16 Aug 2020
Top 5 Nutrients for Brain Health
Did you know that good nutrition is vital to the health of your brain? It is in ways that might surprise you! For a long time the role of nutrition in mental and cognitive health has been neglected, but things are changing and we now know just how important brain foods and certain nutrients really are.
A healthy brain is linked to lower feelings of stress, better moods, focus, and memory both early in life, and as we age. Making simple changes to the foods you eat can have surprising benefits. Below we will explore some of the key nutrients for supporting brain health:
B Vitamins – These water-soluble vitamins play a vital role in brain health. Firstly, B vitamins play an essential role in energy production and the brain requires a lot of energy to function properly. Additionally, Vitamins B12, B6 and folic acid are involved with metabolising a compound called ‘homocysteine’ which is associated with cognitive decline. Certain B vitamins are also required for the formation of neurotransmitters which is how the brain sends signals and communicates information with the rest of the body.
Iodine – Foods rich in iodine include fish and seafood sources. Intake of iodine has been strongly linked to cognitive development and IQ levels in children. Iodine plays an important role in thyroid health as well as aiding growth and brain development. Low levels or deficiency during pregnancy is associated with a reduced IQ and cognitive development in the child.
Phosphatidylserine - is a type of fatty acid that has some very special effects, in particular it plays a key role in the activity of neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine, serotonin and dopamine and seems to have a trophic (growth supportive) effect on the brain, which explains its major area of interest – cognitive loss with age. Scientists have been exploring the effects of phosphatidylserine on the brain and numerous clinical studies have revealed important benefits in cognition - especially those functions that tend to decline with age, including memory, learning and concentration, at a daily intake of around 200mg to 300mg. Because it naturally occurs in food, and is very well studied, it can be used long-term.
Choline - Rich in foods such as eggs, poultry and dairy foods, choline is a source of methyl groups needed for many steps in metabolism. The body needs choline to synthesize two major phospholipids vital for cell membranes and of particular importance for brain structure and health. Choline has shown to be essential for cognitive health as it acts as a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine required for nerve transmission and functioning of the brain. In a community-based population study, results revealed that those with a long-term higher intake of choline in the diet had better cognitive performance.
Omega- 3 - The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil and marine algae are thought to be so important for mental health that we wouldn’t be human without them! Leading biologists believe that a good supply of these fats in our diet was essential for the development of our unusually large brains throughout history; the problem is our modern diets are deficient. It is estimated that the average intake of omega 3 from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is around 250mg per day and only 1 in 4 people consume any oily fish at all. The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition recommends a minimum intake of 450mg from EPA and DHA daily.
Low intake of omega 3 has been implicated in a wide range of mental health issues because these fats make up a significant portion of the lipid fraction of the human brain and play important roles in many neurological functions.
Author: Aimée Benbow, BSc (Hons), MSc, ANutr. is Director of Nutrition at Viridian Nutrition.
The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.
Balade en Provence Zero Waste Organic Products
A little history about this fabulous new zero waste company. ...read more
Trees and Bees
Nature's Bounty have a delightful new addition to their stock. ...read more
Omega 7 - Watch the video and discover the benefits
Omega 7 is a nutritional supplement that is produced...read more
Introducing Digital Defence Skincare
Digital Defence So much is known about the harmful,...read more
What is Omega 3 Good For?
HEART OF THE MATTER Taken from an article by...read more
Another January, another diet? by Cathy Houghton
Does this bring January to mind? If so this...read more
Meet Our Team
PROPRIETOR AND REFLEXOLOGIST
My passion in natural healthcare swayed me to abandon my career in teaching, learning and development, taking over as Proprietor of Nature's Bounty back in 2010. It has been the most amazing and fulfilling journey where every day...Read more
CUSTOMER SERVICE CONSULTANT
Welcome to my profile. I am passionate about permaculture and organic cooking and this inspired me to deepen my knowledge through college study into Nutrition. I would describe myself as a ‘Naturopathic Warrior’ through my own past experiences...Read more
CUSTOMER SERVICE CONSULTANT
I'm delighted to be continuing my journey into Health and Nutrition as member of the team at Nature's Bounty and bring my own set of skills and knowledge to compliment those of my colleagues. I'm...Read more
CUSTOMER SERVICE CONSULTANT AND INDEPENDENT PRACTITIONER
I hold a BSc in Sports Science and have a wealth of experience working in Natural Health. I work on the shop floor at Nature's Bounty on a part-time basis and have my own private practice outside of...Read more
IRENE MELVILLE (Independent Practitioner)
A holistic treatment with an emphasis on blood type, nutrition treatment and osteopathy. I am a highly qualified Specialist earning an outstanding reputation among my professional peers from all corners of the globe. ...Read more
CAROL MARTIN (Independent Practitioner)
Welcome to my profile! I have over 17 years experience working in Complimentary Health. I see clients at Nature's Bounty for Reflexology, Footcare Health, Indian Head Massage, Aromatherapy Massage and Swedish Massage. ...Read more
CATHY HOUGHTON (INDEPENDENT PRACTITIONER)
It is my business to help women Thrive, Flourish and Blossom . I help women feel better about their bodies and their lives. I coach them to find Peace and...Read more
JULIA SIMMONS (Independent Practitioner)
I am a Registered Counsellor with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. I have a background in art, dance, Social work (Adult Health Care) and massage. My personal life experience of loss and bereavement,...Read more
PHIL ALLEN (Independent Practitioner)
Over 25 years experience of workiing with clients . RN, BCH, CI. Clinical Hypnotism Thought Field Therapy Philip is a practising hypnotist, a Reiki/ Sekhem Master Teacher of over 25 years,...Read more
Nature's Bounty on Twitter
Another January, another diet? by Cathy Houghton Blossom Health Coaching Read the full blog on our website https://t.co/fpn8BWM06b
#Movember #MensHealth Awareness Month. Health-supporting herbs to maintain peak well-being. Read the full article https://t.co/BXuUZHsfeg