We all know that vitamins are import- ant. They’re good for our immune systems, our bone health, digestive system, skin—the list is endless. Vitamins are also crucial for brain health—here are some of the most important ones.

Top 3 Vitamins for brain health

VITAMIN B12: FOR FASTER AND BETTER COGNITION

The most important activity in the brain has to do with electrical signaling between neurons. Even a slight vitamin B12 deficiency can result in poor quality myelination, which is the insulation that axons require to broadcast signals effectively. When myelination is poor, the signal quality is poor.

A slight deficiency in B12 has been found to lead to fatigue, fogginess, and even depression. Chronic deficiency can also cause serious problems like dementia and permanent brain damage.

VITAMIN A: FOR BETTER SPATIAL MEMORY

Researchers at the Nutrition & Neurosciences laboratory at the University of Bordeaux in France studied the impact of vitamin A deprivation and subsequent reintroduction in rats. They found that deprived rats had 32% fewer new cells in the hippocampus compared to rats fed a diet containing higher amounts of vitamin A.

The deprived rats also did significantly worse in special memory tasks, where they had to learn to swim around a tank marked with cues to find a hidden plat- form. The deprived rats took days to find the platform, while the rats with regular levels of vitamin A were able to find it much sooner. Although the vitamin A deficient rats did improve, they never did as good of a job as the rats with vitamin A. Once the researchers added vitamin A back to the deficient rats, after four weeks they stepped up their performance significantly.

VITAMIN C: FOR SPATIAL MEMORY AND REGENERATION

Researchers at the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University found that with just one dose of vitamin C, middle-aged mice improved approximately 15% in efficiency with which they located the same platform as the vitamin A mice. Though these results weren’t nearly as dramatic as the prolonged vitamin A treatment, it was still evident. Like vitamin A, vitamin C is also thought to have a role in the production of new neurons and in their growth.

More Inspiration: There’s that “other” vitamin C – yeah, Chocolate! Check out this article on meditating with chocolate!

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