Many people, especially as they age, experience momentary mind blanks and memory problems. While there are cases where this is uncontrollable, such as the development of Alzheimer’s disease, there are many cases where the brain is not functioning optimally for other reasons.
Nutritional deficiencies, which tend to happen as the body ages and has more trouble absorbing nutrients, can impair cognitive function. A lack of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood flow to the brain because of high blood cholesterol levels or simply poor circulation is another factor. Exposure to free radicals, which damage brain cells, a lack of neurotransmitters, alcohol and drug use, some prescription drugs, allergies, and stress can also contribute to the deterioration of your memory.
Aside from mind exercises (reading, doing challenging mental games and puzzles, learning a new language), eating well, and getting adequate rest, you can also boost your brain power by taking supplements to improve memory. Learn about the nutrients that can nourish your brain.
Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids are some of the most important nutrients for brain health. Nearly 60 percent of the brain actually consists of these omega oils. Focusing on adding omega-3 fatty acids to the diet in particular is helpful — low omega-3’s are linked to poor mental function. Try supplementing with flax seed oil, evening primrose oil, or borage seed oil supplements.
The B Complex
The B complex vitamins are also vital for healthy cognitive ability. Pantothenic acid is necessary for the formation of neurotransmitters. Pyridoxine is essential for brain function. Niacin is necessary for cerebral circulation. Deficiencies of some of the B vitamins can actually cause memory troubles. While each of these nutrients has a special function, all of the B vitamins are most effective when taken together as they often work together.
Antioxidants to Protect Brain Cells
Another important nutritional consideration for brain health is antioxidants. They protect brain cells from free radical damage, preventing mental decay that would otherwise happen over the years. Vitamin C is one of the most important antioxidants. This nutrient also improves circulation. Vitamin E also acts as an antioxidant and improves blood flow to the brain as well. Do not exceed 200 IU a day of vitamin E. Beta-carotene, or the entire carotenoid complex, also helps to protect brain cells. While supplementing with these nutrients is beneficial make sure you are also consuming plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for a variety of antioxidants.
Garlic supplements can be taken for memory. Garlic is rich in antioxidants that protect brain cells. It also helps to lower blood cholesterol levels and improve circulation.
Taking supplements to improve memory is a great way to provide your brain with the extra nourishment that it needs to thrive. You do not have to simply accept impaired function over the years. Keep your mind sharp with nutrition, exercise, and a good book.
Balch, Phyllis A. "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." Fourth Edition (Penguin Books, 2006).
Page, Linda. "Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone, 11th Edition" (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).
photo by D’Arcy Norman (CC/flickr)
photo by Deux X Florida (CC/flickr)