Minds are like parachutes; they only function when open. Countless research studies indicate that physical activity sharpens the brain, however, including supplements and vitamins into your daily intake along with a healthy diet will give you the full advantages of a well-rounded intellect. Among the elderly, there is a wide array of neurological illnesses that plague the population on a daily basis, including dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. Further, according to the World Health Organization, 5.4 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease, and this number will increase three times its value by the year 2050. Health Fitness Revolution’s core values have always been to excel above and beyond in mind, body, and spirit. We firmly believe it is imperative that individuals are extremely mindful of a few simple and natural approaches to promote substantial brain activity.
Here are 10 vitamins and supplements that everyone should introduce into their day-to-day regimen. As always, the best place to attain these nutrients is through whole foods. However, if they are taken in supplement form, please do your research on the brand and read all the ingredients:
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3s are found in fish and also supplements containing fish oil. They been linked to the development of a healthy brain and heart and further been known to repair interconnecting neurons. Studies performed with Omega 3s have indicated that not only can they prevent memory loss, but they can even reverse it. The two forms of Omega 3 are DHA and EPA, which can be found in animal flesh, nuts, seeds, yogurt, eggs, and legumes.
- Gingko Biloba: The natural remedies of Gingko Biloba can be dated back approximately 200 million years ago to China. The herb is well-known for its ability to stimulate healthy brain activity and support memory retention. It can also promote higher-quality focus and concentration in adults. The appropriate dosage of Gingko Biloba should remain between 240 mg to 360 mg per day for effectiveness, as anything lower will not show beneficial signs.
- Ginseng: Ginseng is an herb that can be consumed orally through supplements or added to beverages. It provides prolonged focus and concentration, but also aids in memory support, anxiety, and increases energy. The appropriate dosage of ginseng should be around 500 mg a day.
- Acetyl L – Carnitine – Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR): is a chemical that is naturally produced by the body but can also be taken in a supplemental form. It benefits the mind and body positively by increasing energy levels in both. ALCAR is also beneficial against depression as it promotes the release of norepinephrine and serotonin, which are the “feel good” hormones released by the body.
- DMAE (Dimethylethanolamine): DMAE can be found in products such as sardines and anchovies, which supports the deceleration of the aging process, maintenance of healthy memory, and enhancing brain activity. Acetylcholine is a chemical that assists in focus and concentration, which has been known to break down in patients with Alzheimer’s. It is specified that DMAE helps to build acetylcholine levels back up, however, there is further research being done to support this evidence.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E prevents cancer cells, Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases from developing. It is also a blood thinner, which can prevent blood clots from emerging thus inhibiting strokes from occurring. Additional benefits include improving fatigue and skin as well. The highest amounts of Vitamin E can be found in foods including oils, seeds, and nuts.
- Vitamin B12: High quantities of Vitamin B12 can be found in meat and dairy products. Because of this, vegetarian and vegans would do well to add this particular supplement to their diet. Vitamin B12 helps to prevent the brain from feeling “foggy,” and improves poor memory. A vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to many various issues with the brain, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. The elderly in particular need supplements like B12 in order to prevent brain shrinkage.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C intake promotes the release of norepinephrine which is responsible for heightened focus and prolonged concentration. Further benefits from vitamin C include the support of a healthy immune system and defending the body against free radicals that ultimately lead to cancer. The recommended intake of vitamin C can range anywhere from 75 mg to 120 mg, depending on the person’s age and/or gender. This vitamin can be found in any citrus fruit such as oranges, lemons, mangoes, kiwis, berries, and limes.
- Magnesium: Magnesium is typically obtained from leafy greens and legumes, and has shown to curb memory lapses due to aging. Further, this mineral can also benefit one’s cognitive ability and task performance. Magnesium deficiency is very prevalent amongst the world’s population, so it is well recommended that men between the ages of 19 – 30 receive a dosage of 400 milligrams a day, while [non-pregnant] women receive a dosage of about 310 milligrams. Individuals over the age of 31 should take at least 420 milligrams for males, and 320 milligrams for females.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common across the globe, especially in areas where there is insufficient sunlight. Not only can the lack of this vitamin result in a depressive temperament, but cognitive capabilities and memory retention can also diminish. Foods that provide high amounts of vitamin D include cheese, milk, fatty fish, and egg yolks. Vitamin D can also be obtained in the supplemental form, administered at 600 mg per day between the ages 18 to 70 years [pregnant and non-pregnant]. Individuals over the age of 71 should increase their daily intake to 800 mg per day.
We must all take the initiative to better ourselves not only physically, but mentally as well. Because honestly what is the body without the mind?