There is a lot of confusion among people and even health care professionals. We are looking for a quick fix to improve our memory and cognitive ability. The error in this thinking is the separation of body and mind. Many time what we think is an unhealthy, forgetful or foggy brain is actually just a symptom of being in poor physical health.
There is no separation between body and mind. Our mind is within our body.
So let’s work on both before we start taking vitamins or supplements specifically designed to alter brain chemicals.
Before you even start think about taking a bunch of vitamins make sure you are doing the following:
1. Regular and Low Intensity “Exercise”
Some might refer to this as movement, because it is not supposed to tax your lungs.
This could include, walking, yoga, cycling, gardening, working on the house, chores, anything that gets your blood moving a bit.
You don’t want your heart to be pounding. If you can’t carry on a conversation while doing this low level exercise (some might just call it activity), then you are working too hard.
Activity will get the blood flowing throughout the body, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the brain and elsewhere. It will also help reduce stress in the form of cortisol. Take my word for it and increase your activity level.
2. Get Enough sleep
Doctors and scientists are just starting to understand how important sleep is for our every day life, well being and cognitive function. Memories both short and long term are solidified when we sleep.
It has been show in studies that up to 80% of Americans are not getting enough sleep.
Do you think this lack of sleep could be affecting your memory and cognitive function?
Ok, but exercise and sleep is hard so let’s get to the Vitamins!
These vitamins are ones that most people are defiencent it.
They are aimed at improving overall health and thereby increasing your ability improve your memory and brain power.
Vitamin C – Take this to help put free radicals at bay. This is also a co-ezyn for collagen. Seriously the functions of are too many to list. This is being constantly used by the body.
Dosage – 1-2 grams per day. Don’t be afraid to skip a day here and there. Start with a lower dosage to test your tolerance.
Our bodies cannot make Vitamin D. We get it from sun exposure and unless you are a surfer or nudist, your Vitamin D levels are most likely low. The best way to know for sure is to get a blood test. If you don’t have insurance a standard Vitamin D blood test is $40 bucks. Get tested then start with the recommended dosage for 6 weeks before retesting.
What it does – Immune system support, bone mineralization, calcium/phosphorous level balancing.
Dosage – 1,000IU for every 25 pounds of bodyweight. Take it morning. Make sure to take with magnesium. You may notice cramping if you skip on Magnesium.
Again, this dietary mineral is very deficient just like our pal Vitamin D.
The top 3 foods that contain magnesium that I would recommend eating are the following:
1. almonds (1oz) 80mg of magnesium
2. spinach cooked .5 cup 78mg of magnesium
3. Cashews (1oz) 74mg of magnesium
You can always supplement with a powered magnesium drink at night called nature calm.
Nature calm is an awesome sugar free drink that is very relaxing. In fact, I know drink my magnesium supplement at night instead of a glass of wine. For extra effect drink out of a wine glass.
Dosage – 600-800 mg of magnesium per day. Start at 200 and test your tolerance. Be sure to account for magnesium naturally present in foods.
Fish oil – Some evolutionary types believe that the consumption of high levels of fish oil in the form of fish was responsible for major breakthroughs in human cognitive function. Our brain is made of fat so why not right?
This stuff is essential for cell membrane formation and repair as well as brain function. You need this.
It’s very tough and expensive to get from food consumption alone. The fish needs to be wild caught and in many areas is extremely expensive. Especially if you are landed locked.
There is evidence to suggest fish oils helps to prevent heart attack and lower harmful trigylcerids.
EPA and DHA ratios are important. DHA easily converts to EPA, but EPA does not convert to DHA. Further DHA is the nutririent most associated with anti-inflammatory effects.
And as we know, bodily inflammation is the root cause of the majority of disease.
I like krill oil in capsule form taken after my second meal.
Dosage – 1 gram per day.
B12 – This is essential for brain and nervous system health. Many of us are also deficient in this category. I notice an increase in energy when taking this on a regular basis.
Dosage – Follow directions on bottle.
Ok, so that’s pretty much a good basic round up of good vitamins to help you improve not only your memory but your overall health. Now if you think you can just take a bunch of vitamins you are sorely mistaken. You also need to eat vegetables, fruits, high quality meats, and healthy fats.
Oh and make sure you take vitamins along with a meal contain healthy fat. It will help your body actually use them.