Dr. Chris Steele MBE On The Links Between Brain Health & Nutrition
We uncover the link between nutrition and brain health.
Editor's note: Below is adapted from the original article at Dr Chris Steele's magazine, "Dear Doctor". The article explains new links that have been found between nutrition and brain health and offers advice on the best supplements to take to help maintain and even improve brain health. All of the ingredients mentioned below are found in BrainZyme.
If you are interested in this topic, we recommend you check out our 13 Brain Power Supplements: Increase Brain Power And Concentration article.
These days, increasing numbers of healthcare professionals are asking about their patients’ diets. Traditionally, healthcare professionals have not drawn the link between nutrition and brain health. But new studies suggest diet may shape cognitive performance and help combat degenerative diseases of the brain. A very large body of evidence now suggests diet is just as important to brain health as it is to physical health. When required, the right supplements can support this important nutritional intake.
This emerging research reveals what we eat may affect our mental performance and mood. In turn, the way we shape our diets could improve our brain health and allow for better concentration, mental performance and clearer thinking.
Until recently, the idea of brain nutrition was barely credible in the healthcare world. Aside from a few studies examining how omega 3 fatty acids may balance mood, research on the topic was thin on the ground. But new investigations show certain natural ingredients, such as antioxidants, B vitamins, acetyl l-carnitine (Alcar) and Zinc can improve cognitive function and mental agility.
Additionally, nutrition in the form of 'natural nootropics' can help, including choline, gingko biloba, panax ginseng and curcumin.
Green tea goodness
Our brains only use around 20 percent of the oxygen contained within our bodies, making us highly susceptible to free radical damage. But according to Parkinson’s UK, antioxidants (like those found in green tea) can negate this adverse impact and protect the brain from ageing. However, unless we consume large quantities of fresh fruit and vegetables or green tea each day, we are unlikely to get enough of the antioxidants we need to prevent premature ageing of the brain.
An investigation from the British Medical Bulletin states antioxidants via concentrated supplements could be a viable option. Consuming supplements with matcha green tea—which has higher levels of EGCG compared to normal green tea—could also help boost brainpower and help support brain health.
Alcar—an awesome antioxidant
Found in asparagus, alcar is a mitochondrial energy optimiser, supporting energy production at the cellular level. Alcar is a powerful antioxidant that protects brain cells and neurons. Categorised as a nutraceutical (a combination of the words nutrition and pharmaceutical), alcar is believed to be a potent brain-booster, improving clarity of thought, focus, mood and memory.
Brain fog-busting B vitamins
The phenomenon known as ‘brain fog’, whose symptoms include confusion, forgetfulness and lack of focus and mental clarity, could be caused from a vitamin B12 deficiency. Three B vitamins—folic acid (B9), B6 and B12—when taken together can help strengthen your brainpower.
The health properties of zinc are well-known. But aside from improving skin conditions and playing a role in healing wounds, scientists now believe zinc may play an important part in memory formation and cognitive stability. Zinc advances communication between the neurons and hippocampus—a major component of the brain.
Another study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found significant benefits of both 15 and 20 milligrams of zinc on cognitive function in healthy middle-aged men and older adults.
Other helpful ingredients include choline (which can be found in broccoli), a nutrient required to produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in regulating cognitive processes, mood and intelligence.
Also, ginkgo biloba, which is an incredibly popular supplement that many people take to boost their brainpower.
And panax ginseng, which is a herbal remedy from China and has a reputation for stimulating brain function and increasing energy.
Finally, curcumin, which has been the subject of a recent BBC documentary and a groundbreaking clinical study linking it to beneficial effects on brain function.
Editor's note: Original article from Dr Steele's magazine, "Dear Doctor". Dr Steele has over 35 years of experience in the medical profession and has been a TV doctor for over 26 years. He has campaigned for decades to improve the health of the nation and was awarded an MBE in 2010 in recognition of his services to the medical profession and broadcasting.
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