What is good for your body is good for your brain. For example, getting exercise, lowering stress, going light on the alcohol, and avoiding smoking are important brain boosters that you have heard about. But what has been getting a lot more attention these days is the surprising link between your diet and your brain.
“The nutrients from the foods you eat influence chemicals that affect your brain and change how you feel,” says nutritionist, Uma Naidoo, MD.
While Dr. Naidoo believes eating a good diet is the best way to get a healthy brain, she also thinks that dietary supplements have an important role too. The best supplement for your brain is the one that includes nutrients she says is “low-hanging fruit”: nutrients which are hard get through eating alone.
1 — Vitamin D
The fat-soluble vitamin which is known for supporting stronger bones also acts like a neuro-steroid; it helps lower inflammation and controls your nerve growth factor (NGF), which is important for the proper function of your neurons in the hippocampus, the area of the brain which is responsible for memory and learning.
Many people are deficient in vitamin D, especially people who live in the northeast where the level of sunshine affects vitamin D levels. Outside of vitamin D foods like milk, it might be difficult to get enough of this crucial vitamin, so experts recommend vitamin D supplements to make use of its connection to helping mood and anxiety disorders.
2 — Magnesium
This mineral is connected to 300 biochemical reactions in your body, including sleep and mood regulation.
Research proves that a magnesium deficiency is linked with anxiety disorders, fatigue, ADHD, and low libido. Naidoo recommends asking your doctor about the best kind of magnesium supplement to take for anxiety since some magnesium supplements might give you stomach issues since magnesium supplements are sometimes used for constipation.
3 — Omega 3s
There are three main kinds of omega‑3 fatty acids: the alpha-linolenic acid, which is plant based, and the two from fish oil, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). EPA and DHA are crucial to your head and heart.
“Omega-3s help your brain health by lowering your inflammatory markers and protecting your neurons from inflammation,” says Naidoo.
Author: Scott Dowdy