Food plays a fundamental role when it comes to health. Beyond carrying out a healthy life style, with the usual practice of exercise and a balanced diet, it is necessary to take into account the influence that some foods can have on the body. Although some foods, such as those processed or those that contain saturated fats, can be very harmful, others are key to providing all the nutrients the body needs and/or prevent disease.
This confirms it Harvard researcher Uma Naidoo quien, en su libro ‘This is your brain in food’ (LWhat does food do to your brain?)’, explains the way in which we can take care of the brain and prevent its deterioration through certain foods. “You have the power at the end of your fork,” says the expert in an interview with BBC Mundo.
In it, as well as in his book, he reveals what is the key vitamin to fight against brain aging and avoid problems such as memory loss, difficulty concentrating or the inability to make decisions. Conditions that, according to the WHO, suffer between 5% and 8% of the population over 60 years at some point in your life.
Vitamin B, ideal to protect the brain
“The best vitamin that covers many aspects related to brain health is vitamin B. There are several and each one has an important function for the brain,” Uma Naidoo told the aforementioned media. Indeed, the vitamin that best protects, cares for, and prevents diseases related to brain health is B. In this sense, the researcher explains what’s up eight types of B vitamins and that most of them fulfill very relevant functions for the body and the brain, especially slowing down cognitive deterioration. Between them:
- B-1 (tiamina). Crucial for basic cell function and metabolism of nutrients for energy. “A low thiamine level can lead to poor cognitive function as well as other problems in the body,” says Uma Naidoo.
- B-2 (riboflavina). It produces energy and breaks down fats and foreign materials such as medicines.
- B-3 (niacin). It works with enzymes to produce cholesterol and fat needed by the body. It is also an antioxidant.
- B-5 (pantothenic acid). Helps enzymes build and break down fatty acids for energy.
Not in vain, in addition to these vitaminsthe Harvard researcher highlights vitamin B-9 and B-12 as essential for the brain.
- B-9 (folic acid). “One of my favorites, and the one I talk about all the time, is vitamin B-9, which is folic acid. This helps with optimal neurotransmitter function and brain health. It aids in DNA formation and supports cellular detoxification”, explains the expert. Additionally, a low level of folic acid is associated with low mood and poor emotional or mental health.
- B – 12 (cobalamina). “It’s essential for the formation of red blood cells and DNA, but it also supports the nervous system, brain development and function. It does more specific things like help break down homocysteine, which is a heart-damaging protein that can also lead to some kind of insanity”.
Foods that contain vitamin B
Taking into account the multiple benefits that, according to the Harvard expert, can bring us vitamin B For our brain, it is important to know which foods contain it and increase their intake, if necessary, or include them as part of our diet.
In this way, the legumes such as beans, lentils or chickpeas are rich in vitamin B-1, B-6, B-9 and folic acid. green leafy vegetables (the greener the better) are often rich in natural vitamin B-9 folic acid. For its part, vitamin B-2 and B-12 are found in the natural yogurts; B-7 (biotin) in the eggs; vitamins B-2, B-3, B-6 and B-12 in the salmon and the B-5 in the sunflower seeds.