Fueling your brain with the proper nutrients is important for preventing brain fog and cognitive issues as we age. While many of these nutrients can be found in your daily diet, some require the addition of supplements.
Since supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) like medications, it’s important to consult with your physician before taking them. These are the top supplements to take to improve your brain health and function.
You know they’re good for your heart, but did you also know that omega-3s are also good for your brain? These fatty acids are found in fish, but it’s even more important to take an omega-3 supplement if you aren’t a fan of eating fish.
The most important fatty acids to look for are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA). They are found in most fish oil supplements. As a general rule of thumb, you want to be taking between 1,000-1,500 mg of DHA daily and 600 mg of EPA daily, although it’s best to check with your physician for correct dosage information.
There’s an entire group of B vitamins essential for good brain health and other parts of the body. When choosing a B vitamin, sometimes a B-complex vitamin isn’t enough for the brain. You want to make sure it includes folic acid, B6, B12, and nicotinamide riboside (NR).
NR is a relatively new supplement but has been shown to require the least energy from the body to improve brain and nervous system function. This is a huge plus for those who work out hard at the gym or perform physical labor and want to combat energy loss after a workout.
Dubbed the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D3 is a crucial component for better sleep and improved cognitive function. If you aren’t lucky enough to live in a climate where it’s warm all year round, you might be deficient in vitamin D. A simple blood test can confirm that. Still, a majority of us can benefit from adding a vitamin D3 supplement into our diet.
Recent studies have even shown a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, making it even more important to ensure your vitamin D levels are where they should be. Vitamin D dosages can be anywhere from 1,000-4,000 IU per day, but consulting with your physician is the best way to determine which dosage is right for you.
It used to be thought that turmeric was beneficial when taken as a supplement. Still, recent studies have suggested that turmeric is much more beneficial when consumed as a spice in your favorite dishes. When it’s eaten along with a fatty acid like coconut oil, it’s absorbed more efficiently by the body.
Tumeric has brain-boosting properties in addition to anti-inflammatory properties. If you take it as a supplement, make sure it has piperine as an active ingredient to maximize the effectiveness of turmeric.
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
A supplement you may not be familiar with, but that’s a real trailblazer when it comes to improving cognitive function is lion’s mane mushrooms. It enables the body’s ability to respond well in stressful situations, thus reducing the negative effects on the brain.
Lion’s Mane mushrooms can be taken in small amounts daily (as little as a 1/2 teaspoon). This supplement can benefit even those who are already suffering from reduced cognitive function. It’s great when added to your favorite protein shake or fruit smoothie as a healthy breakfast or mid-morning snack.
In addition to adding these supplements into your diet, you can eat some basic foods to reduce brain fog and improve cognitive function. Foods rich in antioxidants provide the most benefits. Remember to eat the rainbow- fruits and vegetables like blueberries and dark, leafy vegetables are packed with antioxidants.
Even a sweet treat like dark chocolate has some impressive brain benefits. Your favorite cup of coffee is also rich in antioxidants. Educate yourself on the right foods and supplements and start boosting your brainpower.