Vitamins and minerals that stimulate the cognitive functions

In everyday life, you’ll constantly need your brains. Whether you need to learn for an exam, you need memory to remember what had been necessary to use messages or language to make your wishes known: your brains are indispensable. In part, your cognitive functions are given talent, and you can not change much about that, but for another part, you can do exert an influence on the workings of your brains. The most popular way probably works, but also of some vitamins and minerals are known to have a positive impact on your cognitive functions. Vitamins and minerals are found in food, but not in all products. In short, what vitamins and minerals you need for proper brain function and what foods can you find them?





Choline was once considered a B vitamin but has been removed from the list because it was not essential for humans. This means that this substance can be manufactured by the body from other substances. However, a deficiency develops it is still possible. Choline does not help directly to improve brain function, but it contributes to stabilizing the homocysteine level. When it is raised, can act cognitive decline. In principle, it is not necessary for accordance with the Dutch guidelines to take extra choline. Choline is included eggs, beef, fish, chicken, milk, cauliflower, quinoa, beans, peanuts, and wheat germ.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is formed from carotenoids: a large group of dyes that appear in the chromoplasts (simply put color giver) of the plant, in bacteria and the skin, the cover shell, and armor of animals. Carotenoids consist of eight units: the first one is carotene (consists of carbon and hydrogen), the second xanthophylls. Xanthophylls are oxygenated derivatives of carotene. Two xanthophylls, lutein, and zeaxanthin play a role in learning, memory, language and different thinking processes. They can be found among others in boiled corn, peppers, spinach, broccoli and apples.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B2 is also called riboflavin. Vitamin B2 plays a role in, among other things, the respiration and growth processes. It is also important to get enough because it put just ensures that the omega three fatty acids can better do their jobs. It is found in whole grains, dairy products, liver, yeast, wheat germ, leafy vegetables and eggs. Supporting B vitamins anyway concentration. Also, it helps reduce fatigue.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D belongs to the category of steroid hormones. This type of hormones brings to going out of the structure of cholesterol changes in a molecule. In studies of the brains in the areas of the impact of vitamin D on the brain, scientists found D-receptors that have to deal with complex planning, new memories and information processing. The only caveat which can be placed here is that there is not taken into account in studies of the calcium concentration in the brains. Calcium is a proven confounder, an external factor that affects the relationship between vitamin D and cognitive function. The primary source of vitamin D is sunlight. Also, it also occurs in some types of food, but often to a small extent. The only exception is oily fish, such as salmon and mackerel: coming to a greater extent in food.



Vitamins + Minerals


Iron is a mineral that when two different types – heme iron and non-heme iron – found in food. Low iron levels in the blood have an adverse effect on concentration. Young people under 23, vegetarians and vegans and women who are menstruating, pregnant or lactating women are at greater risk of iron deficiency than average. Heme iron is found only in animal products, especially beef, and lamb. It is better absorbed than non-heme iron. Non-heme iron is of apple, spinach, beef, chickpeas and cod.


Iodine is a trace element that plays a significant role in the formation of thyroid hormones. Iodine deficiency is associated with problems with cognitive functions. Games and reading as examples as what skills these children are less developed. Surveys among students, however, showed conflicting results. Research into maternal iodine deficiency it clearly points out that their children on the cognitive functioning level less. Someone gets enough iodine from food; the only exception is for people who do not eat or organic bread and also never used iodized salt.


Magnesium is a mineral which is given one-half of the amount in the body in the bones. It is among other things necessary for the preservation of the strength of bones. The effects of magnesium on the brains were examined periodically, including in children with ADHD. Researchers found among them decreased levels in red blood cells, which could mean that replenishing these values has a positive effect on concentration. Some websites about magnesium say that 50-70% of the population would have a magnesium deficiency, so perhaps it is worthwhile to take some watching your magnesium intake. Magnesium is found in vegetables, milk (products) and meat.


Selenium is a trace element which, in particular, plays a role in the protection of the body from heavy metals. However, a shortage it is also associated with cognitive decline. Especially young people and pregnant women are at risk of developing a selenium deficiency. Selenium is short both in crop and animal products. In the plant products, the amount depends on the amount present in the soil.


Zinc is a trace element that is mainly involved in the metabolism. In a study in which the subjects were given additional zinc supplements showed that they particularly in the areas of memory, great understanding and conceptualization went ahead. Conversely, it is also true that a zinc deficiency can lead to cognitive decline. Zinc comes in small amounts in meat, cheese, cereals, nuts and shellfish.

Omega 3

Omega 3 is not covered by vitamins or minerals, but nevertheless, taking them has a significant influence on the functioning of the brain. Omega 3 fatty acids is a collective term for some unsaturated fatty acids. In addition to the great influence they have on your ability to concentrate, they also provide protection against cardiovascular disease. These fatty acids are found mainly in oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines, and trout, shellfish, rapeseed and soybean oil, and walnuts.



Good to know

In general, it is not possible to come through nutrition to too high a dosage of a vitamin or mineral. This can be when you take a nutritional supplement. So be careful that you buy one that contains preferably not more than the maximum recommended daily intake unless advised by a doctor.

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