wellness/health-care/conditions/memory-loss/.