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Vitamin B Can Improve Your Memory

Vitamin B Can Improve Your Memory

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New studies suggest a connection between a vitamin B nutrient, choline, and brain health

If you’re preparing for a big test, you might consider increasing your vitamin B intake, as it has recently been connected to improved memory and attention span.

An experimental study conducted by the University of Granada in Spain, Simón Bolívar University in Venezuela, and University of York in the U.K. has recently revealed that consuming a vitamin B group called choline can modulate your attention span and memory processes.

To test their hypothesis, researchers from these universities studied the effects of choline dietary supplements in rats in two experiments. Both experiments produced evidence in favor of the researchers’ initial claims.

One experiment determined that prenatal choline improves the memory processes of the rats’ offspring once they reach adult age. Meanwhile, the second experiment tested choline’s affects on adult rats and determined that the rats that had ingested choline maintained better attention than rats who had not given a similar stimulus.

Other studies have also suggested a connection between choline and brain health, claiming that a diet rich in choline could also prevent brain changes associated with dementia and Alzheimers.

So far, however, researchers have only tested their findings in rats. Rhoda Au, a senior researcher at the Boston University School of Medicine, hopes that more studies in humans will occur to back up the current evidence, including studies that follow changes in people’s cognitive abilities over time.

Regardless, experts recommend 550 milligrams of choline per day for men and 425 milligrams per day for women. Choline-rich foods include eggs, chicken, beef liver, soy, and wheat germ. For a quick way to improve the choline-content of your next lunch, try making this Grilled Chicken and Egg Potato Salad.

How to Improve Memory Power: 10 Tips and Tricks

2. Jog Your Memory - Literally. Exercise increases your heart rate which gets blood flowing to your brain, thus keeping your memory sharp. Running, swimming, biking - any form of exercise - for at least 30 minutes helps enlarge the hippocampus, which is regarded as the 'memory center of the brain'. In fact, physical activities that require hand-eye coordination or complex motor skills are particularly beneficial for brain building. If you don't have time for a full workout, squeeze in a 10-minute walk around the block in your schedule or a few jumping jacks. It's enough to reboot your brain.

3. Quit Multitasking - Can't find your keys? It's probably because you weren't paying attention when you put them down. When you're juggling too many things, you're bound to forget. As it turns out, the brain doesn't actually multitask. Instead, it switches focus from one thing to the other, which is why it is difficult to read a book and hold a conversation at the same time. Multitasking will slow you down, so make it a point to concentrate on the task at hand. It's crucial. Studies suggest to say it out loud: "I left my keys on the dresser", etc. so the brain can process it. Your brain actually need about eight seconds to commit a piece of information to your memory, so if you're talking on the phone and carrying groceries when you put down your car keys, you're unlikely to remember where you left them.

4. Go Back to Your Roots - Ashwagandha, a go-to choice in Ayurvedic medicine, is known for promoting memory since it helps prevent nerve cell damage. Dr Ashutosh Gautam, Clinical Operations and Coordination Manager at Baidyanath says, "Ashwagandha can be taken in the form of powder or tablet. It also improves the brain's memory functions like attention and concentration, hence helping with the symptoms of Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. Fish oil, has also been associated with encouraging the growth of neurons and lowering the risk of dementia. Fish oil contains DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid which helps improve your memory power.

5. Use Mnemonic Devices - Mnemonic devices are tools which help you memorize in an easier format - words, lists, concepts, et al.

  • Acronyms: They are basically abbreviations used a word to help you jog your memory. For example: CART can be carrots, apples, raspberries and tomatoes, which can be used to remember your grocery list.
  • Rhymes: If you need to remember a name, get creative. "Mary loves cherry" or "Simon is a fireman".
  • Acrostics: These are life savers during exams, especially. Whenever you need to mug up a sentence, combine the initial letters and use as a memory cue. For example: How we all remembered the 9 planets during childhood, "My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets".

6. Get Organized - If your house is in a mess, you're more likely to forget things. Jot down tasks, declutter your home and note down appointments. Set aside a particular place at home to keep your keys, and limit distractions. Live by to-do lists, keep them upto date and check off the items you've completed. Physically writing down new information actually helps reinforce it.

7. Meditation is Key - According to a 2015 study from the UCLA Brain Mapping Center, the brain starts to decline in your 20s and continues to decrease both in size and volume. Meditating regularly delays cognitive decline and prevents neurodegenerative diseases like Dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Meditation produces a positive charge in the brain's gray matter overtime, which is important for memory, learning and self-awareness. In addition, meditation has been shown to reduce stress, which can do a number on memory.

8. Stay Mentally Active - Note: Crossword puzzles and Sudoku are your new best friend. Challenge your brain, take a different route to work, learn a new language, read a section of the newspaper you usually skip, do things out of the ordinary. Stay engaged, because mentally stimulating activities help keep your brain in shape - and might even keep memory loss at bay. People who are cognitively active have better memory as they age, it's true. So quiz yourself, flex your brain and improve your memory power.

9. Balance Your Stress - Chronic stress and depression, both contribute to memory loss and the destruction of brain cells. One of the best things you can do is to laugh. Yes, it's that simple. Laughter engaged multiple regions of the brain and simultaneously reduces stress. Social interaction also helps ward off depression and stress, so look for opportunities to get together with family, loved ones, friends and work colleagues. When you're invited to share a meal or attend an event, go!

10. Food for Thought - Did you know that the brain is an energy hungry organ? Despite comprising only 2% of the body's weight, the brain gobbles up more than 20% of daily energy intake. So a healthy diet might be as good for your brain as it is for your overall health, and eating right may in fact be more important than you think. After all, you are what you eat. The brain demands a constant supply of glucose which is obtained from recently eaten carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits and greens. Because when the glucose level drops, it results in confused thinking. No, this does not give you the license to slurp on sugary drinks. Instead eat throughout the day to optimize brain power- not too much, not too little. Memory superfoods include antioxidant-rich, colorful fruits, green leafy vegetables and whole grains which protect your brain from harmful free radicals. Choose low-fat protein sources such as fish and drink at least 8 glasses of water daily since dehydration can lead to memory loss and confusion.

A combination of nutrients

Many brain supplements focus on omega-3 fatty acids (such as those found in fish oil), vitamin E, various B vitamins, or various combinations. Why these?

There's strong evidence that certain diets — like the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet, and the MIND diet — can help improve cognitive function, according to Dr. Marshall.

"These diets contain foods with large amounts of these vitamins and minerals," he says. "But what is not clear is whether it's the combination of nutrients in these diets that's beneficial, or whether it's specific ones or even certain amounts, or some other factors." Researchers have tried to answer these questions by testing how these individual nutrients affect cognitive health. So far the limited studies have found no evidence they help, with a few rare exceptions.

"Still, this doesn't mean that the brain supplements may not work," says Dr. Marshall. "It's just that there is not much, if any, evidence from randomized clinical trials — the gold standard for research — on isolated vitamins or minerals and brain health."

Here's a summary of what science has found so far and what it means.

1. Methyl B12 for mild cognitive impairment

Because B12 works synergistically with folic acid, they should be taken together. B12 is found naturally in meats and seafood therefore, vegans and vegetarians should supplement with B12. Poor nutrient absorption due to a gluten intolerance or poor gut function can also limit B12 absorption from diet.

It is best to take all vitamins—but especially vitamins for memory—in their most bioavailable forms. For B12, this means you should take methyl B12, or methylcobalamin (as opposed to the more common, synthetic cyanocobalmin). Not only is methyl B12 more neurologically active, it also enhances a detoxification process called methylation, which in itself will help slow or prevent the progression of mild cognitive impairment because it lowers homocysteine and helps reduce inflammation.

Recommended doses of methyl B12 vary depending on whether you have a deficiency, and you should work with a qualified health care practitioner to determine the best dose.

2. 5-MTHF (5-Methyltetrahydrofolate) for mild cognitive impairment

5-MTHF is a biologically active form of natural folic acid. Not only is it more active, but an estimated one in three people have a genetic inability to properly convert folic acid to its usable form, so 5-MTHF is more available to them. Like methyl B12, 5-MTHF also supports the body’s detoxification process and anti-inflammatory effects, thus supporting brain health and lowering the risk of mild cognitive impairment.

It’s always best to try to supply your vitamin needs through diet, and that is true with folate as well. Dietary sources of folate include liver, romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, mustard greens, parsley, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, and lentils. If you prefer to use a supplement, be sure to purchase folate or 5-MTHF. The necessary dose may vary depending on deficiency or whether you have the genetic inability to fully utilize folate. Again, an integrative physician can assist you with vitamin testing and/or genetic testing.

3. B6 for mild cognitive impairment

Like B12 and folate, B6 is one of the best vitamins for memory because it helps control homocysteine levels and inflammation. B6 is also necessary for the production of the “feel-good” neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

The most bioavailable form of B6 is P5P (pyridoxal 5′ phosphate). The recommended dose of P5P is 20–25 mg a day, although higher amounts may be indicated in some conditions such as pyroluria, a genetic B6 and zinc deficiency.

This article was originally published in 2017. It is regularly updated.

Herbs that Help Improve Your Memory

1. Drink Rosemary Tea

The sweet-smelling aroma of rosemary is world renowned, making it a sought-after ingredient in multiple culinary traditions. Lesser known is the memory-boosting properties of this fragrant herb, which give you yet another reason to include it in your recipes.

Aside from the antioxidants such as rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid in rosemary, its ability to increase the level of acetylcholine is what makes it an effective herb in improving your memory. Acetylcholine is the main transmitter of neural signals. [2]

A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience highlights the memory-boosting properties of rosemary. The study reports that the olfactory properties of its essential oil can produce objective effects on cognitive performance, as well as subjective effects on mood. [3]

Another study published in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology in 2012 reports that the most active chemical in rosemary oil (1, 8-cineole) corresponds to increased cognitive functions. Researchers found that rosemary oil can improve the accuracy of memory, the speed of processing information, and even one’s mood. [4]

Moreover, rosemary is effective at increasing brain wave activities and protecting against neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. [2]

  • To boost your brain power, put 2 or 3 drops of rosemary oil on your handkerchief and breathe in its aroma.
  • Drinking rosemary tea made from fresh or dried leaves also helps.

Note: Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised against the medicinal use of rosemary as it can compromise the health of both the mother and the baby.

People with kidney disorders must also exercise precaution and refrain from consuming this herb in larger than food amounts. Avoid rosemary if you are using blood thinners, allergic to aspirin, or suffering from seizers.

Moreover, you must exercise necessary caution with regard to rosemary use if you have diabetes, high or low blood pressure, thyroid problems, and stomach ulcers or you are planning to undergo surgery in the near future.

2. Add Ashwagandha to Your Diet

Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera or Indian ginseng, is a rejuvenating herb for your brain.

Its neuroprotective activity can be traced back to its rich content of antioxidants. These free-radical scavengers help prevent the deterioration of brain cells caused by oxidative stress, which is primarily responsible for the onset and progression of neurodegenerative ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Ashwagandha aids in breaking down the beta-amyloid proteins that form plaque in the brain this, in turn, has a positive effect on cognitive function. It also promotes neurogenesis, which helps boost brain power, further improve memory, and prevent nerve cell degeneration and nervous exhaustion. [5][6]

In a 2017 study, it was found that after only 8 weeks of treatment with ashwagandha, significant improvements in both immediate and general memory were observed in the study participants. [7]

A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology reports that ashwagandha could regenerate neurites and reconstruct synapses in severely damaged neurons. [8]

It was further demonstrated in a 2014 study that ashwagandha can improve both cognitive and psychomotor performances, making it a valuable adjunct in treating diseases associated with cognitive decline. [5]

  • You can take this herb in powdered, dried, or fresh root form, which can be chewed or brewed as a tea.

3. Brahmi Juice can be Beneficial

Brahmi, also known as Bacopa monnieri, is popular in Ayurvedic medicine known for its brain-boosting properties. This herb has been traditionally used in Indian and Chinese medicine for the treatment of several disorders.

Brahmi is often used to help with poor memory, concentration, and even depression. [9]

It works as a brain tonic and has antioxidant and neuroprotective effects.

These neuroprotective effects were demonstrated in a 2016 article featured in Frontiers in Pharmacology. As per clinical evidence, Brahmi was found to exert several beneficial medicinal effects that help against age-related neurodegeneration and cognitive decline. The herb’s memory-boosting capacity justifies its use in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.

The same study suggested that Brahmi possesses anti-parkinsonian, antistroke, and anticonvulsant potential. [10]

A study showed that Brahmi helped improve word recall memory and even reduced depression and anxiety in healthy individuals aged 65 and older. [9] Another study found that by suppressing AChE activity, Brahmi can improve attention, cognitive processing, and working memory. [11]

  • Consume 1 teaspoon of juice extracted from Brahmi leaves two or three times a day.
  • You can also take this herb as a supplement, but only after consulting your doctor about its suitability and correct dosage for your particular case.

4. Include Ginkgo in Your Diet

Another herb recommended by herbalists for improving memory and increasing mental sharpness is ginkgo, scientifically known as Gingko Biloba. Ginkgo contains active phytochemicals that help improve memory. It can also prevent the formation of beta-amyloid proteins, which are known to cause Alzheimer’s disease. [12]

One study published in Psychopharmacology highlights the memory-enhancing effects of ginkgo on various aspects of cognitive function in healthy middle-aged volunteers. The study reflected improvements to a number of different aspects of memory, including working and long-term memory.

A later study in 2014 further showed that ginkgo extracts can improve working memory in middle-aged individuals. [12]

Like ashwagandha, ginkgo possesses both antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, as evidenced by its protective action against trimethyltin-induced hippocampal neuronal loss. Perhaps this explains why ginkgo extract has been used in the treatment of age-related memory deficit problems, including Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. [13][14]

Note: Pregnant and breastfeeding women should stay off ginkgo as it can trigger unwarranted complications. Ginkgo seeds are also not considered safe for children since they are known to induce seizures and can even be fatal in rare pediatric cases.

People with bleeding disorders, infertility, diabetes, or history of seizures and those who have scheduled surgery must also exercise precaution when using this herbal medicine.

5. Consume Gotu Kola

Gotu kola, a popular herb found in Asia, South Africa, and the South Pacific, is high in nutrients that are needed for healthy brain function. These include vitamin B1, B2, and B6.

This herb stimulates blood circulation and works as a brain tonic. It can improve concentration and attention span. The herb can also be used to treat neurodegenerative disorders and to enhance memory. [15][16]

A 2012 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that Gotu kola has neuroprotective properties and can help treat deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and oxidative stress. [17]

In addition to its positive effects on memory and neuroprotective properties, Gotu kola has other health benefits, such as wound-healing and antidiabetic properties. It has even been shown to improve alertness and relieve anger. [18][19]

  • You can take 500 mg capsules of gotu kola once or twice a day to boost your memory, but consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
  • You can also reap the benefits of this herb in the form of a stimulant tea.

6. A Nutritious Dose of Green Oats can Help

Green oats, also known as Avena sativa or wild oats, is another effective herb for your brain.

This herb works as a nourishing brain tonic and has a sedative effect on the nervous system. It can also boost attention and concentration.

A 2011 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reports that oat herb extract had positive effects on improving attention and concentration, along with the ability to maintain task focus, in older adults. [20]

A separate study in 2011 published in the same journal revealed that taking Avena sativa can improve cognitive performance. This was evidenced by changes observed in the electroencephalogram (EEG) spectral frequencies in healthy subjects. [21]

A 2017 study published in Nutritional Neuroscience found that 800 mg of green-oat extract improved the performance of a delayed word recall task in terms of errors and an executive function task in terms of decreased thinking time and overall completion time. [22]

To reap the brain-enhancing potential of green-oat extract without any undue side effects, it is recommended to consult your doctor for the optimal dosage.

7. Sip on a Cup of Green Tea

Regular consumption of green tea has been credited with positively impacting memory.

Green tea contains theanine, which has been shown to exhibit neuroprotective effects to redress brain tissue injury. Theanine has also been shown effective as a healing aid for treating certain psychiatric disorders, including anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder. [23]

The antioxidant nature of green tea helps to support healthy blood vessels in the brain so that it functions properly. Also, green tea stops plaque growth in the brain that is related to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, the two most common neurodegenerative disorders.

The polyphenols in green tea help to protect the aging brain and reduce the incidence of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. [24]

Note: Green tea is possibly unsafe when taken by mouth long term or in high doses. It can cause side effects because of the caffeine.

Take green tea with precaution if you have bleeding problems, anemia, heart conditions, diabetes, diarrhea, glaucoma, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, or liver disease. To that end, you would do well to get a doctor’s consultation before you start with this herb.

8. Say Yes to Korean Red Ginseng

There are different types of ginseng, but it is the Korean red ginseng that is most commonly associated with memory-boosting properties.

This herb plays a key role in improving spatial memory through the activation of neuronal activity in the hippocampus. It also protects nerve cells from beta-amyloid and other toxins. Being an adaptogen, this herb is also very beneficial in preventing dementia. [25]

Studies have shown positive results with using Korean red ginseng in helping to improve the attention span of children with ADHD, although it remains uncertain if the ingredient works to mitigate the general severity of ADHD as well. Moreover, this therapeutic herb may even have a beneficial role in reducing abnormal behaviors related to autism. [26]

The exact mechanism behind Korean red ginseng’s positive effect on cognitive function remains quite obscure and unconfirmed, warranting the need for further studies to conclusively establish the clinical efficacy of this herb.

Note: If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this herb:

  • High or low blood pressure
  • Heart problems such as abnormal heart rhythm, rheumatic heart disease, and bleeding/clotting problems
  • Mental/mood disorders such as schizophrenia
  • Overactive immune system disorders such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis
  • Conditions that are affected by estrogens such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and breast/uterine/ovarian cancer

9. Incorporate Sage in Your Meals

Sage has been used in traditional medicine for years to improve memory. Its essential oil contains active ingredients including cineole and thujone, which provide brain-boosting properties.

Sage extract interacts with the muscarinic and nicotinic cholinergic systems which are involved in memory retention.

Also, sage leaves contain flavones, flavonoid glycosides, niacin, tannic acid, and oleic acid, which are good for the brain. This herb can help improve concentration and increase mental alertness and attention span. [27]

In a 2014 literature review, it was discovered that sage improved cognitive performance both in healthy people and in those with dementia or other cognitive impairment. It was also noted that sage is safe to use for this purpose. [28]

  • To boost your brainpower, drink sage tea and include sage in your soups, stews, and salad dressings.

Note: Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised to restrict their consumption of sage to food amounts. Anything higher than that can trigger unnecessary complications and might even jeopardize the health of the mother and baby.

Use sage with precaution if you are suffering from diabetes, hormone-sensitive conditions, high or low blood pressure, and seizure disorders and if you have scheduled surgery. Moreover, long-term consumption of high doses of sage is strictly prohibited as it can damage your liver and nervous system to a considerable degree.

10. Holy Basil is Worth a Try

Holy basil, also known as Ocimum tenuiflorum, is considered an adaptogen, which makes it a brain-boosting herb.

It helps your body adapt to stress and promotes mental balance. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that holy basil has positive effects on memory and cognitive function, as well as anti-depressant properties.

It was also discovered that holy basil can even protect organs and tissues against stress caused by chemicals and physical stress from prolonged physical exertion, ischemia, and excessive noise, or exposure to cold. [29]

  • Drink a cup of basil tea daily to improve memory.
  • You can also chew fresh basil leaves or use basil oil in aromatherapy to enhance memory and concentration.

Should You Try Mind Repair Protocol Recipes?

Considering there is no prohibitive expense or major risk in trying a well-balanced diet full of whole foods there is almost no reason you should avoid the food and recipes suggested in the Mind Repair Protocol. This is not an experimental drug or a radical, rapid weight loss diet that could present additional health concerns. Instead, this is a thoughtful and careful approach to improving diet to help the entire body.

Featured Image: studiostoks/ Shutterstock

Last update on 2021-02-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

With the introduction of Vitamin B-1 (thiamin) fortified cereals and grains during the past few decades, cases of Vitamin B1 deficiency have declined significantly. Currently, the most common causes of Vitamin B-1 deficiency are chronic, acute alcoholism and anorexia. People with Crohn’s disease, and individuals on kidney dialysis are also at risk of Vitamin B-1 deficiency.

Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome is the typical result of alcoholism induced Vitamin B-1 deficiency. Symptoms include memory loss, impairment of reflex and motor functions, confusion and hallucinations. Infusion therapy with thiamin can reduce symptoms, but memory loss tends to remain in people with Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome.

Vitamin B and its role in improving memory

Forgot where you left your keys? The name of your neighbor’s kid? Whether you locked the car?

Anyone looking for an easy way to boost brain power is likely to come across an increasingly common piece of advice: Up your intake of B vitamins.

The vitamins — including folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 — are often touted as a way to improve memory and stave off cognitive decline. The claims are based on the finding that levels of the vitamin are low in people with various forms of cognitive impairment, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

But experts say it’s still unclear whether taking high doses of the vitamins will keep such conditions at bay.

“I don’t know that people need to rush out and buy B vitamins — I don’t think we’re ready [for that] yet,” says Mary Haan, an epidemiology professor at UC San Francisco who has studied the relationship between B vitamin intake and cognitive function in elderly adults.

Researchers believe B vitamins may affect brain health because of their ability to lower blood levels of an amino acid called homocysteine. In the 1990s, several studies documented high levels of homocysteine in people with cognitive impairment and dementia. But at the time, scientists didn’t know whether high levels of the amino acid caused cognitive decline or whether cognitive decline caused people to accumulate high levels of the amino acid.

To determine which came first, researchers at Boston University followed approximately 1,100 healthy adults who were enrolled in the ongoing Framingham Heart Study, which began in 1948 to identify risk factors for heart disease. At the end of eight years, the researchers found that the rates of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease were higher in people who had had high homocysteine levels compared with those who had low levels. Their conclusions — that high homocysteine levels increase a person’s risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease — were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002.

Since then, a handful of studies have administered high doses of homocysteine-lowering B vitamins to subjects in order to determine the vitamins’ effects on brain function. The results have so far been mixed, with only a minority of studies showing a benefit, says Joshua Miller, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at UC Davis who studies the vitamins.

In one such study, researchers in New Zealand administered either high doses of vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid or a placebo to 276 older adults with at least 13 micromoles of homocysteine per liter of blood. (Normal levels of the amino acid range from 4 to 10 micromoles per liter.) The group that took the vitamins did see its homocysteine levels drop to normal, but its members performed no better on cognitive tests than those in the group that took the placebo. The two-year study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006.

In another study, published in the Lancet in 2007, Dutch researchers randomly assigned more than 800 older adults to take either high doses of those same B vitamins or a placebo every day for three years. In this case, the group that took the B vitamins not only experienced a drop in homocysteine levels but also performed better on tests of memory and information processing.

But a third study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. in 2008, assigned a group of 400 Alzheimer’s patients to take either high doses of B vitamins or a placebo every day for a year — and found no improvement in cognitive ability.

A comprehensive review of the most rigorous studies of the B vitamins and brain function, published by the nonprofit Cochrane Collaboration in 2008, determined that there was “no consistent evidence” that folic acid or vitamin B12 improved cognitive function. (The review excluded vitamin B6.)

Haan says the existing body of studies may be inconclusive because the causes of cognitive decline — which are incompletely understood — are probably too complex to be halted with a single vitamin supplement. And, adds Miller, it’s possible that future studies will show that the vitamins are helpful to only a subset of adults, such as those with very high homocysteine levels or early signs of cognitive impairment.

He points to a recent study in which brain atrophy (or shrinkage, which occurs in older people who are losing brain function) slowed by 30% in elderly patients with both high homocysteine levels and mild cognitive impairment who took a B vitamin pill daily for two years. Brain shrinkage occurred at a rate of about 0.75% in the people taking B vitamins in the study, compared with a rate of 1.1% per year in a group that took a placebo.

“This doesn’t mean that these people won’t get worse over the long term,” says Miller, who was not involved in the study. “It means that [the vitamins] slowed the process down.”

Adults need at least 300 to 400 micrograms of folic acid, 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 and between 1.5 and 1.7 micrograms of vitamin B6 daily. Amounts in these brain studies were greater than that — as much as 1,000 micrograms of folic acid, 500 micrograms of vitamin B12 and up to 20 milligrams of vitamin B6. Such high doses can have negative side effects: Too much B6 can cause numbness and insensitivity in the hands and feet, and too much folic acid may (confusingly) either mask or exacerbate symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

To some, tingling in the extremities may seem a fair price to pay for the possibility of delaying cognitive decline. But Haan stresses that the evidence in favor of taking B vitamins is still far too preliminary to act upon because there haven’t been enough well designed, randomized trials on the subject. “What we believe now could be disproven in a heartbeat,” she says.

These Five Easy Peasy Mahi-Mahi Recipes Will Give Your Brain A Boost

As a Pescatarian I’m still a picky eater. I mean do I really want to go for the Tilapia that eats poo and who knows what else… or Salmon with skin on it… and when I’m out to a restaurant you might witness me asking the waiter(ess), “Is the Salmon fishy?”

Which in return my sister rolls her eyes and mumbles, “It’s fish.”

(Thank you wait staff for tolerating my fishy questions. B.T.W. Wait staff, I have been in your shoes, seriously, Thank You).

I can easily narrow down my definition of Pescatarian to: Salmon… (ironically I love raw and smoked salmon in sushi) if …. not too fishy, Mahi-Mahi, Tuna, Yellow Fin Tuna, Orange Roughy, Swai and Clams (I Haven’t tried Halibut yet but think I will like it). I am probably one of the most picky Pescatarians, teetering mostly vegetarian… This being said…

Why did I start adding fish into my diet?

Other than, sushi and I having the most romantic acute (It’s adorbs, really)….

It is the…. (drum roll) OMEGA 3’s!

I get Omega 3’s from plant base food but fish is another main source of brain boosting, depression and heart disease fighting, major vitamin & mineral intake And while Salmon has over 1,000 Milligrams of Omega 3’s and Mahi-Mahi has a measly 220… It’s still my main go to because it’s a mild fish with a chicken like texture (thinks THIS vegetarian turned Pescatarian of twenty-four years… <insert facetious laugh>) making it easy to mix and match this fish in many chicken based recipes.

If you read my blog, Brain Boosting Lifestyle Change, you’ll notice Fettuccine and other noodles are still off the table for me… so, these five recipes co-exist with Brain Boosting Lifestyle Change, also giving you more recipes on your table while retraining your brain.

Remember how my Brain Boosting Egg recipe mentioned “I’m not a huge measurer… BUT I am beginning to take note when sharing my recipes with you”? Keep that quote as a reminder when I recall a pinch of this because it is literally a pinch (with my sixth grade, kid sized fingers). I also think second important to the ingredients, is to briefly list why these ingredients benefit your body and/or brain. It’s wonderful following recipes, but it’s really wonderful when you know exactly why you are putting these ingredients in your body…

Yes, they are in the recipe…

BUT, friends, I’d like you start being cautious of exactly what nutrients and values you are feeding your brain and body (and why), because this will give you the knowledge you need for a healthier you (mentally and physically) Keeping You Younger. (PS. Just because I don’t list ALL the nutrients and health benefits doesn’t mean there aren’t more in an ingredient. Please, always feel free to dig deeper and do your research… It’s like a treasure hunt! Especially when you find out something you already love has loads of positive health benefits)

So let’s get on with the recipes, already!

Blackened Mahi-Mahi with Broccoli

(Once you know how to make blackened Mahi-Mahi you can add this blackened fish to almost any recipe – Spoiler Alert: Hence comes four more recipes with blackened Mahi-Mahi after this one. Surprise!)

What You Need (AKA: Ingredients):

1. Mahi-Mahi (obvious) I use frozen: B vitamins heart healthy, skin, brain function and may prevent arthritis.
*Black Pepper
*Everything Bagel Seasoning (The easy seasoning I compare to crack. Fact: I’ve never tried real crack.)
2. Broccoli: Vitamin K and Choline which help brain memory and cognitive brain function
*Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt
3. Spinach (Aprox 1cup): Vitamins B, K, folate & L-tyrosine slow cognitive decline, improve memory and focus
4. Fresh Holy Basil (Aprox 1/3 cup): Tackles stress, anxiety, depression and anti-inflammatory
5. Fresh Thyme (Aprox 2tbsp): lower blood pressure, fight depression, build immunity
7. Feta Cheese: Vitamins A, B, High in phosphorus, iron, magnesium and zinc anti bacterial and anti-tumor properties
8. Olive Oil: boost brain power and halt aging effects

Cooking Instructions:

1. Boil or Steam Broccoli to your preference

2. Add Cooking oil and add Spinach, Basil and Italian Herb stirring until sautéed. Put in bowl and set aside on warmer.

3. Add (I usually run hot water over packaging until tender) Mahi-Mahi in skillet. Oil top with brush or spray and add black pepper and everything bagel seasoning. Flip with tongs and add oil and seasonings to other side. Continue until cooked through.

4. Add broccoli on plate with pinch of sea salt (or Himalayan Salt). Top with blackened fish, spinach mix and sprinkle Feta cheese.

Cook Time with prep is Approx. 20 Minutes

Blacken Mahi-Mahi with Broccoli and Spinach
Italian Blackened Mahi-Mahi

What You Need (AKA: Ingrediants):

1. Mahi-Mahi (obvious) I use frozen: Packed with B vitamins heart healthy, skin, brain function and may prevent arthritis.
*Black Pepper
*Garlic Powder
*Dried Oregano
*Dried Basil
*Dried Onion
2. Portobello Mushrooms: Vitamin B, Sellium, Copper, Potassium boost brain cells, boost immune response, cancer preventing, anti-inflammatory, and reduce risk of dementia,Alzheimer and Parkinson.
3. Fresh Garlic (2 cloves or one tbsp. from jar): B & C Vitamins, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium prevent heart disease, good for skin and hair, anti-bacterial fighting, fights against Alzheimer and Parkinson
4. Olive Oil: boost brain power and halt aging effects
5. Spinach (Aprox 1cup): Vitamins B, K, folate & L-tyrosine slow cognitive decline, improve memory and focus
6. Fresh Basil: Fights depression, anti-inflammatory, good for digestion ( and healthy gut), skin and hair, manages diabetes and supports liver function
7. Spaghetti Sauce (Your Choice – bonus if you make your own)
8. Shredded Parmesan Cheese: Calcium, Vitamin A & Bs, zinc, phosphorus modulates brain and nervous system, strengthen immunity

Cooking Instructions:

1. Simmer your red sauce of choice on low while food cooks

2. First sauté the mushrooms, spinach and fresh basil with olive oil and fresh garlic (set aside in warmer)

3. Mix spices in small bowl to blacken the Mahi-Mahi. Add Cooking oil and unthawed fish (I usually run hot water over packaging until tender) Put Mahi-Mahi in skillet spreading oil with brush and add your spice mix on the top and then again when flipping with tongs. Continue until cooked through.

4. Put Mahi-Mahi on plate with cooked mushrooms to the side. Top Mahi-Mahi with red sauce and Parmesan cheese.

Cook Time With Prep Is Approx: 20 minutes

Italian Blackened Mahi-Mahi
Mexican Blackened Mahi-Mahi

What is Needed (AKA: Ingredients)

1. Mahi-mahi (obvious) I use frozen: Packed with B vitamins heart healthy, skin, brain function and may prevent arthritis.
*Olive oil
* Favorite low sodium Taco Seasoning
2. Quinoa: Vitamin B12, Fiber, Protein, Amino Acid, Iron, Calcium Control blood sugar levels, increase brain function, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, cancer preventive
*Turmeric: Brain growth, fight against Alzheimer, reduce blood sugar & bad cholesterol, high blood pressure, anti-inflammatory & may fight depression
* Chili Pepper
*Olive Oil (tsp): Boost brain power and halt aging effects
*Black Beans: Protein, Fiber, Iron, B9, Magnesium low blood pressure, fight diabetes, digestion, cancer prevention, brain food <connection to nervous system>
Shredded Cheese mix (I use a Mexican blend – Mozzarella & Mild Cheddar): Protein, Calcium, Zinc, Potassium, Vitamin A, B & D benefits bones, Arthritis, Diabetes
*Tomato: Vitamin C, K, Potassium, B9 Cancer prevention, skin & hair, bones, kidneys
*Jalapeno: capsaicin, potassium, Vitamin A, B & C (for real), magnesium heart health, lower ulcer risk, cancer fighting, natural pain relief, heart health, fight infections
*Cilantro: Vitamin A, B6, C & K, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, fiber digestion, heart & brain health, immune boosting, good skin & lower blood sugar
*Taco Sauce (and/or organic Salsa)
*Green Onion Chives: Vitamin A, C & K, fight infections, bone health, improve sleep, skin, cancer fighting, heart health, digestive, bone & detox
*Fresh Avocado: Vitamin A, B, C & K, Iron, calcium, magnesium, fiber, potassium, protein Heart & brain health, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, cancer fighting, arthritis fighting, diabetes, skin and eyes, prevents constipation

Cooking Instructions:

1. Start Quinoa first, since it will take the longest – I throw about a 1/2 cup of Quinoa in my rice maker with water or veggie broth and add a can of drained black beans, turmeric (about 1 tbsp) and chili pepper (about 1 tbsp).

2. Once the Quinoa is started thaw the Mahi-Mahi in hot water, if bought frozen, then prepare in pan with oil. (Prep your sides while the fish thaws) Oil the Mahi-Mahi top and add seasoning. When flipped over with tongs oil again and add more seasoning. Keep on low or remove to warmer if it’s done before your Quinoa.

4. When the Quinoa is done, plate, prep with toppings and ready to eat.

Cook Time With Prep Is Approx: 20 minutes

Mexican Blackened Mahi-Mahi

Mediterranean Blackened Mahi-Mahi
1. Mahi-Mahi (obvious) I use frozen: Packed with B vitamins heart healthy, skin, brain function and may prevent arthritis
*Lemon: Vitamin C, Iron, calcium, magnesium lowers blood sugar, improves digestion, reduces inflammation, cancer preventive & reduces heart diseases
*Sea Salt
*Black Pepper
* Everything Bagel Seasoning (because it’s my favorite seasoning, friends…)
2. Chickpeas: Iron, Calcium, Vitamin B, fiber, magnesium blood sugar levels, digestion, cancer preventive, heart disease, cognitive health
3. Spinach (Approx 1 cup): Vitamins B, K, folate & L-tyrosine slow cognitive decline, improve memory and focus
4. Capers: Protein, Vitamin A, C, E & K, Iron, magnesium, copper, fiber strong bones, cancer preventive, diabetes, healthy skin & hair, heart & brain health
5. Onion (I use white or red): Calcium, Iron, Fiber control blood sugar, Antioxidant, heart, digestive
6. Sweet Red Peppers: Calcium, Fiber, Vitamin A, B, C, E, & K, Protein antioxidants, digestion, cholesterol, cancer preventive, diabetes, blood pressure and heart health
7. Fresh Rosemary: Vitamin A, B, & C, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium immune system, anti-inflammatory, relieve stress & anxiety, digestion, skin, brain/mood
8. Fresh Garlic (2 cloves or one tbsp. from jar): B & C Vitamins, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium prevent heart disease, good for skin and hair, anti-bacterial fighting, fights against Alzheimer and Parkinson.
9. Olive Oil: Boost brain power and halt aging effects
10. Feta Cheese: Vitamins A, B, High in phosphorus, iron, magnesium and zinc anti bacterial and anti-tumor properties

Cooking Instructions:

1. Thaw the Mahi-Mahi in hot water, if bought frozen.

2. Coat cooking spray in pan and add drained chickpeas, spinach, garlic, rosemary, capers (to taste – they are salty, if you’ve never had them start off with a small amount) and onion (add more cooking oil as needed). When lightly sauteed simmer to low or remove to warmer. Warm the roasted red pepper on low or a warmer.

3. Coat the Mahi-Mahi with oil on top, squeeze lemon juice and add seasoning. When flipped over with tongs coat again and add more seasoning.

4. When done put chickpea mix on plate and top with blackened fish, roasted red peppers, and Feta cheese.

Approx cook time with prep is 15-20 minutes

Mediterranean Blackened Mahi-Mahi
Hawaiian Blackened Mahi-mahi
1. Mahi-mahi (obvious) I use frozen: Packed with B vitamins heart healthy, skin, brain function and may prevent arthritis
* Fresh Pineapple Slices (save the juice to cook with): Vitamin B & C, fiber, protein, iron, copper Digestion, cancer prevention, anti-inflammatory, arthritis, skin & hair, bones, blood pressure, and fights against stress
*Soy Sauce
*Fresh Garlic (2 cloves or one tbsp. from jar): B & C Vitamins, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium prevent heart disease, good for skin and hair, anti-bacterial fighting, fights against Alzheimer and Parkinson
*Sesame Seeds: heart healthy, skin, diabetes, anti-cancer, anemia, digestive
*Black Pepper
*Sea Salt (or Himalayan Salt)
*Dried Onion Flake
*Poppy Seed: heart & skin health, digestion, aid in fertility, pain relieving compounds
*Red Pepper Flake (amount to your pallets spicy intake): digestive, anti-inflammatory, heart, diabetes
2. Brown Rice (1/2 cup for 1-2 people): digestive, lower cholesterol, blood clot preventive
*Coconut Water (2 cups)
*Lime Juice (fresh squeeze or 1 tsp): inflammation, cancer prevent, lower blood sugar, heart disease
*Cumin (pinch): inflammation, blood sugar levels, cancer preventive, stress & memory loss
*Chia Seed (2 tbsp): anti-aging, cancer preventive, digestive/gut, brain food
*Turmeric (1 tsp): Brain growth, fight against Alzheimer, reduce blood sugar & bad cholesterol, high blood pressure, anti-inflammatory & may fight depression
*Fresh Cilantro (amount to liking of Cilantro – I use 1/2 a plant) Vitamin A, B6, C & K, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, fiber digestion, heart & brain health, immune boosting, good skin & lower blood sugar
*Fresh Sage ( 2 leaves cut): memory & brain health, blood sugar levels, antioxidants, lower cholesterol
*Black Pepper (pinch)

Cooking Instructions:

1. Dump brown rice in rice cooker with the ingredients listed above. Usually takes about 20 minutes.

2. Mix your spices in a small bowl – Red Pepper Flake, Sesame Seed, Poppy Seed, Dried Onion, sea salt (or Himalayan Salt) black pepper

3. Oil the pan and coat Mahi-Mahi with soy sauce, small amount of soy sauce in pan for the pineapple and then season the fish. When flipped over with tongs soy again and add more seasoning (flip the pineapple too).

4. Serve steam rice with added soy as desired and add pineapple on top with fresh cilantro (if you please), and the fish.

Approx cook time with prep is 20 minutes

FYI: All meals pair well with a glass of wine.

Enjoy your healthy Mahi-Mahi meals, Friends!

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