6 Nutrients for Your Brain’s Health

The Pie of excellent brain health includes:  Nutrition, Physical Activity, Mental Stimulation, Socialization & Spirituality.  I would add Sleep & Fresh Air.  Click on image to enlarge it.

I explore nutrition because the first study, to use nutrient levels in the blood to analyze the effect of diet on memory and thinking skills, and brain volume says nutritional factors do influence brain health.  It makes sense that we need to feed our mind well as much as our body.  Good input.  Good output.  Feeding your brain well may ward off memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.  The findings appeared in Neurology, a journal from the American Academy of Neurology.

The 6 nutrients linked to good memory and thinking skills are:

  1. omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, tuna, mackerel and trout are particularly high in omega-3s)
  2. vitamins B (meats, fish, eggs, cheese & some cereals)
  3. vitamin C (orange juice, broccoli, red peppers, dark green vegetables, strawberries & kiwi)
  4. vitamin D (natural sunlight)
  5. vitamin E (vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, whole grains, wheat germ)
  6. vitamin B-12 (clams, oysters, mussels, liver, caviar, octopus, salmon, tuna, cod, trout, bluefish, crab, lobster, beef, lamb, cheese, egg yolks, more below)
People with high blood levels of these nutrients:
  • Scored better on thinking tests than those who had low blood levels of these nutrients.
  • Their brains also showed less shrinkage, a sign of brain health.

People with Alzheimer’s typically have smaller brains than those without the disease.  What causes brain shrinkage? Trans fats. That’s the unhealthy type of fat. People with high levels of trans fats scored lower on thinking and memory tests.   Where are unhealthy trans fats found?


So, keep your thinking and memory sharp by sticking with nutritious foods.

The study, part of the Oregon Brain Aging Study, involved 104 people, average age 87. Other than advanced age, they had few risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

“These results need to be confirmed, but obviously it is very exciting to think that people could potentially stop their brains from shrinking and keep them sharp by adjusting their diet,” said study author Gene Bowman of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

By ALZinfo.org, The Alzheimer’s Information Site. Reviewed by William J. Netzer, Ph.D., Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation at The Rockefeller University.

Sources: Christy C. Tangney, Nikolaos Scarmeas: “The Good, Bad, and Ugly? How Blood Nutrient Concentrations May Reflect Cognitive Performance.” Neurology Vol 78 No 1, 2012.

G. L. Bowman, L.C. Silbert, D. Howieson, et al: “Nutrient Biomarker Patterns, Cognitive Funciton, and MRI Measures of Brain Aging.” Neurology Vol 78, No. 1, 2012.

For More Information please visit Alzheimer’s Research Foundation at http://www.alzinfo.org

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Other Vitamin B12 Rich Foods

Fortified Cereals*
List of Cereals High in Vitamin B12
20μg (333% RDA) per 100 gram serving 16μg (267% RDA) in an average bowl (2 cups) (80 grams) 8μg (133% RDA) per cup (40 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fortified Cereals
Liverwurst Sausage 13.46μg (224% RDA) per 100 gram serving 2.42μg (40% RDA) per slice (18 grams) 3.77μg (63% RDA) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Liverwurst Sausage
Fortified Energy Bars* 12.24μg (204% RDA) per 100 gram serving 5.39μg (90% RDA) per bar (44 grams) 2.7μg (45% RDA) in half a bar (22 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fortified Energy Bars
Fois Gras (Goose Liver Pâté) 9.4μg (157% RDA) per 100 gram serving 1.22μg (20% RDA) per tablespoon (13 grams) 2.63μg (44% RDA) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fois Gras (Goose Liver Pâté)
Emu Steak 9.37μg (156% RDA) per 100 gram serving 36.92μg (615% RDA) per tablespoon (394 grams) 7.96μg (133% RDA) per ounce (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Emu Steak
New England Clam Chowder 4.8μg (80% RDA) per 100 gram serving 12.1μg (202% RDA) per cup (252 grams) 1.54μg (26% RDA) in a fluid ounce (32 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for New England Clam Chowder
Manhattan Clam Chowder 3.3μg (55% RDA) per 100 gram serving 7.92μg (132% RDA) per cup (240 grams) 0.99μg (17% RDA) in a fluid ounce (30 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Manhattan Clam Chowder
Luncheon Meat* 5.14μg (86% RDA) per 100 gram serving 1.44μg (24% RDA) per one ounce slice (28 grams) 2.88μg (48% RDA) in two slices (56 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Luncheon Meat
Hard Salami* 2.8μg (47% RDA) per 100 gram serving 3.16μg (53% RDA) in one 4 ounce package (113 grams) 0.28μg (5% RDA) per slice (10 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Hard Salami
Whey Powder 2.37μg (40% RDA) per 100 gram serving 3.44μg (57% RDA) per cup (145 grams) 0.19μg (3% RDA) per tablespoon (8 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Dry Sweet Whey
Yogurt (No Fat) 0.61μg (10% RDA) per 100 gram serving 1.49μg (25% RDA) per cup (8oz) (245 grams) 0.69μg (12% RDA) per 4oz serving (half-container) (113 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Plain Yogurt (No Fat)
Yogurt (Whole) 0.37μg (6% RDA) per 100 gram serving 0.91μg (15% RDA) per cup (8oz) (245 grams) 0.42μg (7% RDA) per 4oz serving (half-container) (113 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Plain Yogurt (Whole)
Skim Milk 0.53μg (9% RDA) per 100 gram serving 1.3μg (22% RDA) per cup (245 grams) 0.16μg (3% RDA) in a fluid ounce (31 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Non-Fat Milk
Whole Milk 0.44μg (7% RDA) per 100 gram serving 1.07μg (18% RDA) per cup (244 grams) 0.14μg (2% RDA) in a fluid ounce (31 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Full Fat Milk
Low-Fat Buttermilk 0.22μg (4% RDA) per 100 gram serving 0.54μg (9% RDA) per cup (245 grams) 0.07μg (1% RDA) in a fluid ounce (31 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Low-fat Buttermilk
Yeast Extract Spread (Marmite) 0.5μg (8% RDA) per 100 gram serving 1.44μg (48% RDA) per cup (288 grams) 0.03μg (1% RDA) per teaspoon (6 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Yeast Extract Spread
Cured Ham (Lean) 0.65μg (11% RDA) per 100 gram serving 0.91μg (15% RDA) per cup (140 grams) 0.55μg (9% RDA) in a 3 ounce serving (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Extra Lean Cured Ham
Chicken (Lean) 0.31μg (5% RDA) per 100 gram serving 0.43μg (7% RDA) per cup chopped (140 grams) 0.21μg (3% RDA) in a half-cup (70 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Lean Roasted Chicken
Fortified Soymilk* 1.11μg (19% RDA) per 100 gram serving 2.7μg (45% RDA) per cup (243 grams) 0.3μg (5% RDA) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fortified Soymilk
Fortified Tofu* 2.36μg (39% RDA) per 100 gram serving 1.86μg (31% RDA) per serving (1/4 packet) (79 grams) 0.7μg (11% RDA) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fortified Tofu

*Amount of vitamin B12 may vary greatly between products. Be sure to check nutrition labels for the exact amount of vitamin B12 from each individual product.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I can’t talk about the brain without mentioning some amazing, brainiac friends I adore, who have written books I love.  Check out my friend, Spencer’s book, “The Brain Mechanic”.  Great read!  http://www.amazon.com/The-Brain-Mechanic-Maximize-Emotional/dp/0757315569

To learn more about Spencer Lord, you can visit his website:  http://www.thebrainmechanic.com/

The book is also available on Audio: http://www.learnoutloud.com/Resources/Authors-and-Narrators/Spencer-Lord/21441

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

And my friend, Michael’s book, “Super Body, Super Brain” is another great read!  http://www.amazon.com/Super-Body-Brain-Workout-That/dp/B005CDTVKA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334456103&sr=8-1

To learn more about Michael Gonzalez Wallace, you can visit his website at: http://www.superbodysuperbrain.com/

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Stay healthy!