Keeping your most important organ, the brain, running optimally over the short and long term requires that you fuel it with all of the necessary nutrients that it needs. Some of these nutrients include omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds such as anthocyanins, vitamin K, zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, and more. If you ever feel mentally run down, sluggish, or your memory isn't all that sharp, then it could be that you aren't eating the right foods needed to properly nourish your brain.
In the article below we'll walk you through a list of the most important nutrients needed to keep your brain running at an optimal level over both the short and long term. If you consume these nutrients regularly then your brain will function far better than it otherwise would.
The Top 7 Most Important Nutrients For Brain Health and Function
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Foods such as fatty fish, trout, sardines, salmon, chia seeds, and flax seeds are all absolutely loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Considering that your brain is comprised of more than 60 percent fat, you better be sure that you are getting the very best type of fat possible to build your brain with. Omega-3 fatty acids are the best fat source for your brain, allowing your body to build brain and nerve cells with the substance. These fats are needed for your brain to conduct essential learning and memory function.
If you have never heard of anthocyanins, they are a powerful antioxidant found in foods such as blueberries. Studies have shown that these antioxidants accumulate in the brain and prevent a long list of neurodegenerative diseases from forming. If you want to keep your brain running healthy and hit your neuro peak over the long term, then be sure to load up on anthocyanins by consuming a lot of blueberries.
Found in food sources such as kale, swiss chard, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, fish, liver, and eggs, vitamin K is an essential nutrient for your brain. It is completely fat-soluble, which makes it important in the body's ability to build sphingolipids, a special type of fat that makes up all of our brain's cells. Studies have linked high consumption of vitamin K with improved long and short term memory.
Found in foods such as nuts, seeds, broccoli, avocado, trout, mango, and salmon, vitamin E is absolutely essential in protecting our brain cells from free radical damage. Credible studies have shown that diets rich in vitamin E correlate with a reduced occurrence rate of mental decline in the elderly. Vitamin E rich diets have also shown to improve cognitive function and memory.
Most people are shocked to find out that vitamin C plays a very crucial role in brain health and function. This essential nutrient is vital at preventing long term mental decline and warding off degenerative neurological disease. Acting as a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C fights off loads of free radicals that would otherwise harm the delicate tissues within the brain.
This important amino acid is able to cross the blood-brain barrier. It acts as a GABA neurotransmitter and it has been found to improve focus, alertness, cognitive function, and short and long term memory. It also increases the frequency of brain waves known as alpha waves, one way in which the brain relaxes us.
Many of the B vitamins, including choline and folate, act as super micronutrients that help to regulate the parts of the brain responsible for mood and memory function. Studies have shown that the majority of people do not get enough choline in their diets, which could be correlated with increased depression and anxiety rates across the world. Foods rich in B vitamins include eggs, liver, milk yogurt, kefir, real cheese, and soaked nuts and seeds.