BY LAURA WOODWARD, BSN, RN, LNC
Feeling forgetful, run-down, irritable? Whether you’re in a state of constant brain fog or preparing to head into the new school year you may want to consider giving your brain some extra care and attention. Optimal brain function is not only the ability to remember, learn, and concentrate, it is the ability to maintain a clear and active mind. In order to enhance mental clarity and focus, it is important to ensure you are dedicating time for rest and relaxation to manage stress and get a good night’s sleep. Not only that but a well-balanced diet that includes essential nutrients is an absolute must and the key component in the brain’s functional performance.
There are several nutrients that have been found to positively impact cognitive function and promote mental clarity. Let’s explore some of these nutrients:
Improved brain function – NAD+ plays a crucial role in maintaining neuronal health and promoting cognitive function. Higher levels of NAD+ in the brain have been observed to enhance neuronal resilience and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
Increased energy metabolism – NAD+ is involved in energy metabolism, which is essential for optimal brain function. By supporting energy production in the brain, NAD+ can help improve mental clarity and focus.
DNA repair – NAD+ is also involved in DNA repair, which is important for maintaining the overall health of brain cells. By supporting DNA repair processes, NAD+ can help protect brain cells from damage and promote their longevity.
Neuroprotection – NAD+ has been shown to have neuroprotective effects, meaning it can help protect brain cells from damage and degeneration. This can help prevent age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.
Enhanced cognitive function – By supporting brain health and function, NAD+ can help improve cognitive abilities such as memory, learning, and concentration.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These can be found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, and are crucial for brain health. If you’re not a fan of seafood, you can also find omega-3s in walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. These healthy fats help build brain cell membranes and improve overall cognitive function.
B Vitamins: B vitamins, particularly B6, B9 (folate), and B12, play a vital role in brain function. They help produce neurotransmitters, which are essential for mental clarity and focus. You can obtain B vitamins from sources like leafy greens, legumes, eggs, and fortified cereals.
Antioxidants: Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, help protect the brain from oxidative stress and prevent age-related cognitive decline. Foods rich in antioxidants include berries (blueberries, strawberries), dark chocolate, nuts (almonds, walnuts), and green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale).
Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral that supports brain health and aids in neurotransmitter function. It helps regulate stress levels, improve sleep quality, and enhance focus. Approximately 60% of the population is actually considered deficient in magnesium even though it can be found in a variety of foods. Good sources of magnesium include whole grains, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and dark chocolate.
Another way to obtain nutrients is IV nutrient therapy, also known as intravenous nutrient therapy. It is a method of delivering essential nutrients directly into the bloodstream which bypasses the digestive system and allows for higher levels of absorption and utilization by the body. IV nutrient therapy can provide several benefits by delivering nutrients directly into the bloodstream, IV therapy ensures that the body can absorb and utilize the nutrients more efficiently. This can be especially beneficial for individuals with digestive issues or malabsorption problems. It also allows for rapid replenishment of essential nutrients. This can be particularly helpful in cases where individuals have certain nutrient deficiencies or are recovering from illness or surgery.
As we emphasize the fact that nutrients play a crucial role in enhancing mental clarity and focus, it is important to note that they are not a miraculous solution or a universal remedy for all your problems. To truly optimize the function and performance of your brain, it is essential to prioritize a healthy lifestyle, engage in regular exercise, ensure adequate sleep, and effectively manage stress levels.