You need to feed your brain with choline because it's a building block for acetylcholine so that your brain can function in tiptop condition.
Your brain wants to be fed all the time. It has a huge appetite for energy so it can keep going even while you sleep. And if you don’t feed it the right way, you’re not going to keep creating new pathways in your brain so it can work faster and give you better focus.
You probably already know all about “brain food” like eggs, fish and blueberries. But we’re talking about improving your sharpness and clarity, not just maintaining it.
To use nutrition to take your brain’s performance to another level means you should do two things:
• Boost your neurotransmitters
These are the chemicals your brain cells use to send and receive signals between neurons.
• Fight free radicals with antioxidants
Free radicals are a product of oxidation. Oxidation is like “slow burn” of living. All the work your cells do and all the energy you produce throws off unstable molecules called free radicals that attack your healthy cells and drain them of energy and strength. In your brain, they cause many of the symptoms associated with aging, and even tissue damage.
Your body’s way of neutralizing free radicals is with antioxidants. The more antioxidants you give your brain, the better it will perform.
What Your Brain Really Needs
If you want to feel energize and more mental power to handle your daily stress, then you need these powerful brain nutrients:
Your brain uses it to maintain clear communication between trillions of neurons. Your brain uses this nutrient as a primary building block for acetylcholine … the neurotransmitter that controls all of the basics like thought, memory, sleep …
What is acetylcholine?
• It's a brain chemical that lets those cells fire signals to each other when you want to move, or when you learn things.
• It is the neurotransmitter of memory and muscle stimulation. It’s responsible for muscle control, sleep, arousal, attention, memory, intelligence and mood. Your brain needs a constant, rich supply of choline to keep all of these functions going strong.
• It even controls balance and how you move. Your muscles receive commands from your brain via acetylcholine. That means your sense of balance and stability is controlled by this key transmitter.
And when you have more choline, you can:
• Keep moving, stay active and stay balanced
• Have better reaction time
• Have more strength and stamina
• Have energy for the entire day
• Stay clear and focused
• Make faster, more accurate decisions
• Sleep deeply without tossing and turning
• If you have lots of acetylcholine, which lets your nerve cells fire along all those new pathways and through the synapses you’ve created in your brain, your mind is sharp, your memory is clear, and you feel energetic.
For one thing, Choline is part vitamin, and part nutrient.
The definition of a vitamin is that you can’t make it in your body. Choline is considered a kind of B vitamin (sometimes referred to as vitamin B4), even though you can make a little bit of it.
But because you can’t make enough, and you have to get the rest of what you need through food, choline is classified as an essential nutrient.
Why Choline Is Important?
You need choline for all the basics like thought, memory and sleep. It even controls how you move. Your muscles receive commands from your brain via acetylcholine. That means your sense of balance and stability is controlled by this key transmitter.
You can’t live without choline. You wouldn’t be able to walk or think… you wouldn’t even be able to hold your cells together.
Choline visits every tissue in your body, handing out parts of itself called “methyl groups” like presents to other molecules.
This is part of its uniqueness. Choline is the only nutrient that has three methyl groups to give away.
• It’s how you turn genes on so you can be virile, confident and happy.
• It’s how your cells talk to each other so you can move when you want to.
• It’s how you make the brain chemical acetylcholine that gives you your creativity and mental power.
• And it helps you make antioxidants to fight off the effects of the toxins you’re exposed to in our modern world.
• Part of the way choline works is that it’s in the membrane of every cell in your body. Your cells use choline to stay flexible enough to allow in both water and fat-soluble antioxidant vitamins from your food and supplements.
• And then, choline also allows the waste to get out. Without choline, your cells would literally get “clogged” and your energy levels would drop like a stone.
That’s one of the reasons why, when your stores of choline get low, you feel tired and sluggish.
Your brain especially can get tired and sluggish without lots of choline. One reason is that the brain has a LOT of cells that need choline to build their membranes.
But unlike caffeine which depletes your reserves of acetylcholine and burns you out, choline helps you build them up.
That’s because your body does a simple conversion, and combines a substance called DMAE – an amino acid naturally produced by your brain – with choline to make acetylcholine.
This is what allows you to think clearly and creatively, stay strong and energized, and have that “spring in your step.”
Fortunately, there are lots of good ways to get choline in the food you eat.
But your supply of choline drops as you get older. And guess what the symptoms are…
• Fatigue or lack of energy
• Brain fog and/or a sense of confusion
• Problems falling asleep, tossing and turning
• Feeling distracted or irritable
• Poor recall and memory loss
When you boost your stores of choline, you are more able to deal with what life throws at you. Women need at least 425 mg a day, and men need 550 mg.
Where can you get choline from foods?
The best way to get more choline is to eat one of the “taboo” foods modern nutritionists tell you to stay away from – animal meat and eggs.
When people used to eat steak and eggs for breakfast they ate less and had more energy. Now you are told to eat “healthy grains”… and people are slumping in their office chairs in the afternoon, tired, weak and listless.
You can change that by eating more of the things your brain needs – animal products like eggs and red meat, which are full of healthy fats and choline.
The richest food sources of choline are (in mg per 100 g of food):
• Animal liver is the best source of choline. Two ounces of beef liver have 174 mg of choline.
• Whole cooked eggs – 272mg. Make sure you get free-range eggs without antibiotics or hormones. They’ll help fuel your muscles as well as give you much-needed choline.
• Raw egg yolks – 682mg. Go ahead and crack open a couple eggs into your protein shake. It’s only an urban legend that there’s danger in eating them raw.
• Chicken liver – 290mg. Though some people get turned off by organ meats, they’re a potent source of high-powered nutrition. And it’s an old wives tale that they store toxins – they don’t.
• Turkey liver – 220mg. Another great source of nutrition. Just like any liver, it also provides vitamin A, CoQ10 and iron.
• Pork – 130mg. Just like beef, you want to eat only organic, grass-fed animals for the proper balance of fats and zero hormones and antibiotics.
• cauliflower (two ounces have 25 mg),
• green peas,
• chickpeas, lentils and sesame seeds.
Which Choline Supplement is the best?
You can supplement, but be careful, because there are quite a few choline products out there, so it’s important to differentiate them.
You’ll find “health” experts promoting lecithin (phosphatidylcholine or PC-lecithin) because it has choline in it. But lecithin comes from soy, which has an estrogen-like effect on your body. Lecithin can also cause diarrhea and stomach discomfort in the high doses you would need. So avoid lecithin.
• Choline chloride and choline bitartrate are what farmers usually put in their animal feed because these kinds of choline don’t have the side effects on the stomach that soy choline has. But, there’s not much active choline in them, so they’re not the greatest kinds of choline for humans to take.
• Choline citrate is choline combined in a base of natural extracts from citrus fruits, and has the most active choline. It’s the best way to get high levels of choline, and there are no side effects – except a clean rush of energy for your brain.
If you prefer supplement, just make sure that it's food-based, not synthetic because synthetic is artificial, not genuine.
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2) Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a key nutrient for maintaining good memory function. It forms and maintain a protective layer around the nerve cells in your brain. Without that protective layer your brain can’t function properly. This brain’s protective coating is called myelin. Myelin helps neurons in conducting their messages and protects them. Keep your B12 levels up and you will help strengthen myelin’s effectiveness.
It is crucial to brain function and the overall health of your nervous system because it’s the engine behind your body’s ability to make blood. That’s because B12 forms a protective layer around the nerve cells in your brain. Without that protective layer your brain can’t function properly.
What’s more, B12 helps prevent the brain from shrinking. A study published in the journal of Neurology found that people who had higher levels of vitamin B12 in their blood were six times less likely to experience brain shrinkage compared to those who had lower levels.
Foods rich in Vitamin B12 are:
• Lean meats, particularly grass-fed beef, and organ meats.
• salmon, haddock, tuna, and trout.
3) Vinpocetine expands your blood vessels, increasing blood flow to the brain, maintain healthy brain function as we age, as well as enhance memory.
One study gave 42 patients 10 mg of vinpocetine every day for 30 days, then 5 mg for 60 days. Those taking it scored consistently better on various mental tests compared to the half taking a placebo.
4) Acetyl L-carnitine (ALC).
ALC provides a range of brain protection, improving mood, focus, memory and maintain abstract reasoning. It protects the brain from damage due to poor circulation. ALC helps injured nerve cells to repair and function normally again. ALC also increases the release of the memory neurotransmitter, acetylcholine.
Researchers have found that ALC is so powerful that it protects brain cells from damage even when blood flow is temporarily blocked. ALC keeps the cell energy going even when there is little or no blood flow for short amounts of time.
This nutrient is what’s called a “co-enzyme,” which means that it enables other chemical compounds to perform a number of essential functions. SAM-e is one of the main building blocks your brain needs to produce neurotransmitters.
SAM-e raises levels of another neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine enhances learning, memory, motivation, and even helps with attention and sleep. It’s also the key to experiencing pleasure and maintaining an overall sense of well being, avoid depression and a good mood.
Do you know that using creatine along with CoQ10 can give you a real brain boost.
An animal study published in the Journal of Neurochemistry shows that taking CoQ10 and creatine blocks the loss of dopamine in the brain (a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease), protects cell membranes (they leak with age), and reduces oxidative damage.
Your body – primarily the liver – makes creatine naturally. You can also get it from foods like grass-fed beef, fish and apples. For every 2 lbs. of beef you eat, you will gain 5 grams of creatine.
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