Your brain is an incredibly complex organ that controls nearly everything you do and feel. Return the favor by helping to keep it strong, healthy and sharp as you age!
Unlike most muscles in your body, your brain never seems to take a break. In fact, it may use up to 20% of your body’s total energy expenditure. Fuel its around-the-clock activity with whole, quality foods, rich in antioxidants and low in saturated fats and trans fats. And don’t forget to include the nutrients you miss from food with the right supplements!
Here are five nutrients to support your brain health:
Antioxidants like vitamins C and E which are found in most fruits and veggies—especially dark, leafy greens—may help provide protection from harmful free radicals that can damage your cells and speed up their aging process. Vitamin C plays an important role in neurotransmitter production and function and is found in high concentrations in the brain.
Because more than half your brain is made of fat, oily fish like salmon and tuna are true brain food. They’re rich in the omega-3 fatty acids that form your brain’s myelin sheaths, which are the protective coating around nerves that help them quickly communicate with one another. Aim to get at least two servings a week to optimize brain function. If you’re not a fan of fish, no worries! Include a fish oil supplement (or a supplement that includes DHA in the formulation) as a part of your daily meal plan.
3. Ginkgo Biloba
To support a brain-healthy lifestyle, consider supplementing with nutrients for mental acuity and memory. A daily supplement that includes ginkgo biloba, an herb that supports increased peripheral blood flow and may help support mental sharpness is a good first step!
4. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
GABA is another brain supporting nutrient to look for. It’s a special amino acid found in the human body and affects neurotransmitters. GABA activates receptors critical for brain function. DMAE is another nutrient that may support choline production, Choline serves as a precursor to acetylcholine, which is one of the neurotransmitters responsible for brain function.
Choline has been known to help support memory function. It’s an essential nutrient for making the messenger chemical acetylcholine, which helps your brain send messages from one nerve cell to another.
When trying to take better care of your brain, think smart and start incorporating these five nutrients into your daily life!