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Vitamins & Brain Function — an article on the Smart Living Network
May 18, 2009 at 5:27 AMComments: 1 Faves: 0

Vitamins & Brain Function


With all the research available today, the task of maintaining a balanced diet often seems daunting. We hear that we need to eat enough leafy green vegetables, and get plenty of antioxidants and complex carbohydrates, not to mention calcium, fiber and B vitamins, but it can be difficult to transfer all that information into the creation of an easy and palatable diet.

Vitamin Advice

There is a huge variety of vitamins and they all do great things for our bodies and brains. There are a few that have been shown to be especially helpful to maximize brain function, but how do we determine the difference between the hype and the facts? If we follow all the advice available, we'd be instantly overwhelmed by the sheer number of vitamin combinations and food choices. It's important to take all this information in stride, and to decide how much you want to worry over it.

Vitamins and Brain Function

There are a number of vitamins that have been shown to be good for the brain. These include:

  • B vitamins - Contribute to memory function and alertness
  • Selenium - For energy and clarity
  • Vitamin E - To increase blood circulation
  • Folic Acid - To aid the brain's neurotransmitters
  • Vitamin C - To protect brain cells
  • Omega 3"s - Increase brain capacity, concentration and alertness

Some Brain Advice

Remember, if a vitamin plan is too complicated, you probably won't follow it. Decide what steps are most important to you, and follow them. The simplest way to increase the amount of vitamins you consume daily is through a multi-vitamin supplement. There are so many available today, with specific combinations for men, women, older men or women and kids. Health food stores have even more combinations targeting specific needs, but a general vitamin will work just fine. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns; they may recommend a specific formula for you.

Food Fun

The other easy way to increase your vitamin intake is to eat a wide variety of food. Focus on increasing the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables that you consume. Begin by choosing one new fruit and vegetable a week and experiment with various recipes and food combinations. As you increase the variety of produce and learn how to prepare new items, you can continue adding more and more options to the mix. After a while, work to regularly consume all colors of produce. This is common advice of nutritionists; by consuming fresh fruits and vegetables of a variety of colors, you will maximize the amount of vitamins you eat. A fruit salad can have strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, oranges and melon and pack you full of nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants in one dish. The same goes for stir-fry dishes or soups. You can throw in any combination of vegetables and maximize the nutritional impact of what you eat. Try adding exercise to your daily life along with a healthy diet.

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1 Comment

  • i am 82 and would appreciate a plain list of supplemental vitamins, especially those for cognitive recall & retentions.
    so far in excellent health and going for another decade!
    thank you, eduardo

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