How to make your brain healthier?
A good start is to analyze what we eat.
Maintaining a balanced diet, making sure we consume the right vitamins, is essential for the body to function properly and to prevent cognitive decline.
It is worth noting that “there are 13 essential vitamins for normal cell function, growth, and development,” states the United States National Library of Medicine.
Vitamins are found naturally in food, so what we put in our mouths is important.
“You have the power at the end of your fork,” Uma Naidoo, a nutrition psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, told BBC Mundo.
Dr. Naidoo is the author of This is your brain on food, a guide to the foods you can eat to support your mental health, the worst and the ones to avoid .
For the specialist, there is a key vitamin to keep our brain young and healthy.
Then we share the interview with the expert.
What is the best vitamin to protect our brain from aging?
The best vitamin that covers many aspects related to brain health is vitamin B.
There are several, and each has an important function for the brain.
Why Vitamin B? What is so special about it?
There are 8 types of B vitamins.
Vitamin B-1, called thiamine, helps with basic cellular functions and the metabolism of various nutrients to help us get energy.
A low level of thiamine can lead to poor cognitive function as well as other problems in the body.
Vitamin B-12, or cobalamin, is essential for the formation of red blood cells and DNA, but it also supports the nervous system, brain development and function.
It does more specific things like help break down homocysteine, which is a heart-damaging protein that can also lead to some form of dementia.
One of my favorites and the one I talk about all the time is vitamin B-9 which is folic acid.
Supports optimal neurotransmitter function and brain health. Cooperates in the formation of DNA and favors cellular detoxification.
Low folate is associated with low mood.
So just by eating green leafy vegetables, which are often rich in the natural vitamin B-9 folate, you can maintain a good mood and emotional health.
These are just the most common factors of some of the B vitamins and are essential elements for our mental and cognitive health.
Are all B vitamins good for the brain?
They have different benefits outside of the brain, but they all have some element that helps you. Therefore, when asked, I always answer that vitamin B is the one I choose and recommend.
Some are more directly related to the brain, such as vitamins B-12, B-9, and B-1. And others help with other very necessary functions of the body, such as the formation of blood cells.
So, directly or indirectly, they are related to brain function.
Where can we find B vitamins?
In many different foods.
I like to help people by giving them mnemonic exercises [una oración corta y fácil de recordar que ayuda a relacionar palabras].
This is not the complete list, but it helps. Then it hit me: BIGYESS [un gran sí].
The letter B is the initial of beans in English, which means grains and includes beans, lentils, legumes, etc. They are rich in vitamin B.
Ignore the I that follows it.
G is for vegetables (vegetables). It groups all the different types of green leafy vegetables. The greener the better because they are rich in folic acid.
And this is for dairy yogurt, which contains riboflavin, which is vitamin B-2, and it also contains vitamin B-12. Always choose the natural type of yogurt. There are even non-dairy yogurts that contain these vitamins. So check it out.
E is the first letter of eggs. If you consume eggs, I always recommend buying pastured eggs. They are very rich in vitamin B-7, which is biotin.
The first S is for salmon. Many people know that salmon is rich in B vitamins, which include vitamin B-2 or riboflavin, vitamin B-3 or niacin, vitamin B-6 or pyridoxine and vitamin B-12 or cobalamin. They all help the brain.
And the other S is for sunflower seeds. They are one of the richest sources of vitamin B-5, which is called pantothenic acid.
20% of the recommended daily value of this vitamin can be obtained from just one ounce (28 grams) of these seeds.
It’s easy to add them to a salad or drink to get this vitamin and add it as part of your diet.
What is the recommended daily dose of vitamin B to support our brain health?
When it comes to foods, we are not always completely sure of the exact dosages of the vitamins they contain.
And here I like to talk about a healthy whole food diet that is balanced.
Everyone’s microbiome is completely unique.
Try to include foods in a healthy and balanced diet. Don’t just eat beans, don’t just eat green leafy vegetables, because then you’ll lose the other seven B vitamins by ignoring them.
You can find the different B vitamins and recommended daily amounts on the Internet. In the United States, we use the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances).
Are there any downsides to consuming vitamin B?
It is important to know what should be consumed in the recommended amounts.
Your body absorbs as much as it needs and the rest will pass through the urine.
When it comes to vitamins, the belief that eating or drinking something extra will help you more is often a myth.
Use the recommended amount and eat a healthy diet.
Some of the excesses of various vitamins, not only vitamin B, can have side effects. It is important to be careful.
What would you recommend your patients eat?
The first step is to understand the symptoms the person is experiencing, what types of foods they like to eat and what they don’t.
Often in this conversation I end up finding out something about them, like certain foods they rely on that may not be so healthy.
A great example is yogurt, which has probiotics and offers great benefits. Blueberries are good too.
But blueberry yogurt isn’t the healthiest option, as many fruit yogurts are extremely high in added sugars, which aren’t healthy for your brain.
It is much healthier to take a bowl of yogurt and add frozen or fresh blueberries, sweetened with a little cinnamon, a little honey and eat like that.
If you don’t eat shellfish, eggs or dairy, look for alternatives. A great source of vitamin B-12 for those who are vegetarian is nutritional yeast.
I like to say two things:
1. Eat the orange, don’t buy a can of orange juice. Because the orange has the skin, the fiber, the nutrients of the vitamins, the minerals you need. Orange juice often has a lot of added sugar and fiber removed, making it a less healthy version.
2. You have the power at the end of the fork. This is something that is within your own control and it is very powerful that you know that.
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BBC-NEWS-SRC: https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-63209808, DATE OF IMPORT: 2022-10-12 10:00:06
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