If you feel like you're lacking in brain power, the problem may lie in your diet. Proper nutrition is essential for maintaining top brain function, and it is possible that you simply aren't getting enough brain vitamins in your daily meals. In this regard, you may want to supplement or adjust your diet to include more vitamins, specifically those that benefit the brain. Here are four vitamins that can help improve brain power and short-term memory, and boost your overall cognitive performance.
1. Folic Acid
Folic acid controls the levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine is known to damage brain cells when at elevated levels, so adequate supplementation with folic acid is strongly advised if you lack brain power. Folic acid has also been reported to improve short-term memory and alertness. If you take folic acid, you will feel more mentally alert, instead of being sluggish and lethargic.
You can find folic acid supplements in most local drugstores. Foods rich in folic acid include leafy green vegetables and legumes, such as beans and lentils.
2. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in maintaining the health of your nerve cells. This vitamin boosts the production of myelin, which sheathes your nerve fibers and helps insulate against the brain's electrical impulses. This is incredibly important, as many mental health problems arise from the misfiring of nerve cells that lack the protective myelin sheaths.
Supplementation with vitamin B12 has been found to improve depressive moods and increase mental alertness. Research has also found that vitamin B12 can prevent memory loss, making it an incredibly useful tool for enhancing brain power.
Vitamin B12 is found primarily in meats, such as poultry, fish, pork and beef. If you are a vegetarian, you may opt to take vitamin supplements found in drugstores, or try out cereals that are fortified with vitamin B12. Spirulina, a type of algae, is also believed to contain vitamin B12.
3. Vitamin C
Atoms and molecules known as free radicals can damage your brain cells. They are often a byproduct of chemical reactions in your body that involve oxygen. In order to counteract this problem, you will need to take an adequate amount of antioxidants, which help eliminate free radicals from your system.
Vitamin C is one of the most readily available antioxidants in the market. Making sure you get enough vitamin C in your diet will help improve your brain's overall performance. You can find vitamin C in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including oranges and legumes.
4. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another antioxidant that helps protect your brain and nerve cells from potential damage. Researchers have found that supplementing a diet with vitamin E can delay the progress of Alzheimer's disease, or help prevent it altogether. In fact, a lot of other brain disorders can be prevented simply by protecting the brain with antioxidants.
You can find vitamin E in leafy green vegetables, nuts, grains and sweet potatoes. Your local drug or health food store should also be selling this popular vitamin supplement.