Submitted by sergey on Sun, 07/03/2022 - 18:51

Do you get enough brain food?  Are there toxins blocking your higher brain function?  These common issues prevent many from good decision-making and critical thinking.  Read more to find out which toxins to look out for and to learn how to feed your brain with 10 essential brain nutrients.

Even an unhealthy brain can usually handle basic body functions like eating, sleeping or having sex.  But if the brain is missing vital nutrients or is blocked by toxicity, the ability to make complicated decisions is inhibited.  In order to deal appropriately with complex matters, the brain needs to be free of blockage and to get fed appropriately.  This requires two areas to be addressed:

  1. What toxins need to be eliminated
  2. What nutrients need to be added

Eliminating Toxins For a Healthy Brain


It is vital to get rid of any and all toxins, as they can slow down or block important brain functions.  These can include heavy metals, alcohol, caffeine and sugar. 




The number one most common toxin that interferes with the brain is probably mercury.  Especially in young children, mercury can greatly affect thinking skills, attention, memory, language skills, and fine motor skills.  Mercury can be found in large fish like tuna or mackerel and in assorted household items [1].  People realized in the 1800?s that hatters who soaked their felts in mercury were going crazy (which is how we got the term ?mad as a hatter?).  We have been trying since then to eliminate it, but unfortunately, it still reigns as a prominent toxin in the lives of many. 




Although it may be fun to drink, alcohol can be extremely dangerous for the brain.  Even small amounts of it can have an effect on the body, making the brain crave more while increasing tolerance levels and withdrawal symptoms.  Regular heavy drinking may eventually result in anywhere from memory slips to losing the ability to care for oneself [2].  Alcohol can also damage the stomach and digestive system, which can then prevent the body and brain from absorbing nutrients.  A burning sensation in the throat or stomach may be a sign that the alcohol is causing significant damage. 




While caffeine in soda and coffee is widely used in the US, its consumption can rob the body and brain of magnesium, calcium and other nutrients [3].  Magnesium especially is important to maintain, as it affects over 300 reactions in the body.  It is impossible to feel normal without magnesium because it also calms down the brain.  Try drinking green tea and then herbal tea to wean yourself off of caffeine.




Guess what else is detrimental to the brain?  Sugar!  A study done by researchers at the University of Wisconsin discovered that when a person consumes excess refined sugars, the brain reacts the same way it would with a virus or bacteria.  It is associated with cognitive defects like dementia, short-term memory problems, mood stability and attention span.  Even in the last 20 years, Americans have increased sugar consumption from 26 pounds to 135 pounds of sugar per person, per year [4]!  Don?t be part of this dangerous trend?you can get all the sugar you need in fruit.


Adding 10 Vitamins and Minerals for a Balanced Brain


Here are 10 essential nutrients that every human body needs.  With the assistance of a physician, make sure you are consuming enough of healthy brain foods that contain these vitamins.

  1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a huge role in the body and brain, as it regulates around 5% of the human genome.  Most recently, researchers have looked at how vitamin D regulates the enzyme that changes tryptophan into serotonin and helps brain development [5].  Vitamin D may be more responsible for our well-being and balance than we thought! 

  1. Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 (also known as thiamine) contains essential nutrients for the brain [6].  The government-recommended dose of B1 is 1.1 or 1.2 mg a day.  But if a person comes to the ER and the doctor believes he needs B1, then 100 mg is given through an IV push.  That?s nearly 100 times more than the government recommendation.  In order to avoid issues, make sure you are getting an optimal dose of this vitamin for your body.

  1. Vitamin B12 

B12 assists many functions in the body, and in the brain it is used to help fight dementia and promote health.  Normal B12 levels in the US are considered to be 183-914 mg/pl.  But in Japan, it?s considered optimal around 500-900.  If someone were to come to a doctor in the US with B12 levels of 400, he would be sent home.  But if that patient were in Japan, he?d be treated aggressively.  Again, it?s vital to know the levels that are right for your body specifically.

  1. Vitamin C 

Vitamin C acts as an essential antioxidant molecule in the brain [7].  Human beings cannot make our own vitamin C so it is critical that we get enough from outside sources.  The government-recommended dose is 600 mg a day.  We can get some of this from animals since some animals produce it.  For instance, a goat makes 13 g of vitamin C daily.  Vitamin C is also found in many fruits and vegetables.  For a healthy brain, optimal levels are essential.

  1. Vitamin A 

Vitamin A is important to maintain plasticity in neurons and cognitive function.  Deficiency in vitamin A is actually a health issue worldwide.  Researchers are working right now to find out the exact scope of its importance on behavior and learning abilities [8].  The recommended daily dose is 5000 IU.

  1. Zinc 

Zinc is essential in 80 different enzymes, many of which are necessary for DNA replication, cellular proliferation and hormonal balance in the brain [9].  The recommended dose is 15 mg a day, but again, make sure you get enough for your individual body?this may require much more than the generic dose.  Zinc can be found naturally in red meats, seafood and seeds.

  1. Copper  

Copper is key in preventing Alzheimer?s disease; it?s been proven that dramatic loss of the metal in key brain regions advances dementia.  Copper helps deliver oxygen to brain cells and serves as an antioxidant to remove toxins [10].  Copper occurs naturally in leafy greens and other vegetables.

  1. Magnesium 

Magnesium plays a part in over 300 enzymatic reactions and is a superb component that your brain food must contain.  As far as taking care of the brain, a deficiency in magnesium can cause personality changes or sudden changes in behavior due to excessive electrical activity in the brain [11].  If you are not getting enough magnesium through vegetables or fish, talk to a physician about supplements?magnesium deficiency needs to be taken very seriously.

  1. Selenium

Selenium and selenium-dependent enzymes are widely recognized as modulators of brain function.  Getting enough selenium is vital to preventing Parkinson?s disease, stroke, and epilepsy [12].  Selenium can be found in Brazil nuts or quality supplements.


Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acids


If you are interested in extending the life of your brain and body, you should look into consuming enough omega 3-fatty acids.  It?s easiest to get concentrated omega-3 from fish oil, although you need to make sure the fish was not contaminated with mercury.  With anti-inflammatory qualities, omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to maintaining and promoting brain health.




Lecithin is a healthy substance found in egg yolks.  You may also know it as phosphatidylcholine phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylserine.  It appears naturally in soybeans, milk, cottonseed and sunflower.  The brain cells are connected by lecithin, so the food or supplements you consume should have a direct effect your brain.  Personally I get my eggs sunny side up to make sure I get enough lecithin, (but of course, beware of salmonella!). 


Why Can?t Multi-Vitamins Work?


Most likely, if you take a multi-vitamin everyday, you are not feeling any sharper.  First of all, there isn?t a standard for what nutrients multi-vitamins contain or at what levels [13].  Furthermore, these brain foods will contain at most the government-recommended daily dose of different vitamins.  Much of the time, these doses have not been proven to be sufficient for optimal brain function.  Levels you want may not be ?normal.?  You might want your vitamin and nutrient levels to be optimal.  Make sure you are working with a physician and taking doses that are right for your specific body, and not what is generally recommended to everyone. 


If you want to find out more about vital brain nutrients or harmful toxins present in your body or brain, call us today.  My practice specializes in getting down to the bottom of the issues.  We pride ourselves on taking the time to solve the root cause by holistically exploring the balance of each patient?s body and brain.