The brain gives us our ability to think, feel, use our senses, form memories, coordinate movements, and regulate the use of our entire bodies. It is essential to provide our brains with the right nutrition to ensure it fulfills all these essential functions.
The importance of lifestyle, stress management, and nutrition for brain health
There are many ways we can care for our brains. These include getting enough rest, making time for exercise, and prioritising nutrition.
The daily stresses of life can potentially harm our brains if we don’t allow our brains enough time to recover (1). To avoid overloading our brain with stress, it is important to get proper sleep and relaxation.
Aside from proper rest, adequate amounts of exercise can help our brain function. Exercise helps stimulate the brain as well as reduce insulin resistance and inflammation (1).
Adopting healthy eating habits ensures that your brain gets the right nutrients. It requires a well-balanced, low cholesterol, low saturated (animal-fat) diet predominantly consisting of protein and unsaturated fat (2).
Top nutrients for brain health
Here are some of the nutrients you can include as part of your diet to support optimal brain function.
Magnesium is responsible for many processes in our bodies (9). Magnesium benefits include maintaining brain function (9) This is because magnesium supports nerve transmission and neuromuscular conduction (3). The best magnesium for brain health are the types that are more bioavailable, or easily absorbed in the body, such as magnesium citrate (14).
If you feel that you’re not able to get sufficient magnesium from your diet, you can consider a vitamin subscription with the nutrient.
Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that help maintain brain function by supporting the health of brain tissue (5). Fish oil may be recommended if less than 1-2 servings of fatty fish are consumed per week or if plant based sources of omega-3 fatty acids are not included in the diet (7).
The brain is predominantly made up of fat (approximately 50%), mostly the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Fatty acids help to protect the brain by building and maintaining the fluidity of cell membranes to assist with their function (6, 7).
You can find omega-3 in most fish, as well as some nuts and grains like flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and hemp seeds (6, 7).
Ginkgo and Brahmi
Ginkgo leaves and Brahmi herbs have been used as traditional treatments to support function and memory for thousands of years (11). Together, they support mental alertness, enhance wakefulness, and increase recall.
B complex is made up of eight vitamins that our body needs to function well (12). They support brain health by helping in the production of brain chemicals and influencing brain development and processes (13).
B12, like most of the B vitamins, is essential in many brain functions (8).
Vitamin B12 supports cognitive function. It helps brain health by maintaining the protective casing around nerve cells, and supporting mental ability (12).
Ashwagandha has a history of use in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Modern science has found that it has neuroprotective qualities (13). It can reduce cognitive fatigue and support mental focus.
Vitamin K is effective in protecting us from cognitive impairment brought on by aging. It does so by regulating calcium in the brain (5).
Flavonoids found in berries protect the neurons and help suppress neuroinflammation. These play a role in promoting memory and cognitive function (4).
While the best way to stock up on nutrients is through diet, we aren't always able to get the necessary amounts from food. Consider getting a vitamin subscription in Australia like Vitable’s personalised packs to support your health goals.
Why get personalised vitamins?
What goes really well to help with a healthy exercise routine and diet are personalised vitamins. Construct your very own vitamin packs with Vitable today and your vitamin subscription in Australia will be one less part of your health regimen to worry about. We've even got the vitamin delivery part covered too!
Learn more about other areas that magnesium can help you with, plus other supplements that can benefit in different ways:
*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
- Protect Your Brain from Stress (2021), Retrieved August 14, 2021 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/protect-your-brain-from-stress
- Healthy Brain, Retrieved August 31, 2021 from https://brainfoundation.org.au/healthy-brain/
- The Role of Magnesium in Neurological Disorders (2018), Retrieved August 14, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6024559/
- Flavonoids and Brain Health: Multiple Effects Underpinned by Common Mechanism (2009), Retrieved August 14, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2775888/#:~:text=The%20neuroprotective%20actions%20of%20dietary,memory%2C%20learning%20and%20cognitive%20function.
- How Vitamin K is Good for the Brain and Alzheimer’s Prevention (2016), Retrieved August 14, 2021 from https://www.alzheimers.net/2014-07-09-vitamin-k-alzheimers-prevention
- Fish (n.d.), Retrieved August 14, 2021 from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/fish
- Sources of Omega-3 (n.d.), Retrieved August 14, 2021 from https://prod.heartfoundation.org.au/getmedia/ff11afcd-ab38-48d4-802c-9f0581e44a52/Sources_of_omega_3.pdf%22%20/
- B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose, and Efficacy - A Review (2016), Retrieved August 14, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4772032/
- Why Magnesium is Good for Brain Health (2020), Retrieved August 14, 2021 from https://www.brainandlife.org/articles/why-magnesium-is-good-for-brain-health/
- Regular Exercise Changes the Brain to Improve Memory, Thinking Skills (2014), Retrieved August 14, 2021 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110
- Ginkgo & Brahmi (n.d.). Retrieved August 27, 2021 from https://research.vitable.com.au/ginkgo-brahmi
- Vitamin B (n.d.). Retrieved August 27, 2021 from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/vitamin-b
- Ashwagandha in brain disorders: A review of recent developments (2020). Retrieved August 27, 2021 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32305638/
- Predicting and Testing Bioavailability of Magnesium Supplements (2019). Retrieved August 27, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6683096/