Feed Your Brain

Feed Your Brain

By Nicole Ely,
Senior Nutrionist / Nutritional Project Manager

You probably have heard of the saying, “you are what you eat” but how does this apply to our health? It means, the type of food we eat can maintain or affect the normal, healthy functioning of all organs in our body, including the brain. A diet rich in low fat protein foods, whole grains, vegetables, and assorted fruit is ideal. A high fat and high sugar diet with a low amount of other food groups can cause health problems over time, especially for the brain. Many people do not consider the brain an organ, but it is and it has to be nourished properly with the correct nutritional elements to keep it in top working order to sustain good memory, thinking processes and mental concentration. According to research, Vitamin E, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B3 (niacin), and Omega 3 fatty acid are extremely helpful for proper brain function and memory.

Amyloid beta peptide, an amino acid, is a primary constituent of plaque formation in the brain, which affects memory and cognitive function. Vitamin E, an antioxidant, has been shown to protect the brain from plaques and brain cell destruction caused by free radicals. Vitamin E can be found in nuts, seeds, wheat germ, avocadoes, and certain oils such as, olive, corn and peanut oils. Believe it or not, even mangoes contain Vitamin E. In addition to the types of food sources, a person can take any one of our multivitamin/mineral supplements that contain Vitamin E or opt for VIVA Natural Vitamin E.

Vitamin B12 and vitamin B3 (niacin) have been shown to protect against age related cognitive decline in the elderly; this is a very promising effect. These B vitamins can be found in whole grains, fortified cereals, cheese, eggs, meat, and poultry. As for supplementation, any of our multi-vitamin/mineral supplements, B-Easy or B-Energized contains these B vitamins.

According to research, a deficiency of DHA, an Omega 3 fatty acid, caused increased oxidative stress in the brain leading to damage of the dendrites, which are structural proteins on neurons that take in chemical signals from other neurons to trigger nerve impulses. After supplementation of DHA, they found a protection against such damage. Food sources, which contain a high level of Omega 3’s are salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel, herring, flax seeds and flax oil. The Omega 3 fatty acid, DHA can also be found in our VIVA Omega-3™ product or LipoGuard®.

Another important nutrient for the brain is lecithin, which helps keep the coating around the nerve cells soft and flexible and enhances communication between brain cells. Lecithin is widespread in most foods, eggs being a top source. BioLecithin is an easy way to supplement this nutrient.

Now, this gives you an idea of how important it is to eat healthy foods and take your daily vitamin supplements so we can think, learn and remember efficiently. Feed the brain with the vitamins, minerals and healthy oils it needs!

References:

1. Boyd-Kimball D, et al. Rodent Abeta (1-42) exhibits oxidative stress properties similar to those of human Abeta (1-42): Implications for proposed mechanisms of toxicity. J Alzheimers Dis. 2004 Oct;6(5):515-25.

2. Morris MC, et al. Dietary niacin and the risk of incident Alzheimer's disease and of cognitive decline . J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2004 Aug; 75(8):1093-9.

3. Jelicic M, Jonker C, Deeg DJ. Effect of low levels of serum vitamin B12 and folic acid on cognitive performance in old age: a population-based study . Dev Neuropsychol. 2001; 20(3):565-71.

4. Calderon F, Kim HY. Docosahexaenoic acid promotes neurite growth in hippocampal neurons. J Neurochem. 2004 Aug; 90(4):979-88.

5. Mulder C, et al. Decreased lysophosphatidylcholine/phosphatidylcholine ratio in cerebrospinal fluid in Alzheimer’s disease. J Neural Transm. 2003 Aug; 110(8): 949-55.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LipoGuard® - (120 softgels)

 

 

 

VIVA Omega-3™ - (90 softgels)