Looking for some ways to fight brain fog or boost your thinking skills? Look no further than these 3 vitamins for the brain, guaranteed to give you more brainpower and mental clarity.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is one of the most essential nutrients for brain health. This “brain vitamin,” which occurs naturally in animal-based foods, is known sustain healthy brain mass in old age, as proven in a Finnish scientific study on Alzheimer’s disease.
Scientists have concluded that elderly individuals diagnosed with dementia who manage to maintain health vitamin B12 levels have more brain mass than those with vitamin B12 deficiency, and score better in cognitive testing, as well.
Without sufficient levels of vitamin B12, you may experience a decline in cognitive functioning skills, including:
- Brain fog
- Decreased ability to perform math calculations
- Short attention span
To find out if you have vitamin B12 deficiency, ask your doctor for a blood screening. Even if you eat a diet rich in B12-foods like beef, poultry, and fish, you may still be at risk, as a significant number of people are unable to absorb vitamin B12 from food sources.
Risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiency include:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Family history for pernicious anemia
- Gastrointestinal disorders, including GERD and Crohn’s disease
- Gastric bypass surgery
- Vegan dieting
Vitamin D is proven to benefit your brain’s nerve cells, in addition to boosting your ability to perform thinking skills involving processing information, forming strategies, and building memories.
Most of us get enough vitamin D from the sun; other sources of vitamin D include vitamin supplements and fortified dairy products.
Pregnant moms-to-be and nursing mothers are advised to supplement with vitamin D for their baby’s cognitive development.
Vitamin D deficiency is linked with poor brain health, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health.
Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include:
- Living in areas with limited sunshine
- Wearing full-body coverings outdoors
To make certain that you get enough vitamin D for brain health, do the following:
- Go out in the sun every day
- Visit a safe tanning salon, and take vitamin D3 supplements
- Take 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D supplements per day
It’s no surprise that fatty acids like omega-3’s are such brain boosters- more than half of your brain’s matter is made up of fats. Specifically, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) accounts for 25% of the omega-3 fatty acids found in your brain.
DHA-type omega 3 fats are animal-based, meaning you can only find them in protein sources such as fish, liver, and organ meats. (All of which, by the way, are also rich sources of vitamin B12, another brain vitamin.)
Insufficient levels of omega-3 fatty acids may result in damage to the nervous system. Many researchers also suggest a link between omega-3 deficiency and brain disorders such as dementia and mental illness.
In a several studies, 800-900 mg of DHA supplements prescribed to elderly individuals with dementia resulted in a significant improvement in memory, learning, vocabulary, and other cognitive skills.
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Read more about vitamin B12 and the brain:
Boost Brain Health with B12
Can Vitamin B12 Repair Nerve Cells?
Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease: US Plans to Nip Dementia in the Bud
Benson Kua, TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³, Nina Matthews Photography, IsaacMao