Obtaining all of the nutrients your brain and body need to function at the highest level is difficult from food alone. Even with some of the healthiest eating possible, it is still rather difficult to take advantage of what special herbs and extracted nutrients can offer. This is why many people still take supplements to make sure that their brain and body will function well.
Vitamins and minerals with nootropic benefits help maintain strong healthy brains for improving memory, sustaining focus, limiting cognitive decline and cellular damage, and prolonging optimal thought processes for years to come.
“How will vitamins or mineral supplements exhibit the positive effects of nootropics?”
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They say a car won’t run without oil. That’s true. Similar to cars, the human body won’t function well without B vitamins, which serve as fuel. B vitamins help convert food into fuel to keep you energized throughout the day.
Vitamin B1 or Thiamine
When it comes to boosting mood, thiamine is the key. This essential vitamin helps create amino acids and enzymes, which could improve one’s mood and shoo depression. It also regulates the production of adenosine triphosphate or ATP, which is a usable form of energy for the cells. This keeps you energized and functioning all throughout the day.
Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin
In case you experience migraines often, it could be due to lack of vitamin B2 or riboflavin in your brain.
This essential B vitamin is responsible for the transmission of neuro impulses in the brain, thereby reducing incidence of migraines. Consequently, riboflavin is required for energy production in every cell in the body and helps activate vitamin B6 and folate to keep your brain in tiptop shape.
Nonetheless, riboflavin is not stored in the body; hence, excess supplementation is not recommended.
Vitamin B3 or Niacin
Did you know that brain fog, schizophrenia, and other psychiatric symptoms are related to niacin deficiency? This B vitamin is an essential nutrient that enables your body to function properly. In fact, niacin is part of NAD and NADP coenzymes to boost your energy. This is why niacin is often included in many nootropic stacks, to stimulate the brain.
This B-vitamin is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in most foods. When it comes to nootropic benefits, this vitamin is one of the best in the field. It keeps your memory sharp, thereby minimizing the risk of memory loss. It also minimizes depressive symptoms because vitamin B6 stimulates the connection between neurons.
More importantly, vitamin B6 is a key ingredient in producing hemoglobin, an essential component in blood production, and reduces the risk of shortness of breath and low oxygen levels in the body among others.
Vitamin B9 or Folate
There is a reason why pregnant and planning to get pregnant women are required to drink folate or folic acid supplements. It prevents neural tube defects and minimizes possible complications on the unborn child.
Aside from this, vitamin B9 also protects the brain against oxidative stress brought by stress and even excessive studying.
Myelin sheath is a fatty material that covers and protects the nerves in the brain. The good news is vitamin B12 is a primary nutrient to enable the production of myelin sheath, thereby playing an important role in neuro health. Otherwise, the myelin sheath is exposed and leads to neuropathy, or the malfunction of nerves.
Can you imagine your body full of toxins with no component that could stop them from messing up your body? Here is where your antioxidants come in, and this is why copper is crucial. Without copper, the body’s antioxidant system will collapse.
That’s not all. Copper is also an important cofactor in production of enzymes and keeps your energy levels in its high state.
Did you know that lack of iron is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 146,000 cases were reported showing anemia, or iron deficiency, as primary hospital discharge diagnosis. Since iron is a main component in the blood, lack of such mineral could be the reason why you experience fatigue.
When it comes to nootropic benefits, iron is beneficial too. Iron stimulates cognitive activity as well as improves one’s concentration and attention. It also has a beneficial effect on the mood because it plays a crucial role in the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
Take it easy on your intake and keep it to 18 milligrams for women and eight grams for men, because too much iron may lead to dementia or other brain deterioration conditions.
Did you know that almost half of the American population is magnesium deficient? Don’t take this lightly because magnesium deficiency means a person will experience irritability, poor memory, fatigue, and nausea, among other symptoms.
In fact, this is a serious matter because magnesium is important for proper energy production. This means your body is also able to convert sugar into energy; hence giving you a boost throughout the day.
That’s not all. Magnesium is a mineral used in more than 300 processes in the body – with more than 50 processes in the brain alone. As a result, magnesium helps in improving neural plasticity or the nerve’s ability to adapt to avoid damage. At the same time, this mineral can:
- Provide a calming effect on the nervous system
- Fight stress and depression
- Improve focus
- Promote better sleep
- Increase memory
This one may be associated with gut health and not your brain, but believe it or not, probiotics have brain benefits too.
It turns out that gut feel, or the emotions involved with instinctual reactions, is true. In fact, the bacteria in the gut may influence decision-making. This means healthy gut bacteria is often aligned with proper use of hormones and energy and positive feelings – and probiotic supplements could help you achieve that.
Otherwise, bad bacteria will overrun good bacteria, which your body will try hard to fight. This could affect the balance of hormones and energy levels, and you don’t want that to happen.
A list of essential vitamins would not be complete without vitamin C in it.
Vitamin C is among the most powerful antioxidants that keep your brain and body free from toxins. Also known as ascorbate, the highest concentration of this vitamin is found in the brain and neuroendocrine tissues. These areas are where most of the body’s energy is used, which is why it is important that it has constant supply. Consequently, ascorbate is a regulator for many neurochemicals and helps reduce the risk of stroke.
You can take vitamin C supplements daily to make sure your body has enough. If you want to keep it natural, orange, pineapple, tomatoes, kiwi, mangoes, strawberries, and cantaloupe have high amounts of vitamin C.
You know this as the vitamin you can get from the sun. Aside from maintaining the health of your bones, vitamin D plays a critical role in your brain as well.
This essential vitamin is among the catalysts in the brain that turns on and off the nerve growth systems and neurotransmitter synthesis. Vitamin D also maintains balance to ensure that the brain’s ability to keep and form new neuro-connections will not be inhibited.
Further studies are needed, but experts are looking at promising results on how vitamin D supplementation could help prevent, reverse, and provide therapeutic effects against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
When it comes to potent antioxidants, vitamin E will always be on the list. In terms of brain health and nootropic benefits, vitamin E is helpful as well.
True to its antioxidant properties, vitamin E protects the overall functions of your brain and provides the following benefits:
- Reduces stress on the brain
- Offers relief against environmental stressors
- Increase energy levels
- Helps produce clearer thoughts
- Protects against neuronal degeneration
- Slows down age-related cognitive decline
This is the reason why low-fat diets are not recommended because this type of diet is low in vitamin E. This could increase the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease as well.
Are you looking for an immune system booster? Then you need zinc to keep you up and running, even if everybody else is getting colds and cough.
The health benefits of Zinc don’t end there. It turns out that the highest amount of zinc is found in the brain. This proves that zinc plays a crucial role in the brain by controlling neuro impulses and the body’s response to stress. Low zinc levels are linked to depression as well, so make sure you include spinach, oysters, wheat germ, nuts, and pumpkin seeds to your diet.
Do you still need to take supplements even on a nootropic diet?
The answer is yes. In fact, there’s nothing wrong if you add certain vitamins and minerals into your diet. Keep in mind that your brain needs all the nutrients it can get to keep functioning a the highest level and always in tiptop condition and, sometimes, what you eat may not be enough.
The key here is the type of vitamins and minerals you will include in your diet. Make sure your body gets at least most of what was enumerated above and you’ll be fine. More importantly, you keep your brain healthy as well.
Which is better: Liquid vitamins or capsule/tablet?
Both are beneficial, but if you want more efficiency and effectiveness, then it is best to go for capsule or powder supplements. Liquid supplements pass through the digestive system quickly and make it harder for the body to absorb; hence making it less effective. If you want better absorption and digestion, powder or capsule supplements are the best way to go. Capsules contain powder extracts, and are often used when taste is an issue.