The age old question – how to remain young and healthy? Naturally, that is not exactly possible and time will eventually catch up with all living beings.
However, it’s still really important to keep your brain functioning well your entire life and one Harvard nutritional psychiatrist explains how you can do that through your diet!
Dr. Uma Naidoo stresses in a new article for CNBC that a lot of the process of keeping one’s brain healthy and young has to do with them getting all the vitamins they need.
This is because it helps prevent cognitive decline.
So what vitamins should you make sure to include?
Well, the expert mentions that each of our microbiomes is similar to a thumbprint which means that each diet should also be personalized to the needs of each person.
However, there is a vitamin group she prioritizes – B vitamins!
After all, dementia, depression and mental impairment are all linked to a B vitamins deficiency according to a Wayne State University School of Medicine study.
The lead author of this study, Rajaprabhakaran Rajarethinam, who is also a psychiatrist, explains that “A B12 vitamin deficiency as a cause of cognitive issues is much more common than we think, especially amongst the elderly who live alone and do not eat properly.”
With that being said, there are actually 8 total B vitamins, each of them providing individuals with unique benefits as follows:
Also known as thiamin, B1 is great at increasing energy, being crucial for the basic functioning of all cells and the metabolism.
And since the brain is one of the most metabolically active organs, a lack of B1 can lead to neurological problems later on in life.
Also named riboflavin, B2 is a sort of assistant to the enzymes in our cells that carry important reactions in the body and in the brain.
Other functions it performs: helps grow cells, helps break down fats and external materials such as meds, and helps produce energy.
Also known as niacin, B3 produces fat and cholesterol and converts energy for all organs. It also helps reduce inflammation since it’s an antioxidant.
Also known as pantothenic acid, B5 is essential for making coenzyme A, a molecular compound that helps build and break down fatty acids into energy.
Also known as pyridoxine, B6 fights diseases, being known to lower the risk of multiple types of cancers. Furthermore, it also supports brain health and immune function.
Commonly known as biotin, B7 is crucial for cellular signaling via neurotransmitters in the brain. It also regulates cell signals for quick and efficient communication throughout the body.
Also referred to as folate, vitamin B9 supports the brain and neurological health, in addition to encouraging cellular detoxification.
Finally, cobalamin or vitamin B12 is essential for the formation of red blood cells and the DNA and also supports the function and development of the nervous system.
In conclusion, to keep your brain young and healthy, make sure to consume foods rich in all B vitamins every day, including eggs, yogurt, legumes like chickpeas, lentils and black beans, sunflower seeds, salmon, and leafy greens such as spinach and cabbage.