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Will Vitamins Help Improve Memory?

author image Michele Kadison
Michele Kadison has been writing professionally for more than 25 years. Her blog, The Body in Form, focuses on vitality, balance and wellness as a way of life. Other publications include Next2Eden, Chefs Without Frontiers, Rockies Travel and more. Kadison has a Bachelor of Arts in writing from Hamilton College.
Will Vitamins Help Improve Memory?
A man holds assorted vitamins in his hand. Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Your brain must be kept in top condition to guarantee you clear mind, a strong capacity for learning, a good mood and an air-tight memory. To successfully accomplish these tasks, your brain needs a consistent and unrestricted supply of oxygen and nutrients at all times. As the sensitive and highly complex organ it is, your brain needs this kind of nourishment to improve its functions. With proper vitamins, your circulation is enhanced, allowing oxygen and nutrients to be transported effectively to your brain, providing you with the brain power you were born to enjoy.

Damage from Free Radicals

Your brain, along with your entire body, is affected by free radical damage. Eating junk food and being exposed to toxins threatens your health by depriving you of the nutrients so essential to a properly functioning system. Your brain, like your body, needs exercise, the right amount of sleep and a good diet to perform as beautifully as it is capable of. Getting the right vitamins is essential, especially because many foods today are over-processed or grown in less-than-adequate soil, whereby the nutrients are not readily available. Where memory is concerned, there are several key vitamins that can help you retrieve and maintain a high-performance mind.

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Memory

One of the most important nutrients for memory is omega-3 fatty acids, which not only fight free radical damage but also help to create cell structure in your body and brain. Omega-3 fish oil contains DHA and EPA, which stimulate brain function, helping to increase memory. Data collected from a recent study in Australia shows that of 396 children researched, those who were given a drink with omega-3 fatty acids scored higher on memory tests after 6 months than those who did not take the drink.

B-Vitamins for Improving Memory

The B-vitamins are powerful assets for improving memory. Because they help with the communication between your nervous system and your brain by manufacturing and releasing neurotransmitters, they provide an important stimulus for assisting concentration, awareness and other functions. Most particularly, B-6 helps with the overall health of your brain, including memory retention. B-12 is essential for decreasing the levels of homocysteine in your body, an amino acid responsible for hampering brain function. B-12 also is responsible for repairing nerve fibers in your brain. Vitamin B-9, or folic acid, produces red blood cells, which contributes to mental clarity.

Other Essential Memory Vitamins

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for fighting free radicals and maintaining overall health. Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant, helping protect your nerve cells from damage. Beta carotene also helps fight against free radicals, as does hawthorn berry, which cleans away toxins, strengthens blood vessels and tissues and helps transport oxygen to your brain. Choline is another powerful nutrient for brain power as it helps to prevent memory loss through forming the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Gingko biloba is an excellent tonic for your entire circulatory system, providing nutrition to your brain to increase alertness and clarity. Gotu kola helps with overall circulation, fortifying memory retention and overall brain health.

Foods Containing Essential Vitamins

Besides taking supplements, you can enhance your brain by eating foods that contain essential vitamins for promoting memory and mental clarity. Here is a partial list: fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids; flax seeds, rich in omega-3 fatty acids; kidney beans, rich in thiamin and inositol, which help elevate mood while enhancing cognitive function; strawberries, rich in vitamin C; sweet potato, rich in vitamin B-6; wheat germ, rich in vitamin E; and olive oil, which contains fatty acids that help to transport oxygen to your bloodstream.

The Best Way To Take Vitamins for Memory

It is best if you can find an all-in-one formula for memory, as you will find the ingredients properly balanced for maximum effect. Taking vitamins in this way is also cost effective. Nutrients, such as gingko biloba and gotu kola, can be taken separately, as can omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and a good B-complex formula. It is best to consult with your health practitioner or a knowledgeable vitamin expert -- often found at your local health food store -- to discover the best combination for you.

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