Posted in food, guest post, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca

Boost Your Brain: 5 Vitamin Supplements that Help Aid Memory

This article was originally published at iveeapp.com, adapted for a guest post here on Loreeebee.

The benefits of vitamin supplements are incredibly far-reaching. They can help aid bodily functions such as digestion, metabolism, and immuno-response. Researchers continue to support the belief that vitamin supplements play a large role in longevity. When combined with a proper diet, adequate sleep patterns, and daily exercise, a noticeable impact on life quality can also be achieved with vitamin supplements.

So what about memory? Can these tablets really boost cognitive function? Well, yes and no. One of the most common symptoms of aging is memory loss. As of 2020, roughly an estimated 5.8 million Americans aged 65 and older live with Alzheimer’s dementia. If scientists were able to slow the onset of Alzheimer’s with the use of vitamin supplements, over 200 thousand fewer seniors would be diagnosed per year. So, in that respect, vitamin supplements act as a preventive measure.

Five supplements that boost memory

1. B-12

Researchers have studied the correlation between B-12 and B complex vitamins and cognitive function for a long while. They have found that having a B-12 deficiency could lead to troubles with memory in the future. According to the Mayo Clinic, having an adequate amount of B-12 can lead to improved memory. Still, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that higher intake leads to more benefits. However, there is evidence that regular B-12 consumption can slow the cognitive decline of seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when combined with omega-3 fatty acids. 

B-12 deficiency is most common in those with bowel or stomach issues, strict vegans, and diabetics. Getting enough B-12 should come naturally. Certain foods such as fish and poultry contain high levels of the vitamin B-12. Dairy products and certain vegetables such as mushrooms also offer high levels of B-12. 

If you do not eat foods rich in B12, you can supplement your diet with vitamin B12 in a jar! and get the same benefits.

2. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another supplement that has shown to slow cognitive decline. Like vitamin B-12, this vitamin has proven to be more effective in older people since they are more at risk for memory loss. According to a 2014 study done by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMMA), “Among patients with mild to moderate [Alzheimer’s], 2000 IU/d of alpha-tocopherol [the vitamin E supplement] compared with placebo resulted in slower functional decline.” 

Vitamin E deficiency is rare, but it does occur. It is most apparent in those whose diets lack fat. Good sources of vitamin E include foods such as:

  • nuts
  • seeds
  • dark-colored fruits, such as blueberries, avocados, and blackberries
  • vegetables, such as spinach and bell peppers

Whether you get your daily dose of vitamin E from your diet or a jar of supplements, make sure you do!

3. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for efficient brain function as well as keeping our bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. We obtain Vitamin D mainly through the sun’s rays. The vitamin isn’t found in many foods, but it is abundant in certain fatty-fish such as trout, salmon, and tuna. Vitamin D supplements are great for everyone, but especially for those who spend a lot of their time working from inside. Being deficient in vitamin D can have negative effects such as raised anxiety, depression, and chronic fatigue. 

If you cannot get outside to obtain your daily dose of vitamin D, supplements are available.

4. Fish Oil

Omega-3 fatty acids are extracted directly from fatty fish like sardines and salmon. Fish oil can play a vital role in optimizing brain function. That’s because fish oil contains the same fatty acids found in the cell membranes of human brain cells. Preserving healthy brain cell membranes can have a massive impact on how our brain develops as we age. Not only is fish oil excellent for the mind but it is also great for muscle recovery as it decreases muscular pain and shortens recovery time after a workout.

Fish oil containing important omega 3 fatty acids is also available in supplement form if fish will never make it into your diet.

5. NAD+ Treatment

Yes, we know that NAD+ is not a vitamin, but its potential to optimize brain function is worth noting. NAD+ is a compound that is produced naturally in the body but as we age, our NAD+ levels decrease. The rate at which our NAD+ levels decrease is directly related to increasing biological age. So as we age, we lose NAD+ and we lose energy, our skin ages, and we experience some form of memory loss or mental fatigue. NAD+ supplements are available at certain vitamin shops, but one of the most effective methods is NAD+ treatment through an IV.

If IVs are not your thing, NAD+ is also available in supplement form. You have no excuse to avoid it!

Conclusion

Though these nutrients are not the “end all and be all” for cognitive decline, having a consistent intake of the vitamin could slow symptoms, especially for seniors and those already diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other mental diseases. The easiest way we can prevent the onset of these illnesses is to take care of our bodies. Good sleep patterns, a good diet including vitamins, and daily exercise are things we can do daily to increase the quality of life and longevity. 

If you are not keen on introducing supplements to your diet, try incorporating foods that contain the specific vitamins instead. That is my preferred way to achieve a healthy diet. I do so by concocting a variety of smoothies that contain healthy, fresh vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables. Make the choice based on your lifestyle, but be sure to incorporate the vitamins into your diet.

Posted in food, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca, nutrition

Best Smoothie Ingredients

Customize your smoothies to suit your needs and your dietary restrictions.  Pick and choose the ingredients you like to eat or drink.  This will make your custom smoothies easier to swallow, literally.  These ingredients may vary with age too.  For example, seniors may add ingredients that combat arthritis, but the younger generation might not yet care about arthritis. I recently started adding frozen beets to my smoothies as I read they are good for my circulation.

Vitamins & Minerals

Everyone needs vitamins and minerals, regardless of your age. Do your research to see which ingredients contain the vitamins you are deficient in. For example, if you need vitamin B12, use milk or yogurt as your base.

Add Creaminess

Bananas add creaminess and sweetness as well as vitamins B6 and B12, potassium and magnesium. If you are on a calorie restriction however, bananas are not usually recommended as they have a high glycemic index.

Avocados add creaminess too with the added benefit of good (omega 3) fats, fiber, and many vitamins including folate and vitamin K.

Berries are Terrific

Berries are antioxidants and add fiber to your smoothies. Most are also high in vitamin C. Raspberries are very seedy though, so can make your smoothie not so smooth. Blueberries and/or strawberries are terrific. Buy them frozen to keep them easily accessible and their nutrients fresh.

Dark Leafy Greens

If you don’t eat enough dark leafy greens, throw some in your smoothie. They are loaded with vitamins such as A, C and K as well as folate, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Most are also antioxidants too. Don’t use too many at once though, or your smoothie will get too sludgy. Been there, done that!

Add a Boost of Protein

Protein is always a nice addition to provide even more nutrition to your smoothies. I use hemp hearts and collagen in mine. As well as a good source of protein, collagen is purportedly good for my arthritic joints as well as my aging skin. Protein powder works too and helps keep your smoothies smooth.

Green Tea

Add a few cups of green tea to your smoothie to boost your antioxidant level and reduce cholesterol, body fat, tooth decay, bad breath, and blood pressure. Green tea also gives you a caffeine boost.

If green tea is not your thing, add milk or almond milk for the liquid necessary to blend all the chunkier ingredients.

Spice it Up

Spices such as turmeric, curry powder, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin etc. add flavor and many health benefits. Most are antioxidants, and help to combat inflammation and even cancer.

Conclusion

Tweak your own ingredient list so your smoothie is both tasty and healthy. That way you will continue to concoct and drink them. They make a great start to your morning or a hydrating and healthy boost any other time of day.

Posted in health & wellness, loreeebee.ca

Best Anti-Aging Vitamins: 5 Supplements to Help Turn Back the Clock

This article was originally posted on Ivee, adapted for posting on Loreeebee:

While aging may not be the most pleasant experience, the memories, experiences, and life lessons we learn along the way are invaluable. What if someone told you there are ways to stop, or at least limit, the symptoms of aging? With help from specific vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, we can help rewind our body’s biological clock by replenishing valuable nutrients that we lose with age. That being said, aging is inevitable, and symptoms are almost impossible to avoid altogether. If nothing else, utilizing this collection of nutrients can increase our body’s efficiency to improve our quality of life.

What Happens When We Age?

As we age, our body stops producing certain chemical compounds that were plentiful when we were younger. Additionally, our telomeres shorten with age. Telomeres help protect the ends of our chromosomes from deteriorating. When our telomeres shorten, our body’s cells go through a negative transformation that drastically affects our health and lifespan. 

Shorter telomeres have been associated with an increased risk of disease and lower survival rates. Most of the symptoms related to aging are cognitive. Yes, our hair turns grey and we start to get wrinkles, but the slow cognitive decline is the most reported and impactful result of aging. So let’s take a look at five supplements that can help reduce these effects. 

Five Supplements That canTurn Back the Clock
Curcumin
Photo from Pexels

1. Curcumin

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric, a spice used predominantly in Asian dishes that comes from the turmeric root. Curcumin is rated highly for its powerful anti-aging effects due to its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are substances that help protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. Additionally, this antioxidant protects our cells from cellular senescence which occurs when cells stop dividing. As we get older these unresponsive cells accumulate, accelerating the aging process and the progression of age-related diseases.

You can easily increase your curcumin intake by incorporating turmeric in dishes or by taking curcumin supplements!

2. CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is another antioxidant that is self-produced by your body. It is responsible for energy production and protecting cells from damage. As we age, our levels of CoQ10 begin to decline, and symptoms such as fatigue and brain fog become more and more apparent. 

In 2015, researchers ran an experiment to test the effects of supplemented CoQ10 in 443 older adults. The study found that supplementing CoQ10 and selenium (an element that aids metabolism) over four years improved their overall quality of life, reduced hospital visits, and slowed the deterioration of mental performance. 

Though CoQ10 shows the potential to be a powerful anti-aging supplement, there still needs to be more research and definitive evidence before it can be recommended as a natural way to prevent aging. Make sure to talk to a health care professional before trying it out.

3. Vitamin B12

This popular vitamin aids our body in numerous ways, such as keeping our nerve and blood cells healthy. Vitamin B12 also helps prevent megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak

Aside from its “inner body benefits,” such as added energy and cognitive clarity, B12 can also aid our bodies cosmetically. It can help improve our appearance by reducing skin redness, inflammation, and dryness. It can also reduce hair breakage and help nails become stronger.

Our bodies don’t produce B12 naturally, but we can obtain it through various foods like fish, eggs, and chicken. Different types of vegetables, such as mushrooms, are high in B12 as well. B12 is also available as a daily supplement and can be found at your local pharmacy or natural food store.

4. Vitamin D 

Weakening immune systems are also a sign of aging so catching a common cold will have a much more significant impact than it did when we were younger. Thankfully, a new UK research study has found that Vitamin D can have a positive effect on the immune system and help offset some age-related health issues.

It is also widely accepted throughout the scientific community that vitamin D compounds protect the skin against the hazardous effects of many skin aging-inducing agents, including ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

You can absorb vitamin D naturally through the sun’s rays, but vitamin D supplements are widely accessible at any pharmacy or vitamin shop for an extra boost if you don’t spend much time outdoors.

5. NAD+ Treatment 

While we know this isn’t a vitamin or antioxidant, the potential of Nicotinamide adenine dinuleotide (NAD+) is something we cannot overlook. That’s because it is one of the most potent anti-aging molecules you can put into your body. In short, NAD+ keeps your cells “young” and helps to rewind your biological clock.

NAD+ treatment is relatively new on the scene. As of right now, the FDA has only given the green light for oral NAD+ supplements. However, injecting NAD+ intravenously is a very efficient way to receive the nutrient, as it allows for almost 100% bioavailability. 

NAD+ treatment can last anywhere from two to six hours and has been reported by some as being quite uncomfortable. Some patients have reported nausea, chest tightness, and lightheadedness. Fortunately, these symptoms are short-lived and pretty much counteracted by the treatment’s lasting impact on energy levels, mental clarity, and overall sense of rekindled youth.

Conclusion

Aging is inevitable, we all know that. As we age our body slowly reduces its efficiency and there is no way around that. These supplements and treatments are in no way the “end all be all” for aging symptoms; what they do provide is a higher quality of life and help to manage current and future symptoms of aging.

Reading this information, I think my daily diet and routine covers four of five of these age reducers. My daily smoothie contains turmeric and Co-Q10 containing strawberries, spinach and broccoli. Meat, cheese, mushrooms and eggs are common ingredients in my meals, covering my vitamin B12 requirements. I also make a habit of getting my natural vitamin D by spending as much time as possible outdoors.

I did a little research of my own regarding NAD+ and it turns out cremini mushrooms, tuna and salmon are all natural sources of the anti-aging compound. That means I’m covered for all five after all. I should be looking younger any day now!

Posted in food

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

courtesy of Wikimedia commons

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but do you believe it?  I do.   Apples are in incredibly easy, inexpensive and delicious way to add fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to your diet.

Apples have been around forever, since the days of Adam and Eve…

images5P8UXJ14
courtesy of Wikimedia commons

 

Apples are fat-free, cholesterol free, gluten-free, low in sodium, and full of fiber (with the peel on), pectin, vitamins, flavonoids, minerals and antioxidants. One apple contains approximately five grams of fiber and just eighty calories.

Doctors have suspected for years that constipation, caused by insufficient fiber in the diet, is at the root of many illnesses. Conditions such as appendicitis, varicose veins, diverticulitis, hernias and hemorrhoids are all thought to be caused by strained bowel movements. Most people know that fiber can alleviate these strained bowel movements. An apple a day can go a long way to keeping your body regular and free from constipation. My children can attest to the fact that anytime they complained of a stomach ache, I would always ask them when the last time they had a good poop, then prepare them a large bowl of sliced apples (with the peel still on) sprinkled with cinnamon. See a previous post

Pectin is a carbohydrate found in apples that helps our intestines when diarrhea is a problem.  This is because pectin causes food to congeal, just as it does when you use it to make jam or jelly.  Most mothers are familiar with the BRAT diet of bananas, rice, unsweetened applesauce and toast when their children have been ill with diarrhea.  Most of these ingredients are bland and easy on the stomach.  The applesauce (apples without the fiber of the peel) is primarily included in this diet because of the pectin.

Apples are full of magnesium and potassium which help control your blood pressure.   Quercetin is a flavonoid found in apples that protects your artery walls as well as your lungs.  Boron, a trace mineral that is absorbed from the soil, is also found in apples and has been shown to be beneficial for your joints.  Antioxidants are helpful to prevent disease and even to stop the growth of cancer cells once they are present in your system.

Now that you know just how good apples are for you, be sure to eat an apple a day to stay healthy or get healthier, starting today!

imagesc
courtesy of Wikimedia commons

 

 

copyscape picture

Posted in food, health and wellness, loreeebee.ca

Customized Vitamin and Mineral Cocktails

If you, like me, hesitate to take pills to supplement your diet, consider creating your own customized vitamin and mineral cocktail to get only the benefits you need without the negative side effects.  For years I have found that every pill (including vitamins and medicine ) I take gives me side effects much worse than the benefits.   I would much prefer to get the  vitamins and/or minerals I need in my food from natural sources like fruit and vegetables, instead of supplementing my diet with pills.  As I get older my list of ailments and health issues grows, but I still feel that I would like to treat and/or prevent only these specific issues…

Years ago, I began making breakfast smoothies for my sons to ensure they started their school day off well.  Check out one of my earliest posts.  Their smoothies have evolved over the years to suit their needs, but they still love them and it still gives me comfort knowing they are well on their way to their daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables every morning.

Smoothie Ingredients by Symptoms

I have since started making my own customized vitamin and mineral cocktails.  To find out which ingredients to use, I researched each of my own personal health issues to find out the recommended vitamin and/or mineral.  I then continued the research to find out  the best food source for each of the  vitamins/minerals on my list.  The following chart is customized  for my own ailments and health concerns with the vitamin or mineral and the best food source (suitable for a smoothie) to combat each ailment/concern:

ArthritisALA (omega 3) Spinach, chia seed, flax seed oil
 Quercetin Citrus, green tea, dark cherries/berries
 Collagen Nuts, seeds, green tea, red/blue berries, vitamin C, gelatin
 Cumin/turmeric Cumin/turmeric/curry powder
    
Bone densityAlkaline mineralsCalciumSpinach, thyme, molasses, almond milk, dairy products
  ManganeseCloves, dark chocolate
  MagnesiumCoriander, dark chocolate, almonds
  IronSpinach, molasses
  PotassiumSpinach, avocado, bananas
    
EnergyCo-Q10 Spinach, avocado, parsley, red/blue berries
    
CancerResveratrol Dark berries, dark chocolate, red grape skins
 Quercetin See above
 Pterostillbene Blueberries, spinach
    
MenopauseVitamin D Almond milk, dairy milk
 Ginseng Ginseng drops/tea
 Phytoestrogens Flax seed oil, dark cherries
    
Memory & Brain FogPterostillbene See above
 Resveratrol See above
 Omega 3s See above
    
Immune SystemCo-Q10 See above
 Quercetin see above
    
Co-ordinationResveratrol See above
    
CholesterolPterostillbene See above
    
DigestionAlkaline minerals See above
    
CirculationCo-Q10 See above
    
Toxin Removal (antioxidants)Alkaline minerals See above

My Personal Concoction

My personal, customized cocktail contains fresh organic baby spinach, chia seed, flax seed oil, lemon juice, green tea, dark cherries, blueberries, almond milk, strawberries, cumin or turmeric, molasses, dark chocolate, coriander and avocado.  I created my own recipe from the researched  ingredients  that I like and have easy access to, but there were many more to choose from. 

Research your own needs, pick your favorite ingredients, and whip up your own delicious customized vitamin and mineral cocktail today!

photo credit: Roman Odinstov on pexels.com

Posted in food, health and wellness, lorieb.com

Customized Vitamin and Mineral Cocktails

If you, like me, hesitate to take pills to supplement your diet, consider creating your own customized vitamin and mineral cocktail to get only the benefits you need without the negative side effects .  For years I have found that every pill (including vitamins and medicine ) I take gives me side effects much worse than the benefits.   I would much prefer to get the  vitamins and/or minerals I need in my food from natural sources like fruit and vegetables, instead of supplementing my diet with pills.   As I get older my list of ailments and health issues grows, but I still feel that I would like to treat and/or prevent only these specific issues…

Years ago, I began making breakfast smoothies for my sons to ensure they started their school day off well.  Check out one of my earliest posts:  https://loreeebee.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/the-joys-of-juicing/   Their smoothies have evolved over the years to suit their needs, but they still love them and it still gives me comfort knowing they are well on their way to their daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables every morning.

I have since started making my own customized vitamin and mineral cocktails.  To find out which ingredients to use, I researched each of my own personal health issues to find out the recommended vitamin and/or mineral.  I then continued the research to find out  the best food source for each of the  vitamins/minerals on my list.  The following chart is customized  for my own ailments and health concerns with the vitamin or mineral and the best food source (suitable for a smoothie) to combat each ailment/concern:

 

Arthritis ALA (omega 3) Spinach, chia seed, flax seed oil
Quercetin Citrus, green tea, dark cherries/berries
Collagen Nuts, seeds, green tea, red/blue berries, vitamin C, gelatin
Cumin/turmeric Cumin/turmeric/curry powder
Bone density Alkaline minerals Calcium Spinach, thyme, molasses, almond milk, dairy products
Manganese Cloves, dark chocolate
Magnesium Coriander, dark chocolate, almonds
Iron Spinach, molasses
Potassium Spinach, avocado, bananas
Energy Co-Q10 Spinach, avocado, parsley, red/blue berries
Cancer Resveratrol Dark berries, dark chocolate, red grape skins
Quercetin See above
Pterostillbene Blueberries, spinach
Menopause Vitamin D Almond milk, dairy milk
Ginseng Ginseng drops/tea
Phytoestrogens Flax seed oil, dark cherries
Memory & Brain Fog Pterostillbene See above
Resveratrol See above
Omega 3s See above
Immune System Co-Q10 See above
Quercetin see above
Co-ordination Resveratrol See above
Cholesterol Pterostillbene See above
Digestion Alkaline minerals See above
Circulation Co-Q10 See above
Toxin Removal (antioxidants) Alkaline minerals See above

My personal, customized cocktail contains fresh organic baby spinach, chia seed, flax seed oil, lemon juice, green tea, dark cherries, blueberries, almond milk, strawberries, cumin or tumeric, molasses, dark chocolate, coriander and avocado.  I created my own recipe from the researched  ingredients  that I like and have easy access to, but there were many more to choose from.  Research your own needs, pick your favorite ingredients, and whip up your own delicious customized vitamin and mineral cocktail today!

 

 

Lorieb is the mother of three sons, residing in Kanata, Ontario, Canada.  She is the proud owner of GARDENS4U, and spends most of her time designing, planting, and restoring gardens.  Her other interests include reading and writing.  Please check out her website at www.gardens4u.ca