As a nutritional psychologist, I always make it a point to maintain a balanced diet. A lot of that has to do with making sure I get all the right vitamins, especially because they’re essential for prevention cognitive decline.
Given that the risks Neurological diseases increase with ageA question I often get from my patients is: “What is the best vitamin to protect our aging brains?”
Each of our microbiomes is like a thumbprint, so a truly effective eating plan is customized to an individual’s unique needs. But the group of vitamins that I prioritize the most to keep my brain young and healthy are the B vitamins.
Depression, dementia, and mental impairment are often associated with a lack of B vitamins, Study from Wayne State University School of Medicine have found.
“Vitamin B12 deficiency as a cause of cognitive problems is more common than we think, especially among older adults who live alone and do not eat properly,” says Rajaprabhakaran Rajarithinam, psychiatrist and lead author of the study.
There are eight different B vitamins, each with their own primary health benefits:
1. Increase your energy.
Vitamin B1or thiamineIt is crucial to the basic function of our cells and the metabolism of nutrients for energy.
The brain is one of the most metabolically active organs in your body, which means it needs thiamine support to prevent deficiencies that can lead to neurological problems in the future.
2. Dismantling of medicines.
Vitamin B2or riboflavinIt acts as a cofactor for enzymes in our cells that carry out important reactions, such as in the body and brain.
It also helps with cell growth, energy production, and the breakdown of fats and exogenous substances such as drugs.
3. Reduce inflammation.
Vitamin B3or niacinIt works with more than 400 enzymes to produce substances like cholesterol and fats that the body needs, and to convert energy for all of our organ systems. Niacin is also an antioxidant, which helps reduce excess inflammation.
4. Support your support for your overall brain health.
Vitamin B5or Pantothenic acidIt is needed to make a molecular compound called coenzyme A, which helps the body’s enzymes build and break down fatty acids for energy.
It also helps our cells produce acyl-carrying proteins, which help produce necessary lipids. The brain is primarily fatTherefore, pantothenic acid is considered one of the most important vitamins in supporting brain health.
5. Fighting diseases.
Vitamin B6sPyridoxineIts role in disease prevention is noted because appropriate levels of this vitamin are associated with a reduced risk of developing a number of cancers.
Additionally, pyridoxine helps with many chemical reactions in the body that support immune function and brain health.
6. Helping cells communicate better.
Vitamin B7known as biotin, regulates cell signaling for rapid and effective communication throughout the body. In the brain, it is critical to transmit cellular signals via neurotransmitters.
7. Maintain your balance.
Vitamin B9or Folic acidA popular supplement and essential vitamin to support brain and neurological health, optimal neurotransmitter function, and balanced mental health.
Another benefit is that it helps encourage cellular detoxification.
8. Help your heart.
Vitamin B12, ap cobalaminAn essential vitamin for the formation of red blood cells and DNA, and for supporting the development and function of the nervous system.
Vitamin B12 also supports the breakdown of homocysteine, a protein that can negatively affect cardiovascular health and lead to dementia when taken in excess.
I’m a “food first” person, so I always encourage people to incorporate foods containing these vitamins into their diets. However, our diets are not perfect, so there may be cases where supplementation may help. If so, my simple advice is to ‘test, not guess’ – and consult your doctor first.
The good news is that B vitamins are among the easiest vitamins to get into your diet because foods rich in one B vitamin often contain many, if not all, of the B vitamins when eaten as whole foods.
Here are six foods rich in vitamin B that I eat every day:
1. one egg It contains a third of the recommended daily value of vitamin B7, while also containing small amounts of many other B vitamins.
2. Yogurt It is high in Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B12, as well as in natural probiotics, which support gut and mental health. I love plain Greek yogurt for the added protein.
3. Legumes Black beans, chickpeas, edamame, and lentils all help boost your mood and brain health. They are an excellent source of vitamin B9, and contain small amounts of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5 and vitamin B6.
4. Salmon Naturally rich in all B vitamins, especially vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. Consider your seafood source, and remember that frozen or canned salmon is a budget-friendly option, too.
5. Sunflower seeds It is one of the best plant sources of Vitamin B5. You can get 20% of the recommended daily value for this vitamin from just one ounce of seeds!
6. Leafy greens Such as spinach, chard, and cabbage are a great source of vitamin B9. This is the first food I suggest to patients who want to improve bad moods.
Dr. Uma Naidoo He is a nutritional psychiatrist, brain expert, and faculty member at Harvard Medical School. She is also the director of nutrition and lifestyle psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and the author of the bestselling book. “This Is Your Brain on Food: An indispensable guide to the amazing foods that fight depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and more.” follow her Twitter And the Instagram.
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