If you think that a balanced diet is all about the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, then you are wrong. You need to consider a few things beyond that. Say hello to vitamins for memory and enhanced focus.
What you eat affects your body and brain equally. Brain health is not just a matter of genetics or playing chess. The secret to improving your memory lies in consuming vitamins and knowing what to eat to prevent memory loss. Right portions, regular exercise, and stress management can do wonders for your brain but taking vitamins for memory improves your concentration, focus, and retention.
Do you know that the global vitamin and mineral supplement market has reached around sixty billion dollars? People usually use them to fill the gap in their nutrition. But are the best memory supplements really worth it when it comes to your brain health and memory? Let’s discover.
The Need of Vitamins for Memory
Prevention is better than cure. The importance of this sentence can be understood by the fact that by just delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s by a year, the number of patients will reduce by two hundred ten thousand for the upcoming ten years.
How supplements for memory can make a difference is clear now. It contains isolated quantities of specific vitamins that fulfill your daily body requirements. Taking the right amount of vitamins in the diet promotes healthy blood flow to the brain. It improves the electrical activity of the brain by supporting the production of neurotransmitters, protecting the neuron synapses, and energizing the memory process.
You know these supplements as brain boosters, and now you know the reason behind it. You are better off using them.
Vitamins for Brain Health
Experts agree that vitamins can slow down memory loss and fortify it. So, let’s find out about the vitamins for short term memory and how these vitamins work.
According to a study published in the journal JAMA, vitamin E prevents help in preventing memory loss and Alzheimer’s. It works as an antioxidant, protecting brain cells from oxidative stress and damage. This slows down the progression of the disease. The recommended daily amount of vitamin E is 15 mg daily. You can eat nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and green leafy vegetables to fulfill your body requirements.
Note: Consuming more than 400 IU can result in heart diseases, especially if you are on blood thinners.
Taking an adequate amount of vitamin B12 provides enough energy, improves memory, and makes the learning process easier. It is found in fish, poultry, dairy, whole grains, and high-fiber cereals. If you are a strict vegetarian or suffer from diarrhea or other stomach issues, then you might suffer from B12 deficiency. Maintaining adequate levels in the body is important for proper cognitive function, but higher levels don’t show many positive effects.
Note: You can try adding fortified cereal to your breakfast if you are a vegetarian.
You must have heard that sunshine is the best medicine. It is the best source of vitamin D. We know that it is important for strong bones, but it is also linked to improved cognitive function. It prevents mental conditions like depression, dementia, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease. You can find it in cod liver oil, salmon, sardines, egg yolk, and milk.
Other Supplements for Memory
You will find a variety of substances in the market labeled as brain boosters. One among them is Ginkgo Biloba. It is quite popular in Europe for dementia resulting from reduced blood flow complementary to its medication. It can be traced to Chinese traditions a thousand years back.
In a study carried in a national institute on Aging, Ginkgo has shown improved memory and concentration in people older than sixty. This compound is effective as a neurotransmitter inhibitor and is available in tablets, capsules, teas, and fortified foods.
Recommended Usage and Precautions:
The recommended amount of the compound is 80 to 240 milligrams a day to be taken in three divided doses. The compound is generally safe; however, people using blood thinner should take caution.
Avoid using it before or immediately after a surgery or dental procedure. It might affect insulin and blood sugar, too, so discuss this with your doctor before using if you are diabetic. However, not much has been found in support of its disease-preventing claims. It might improve or stabilize symptoms so things can’t get worse. More research is required to verify its profound effects. Now, let’s focus on the other compounds on the list.
Note: Ginkgo Biloba seeds are toxic so never consume them.
Supplements Containing DHA & EPA
Studies have found that supplements containing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) have profound effects on episodic memory, specifically in adults suffering from memory relapses. Both of them are special types of omega 3 fatty acids found in seafood, such as salmon and mackerel.
Fish Oil Supplements
Fish oil supplements are also rich in omega 3. According to the research, consuming cold-water fish, nut oils, and walnuts can lower the risk of dementia.
The list further includes Huperzine A, ginseng, and Acetyl L carnitine.
Huperzine and Ginseng
Nature has blessed us with herbs like Huperzine and ginseng, which have a similar mechanism of action as Alzheimer's drugs. Taking these medications helps with fatigue and improves the quality of life.
Some studies have shown its positive effects on memory in small group studies. When we talk about acetyl L carnitine, this amino acid helps people with a memory problem. It is beneficial for people with early onset of dementia.
A Mediterranean diet is another healthy way to improve your memory. It doesn’t only fights memory loss but lowers the risk of other brain diseases and prolongs life in people with Alzheimer’s. It can be a good option when it comes to finding a source of all vitamins that your body needs. The diet is consists of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil. The diet is low on red meat and dairy food products.
A similar diet combination for memory is the MIND diet which emphasizes consuming green leafy vegetables in addition to high protein and olive oil. Another diet is called DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension). Both of them are recommended for Alzheimer’s disease.
What Can Harm Memory?
Food that can destroy your health affects your brain too. On top of the list are fast food and fatty food products. They are associated with heart diseases as well as lower brain efficiency. Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases are associated with poor diet and eating habits. First off, if you drink or smoke, then you have to quit it or to the least, reduce it to an extent.
At this point, if you are thinking about adding memory supplements to your diet, then talk it out with your doctor or pharmacist to learn about its side effects and drug interactions.
For example, if we consider Bacopa, an Ayurvedic herb used in India shows some promising results when it comes to memory problems. But it has a higher risk of drug interactions. Therefore, be cautious before using it.
DHEA is a hormone that decreases with age. Taking it for a long time or in high doses can increase the risk of some cancers. It does have other serious side effects.
When evaluating memory supplements, you should know that the FDA does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. According to them, these supplements are counted among food rather than medicine. Unlike pharmaceutical manufacturers, supplement manufacturers don't have to prove the efficacy or safety of their products before selling them. This makes it difficult to assess the strength and safety of such supplements. It’s better to conduct your research on the efficacy and side effects of a supplement before using it.