Nutrients That Create Neurotransmitters and a Healthy Brain
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The brain plus the nervous system is made from billions of nerve cells called neurons. These neurons send messages that allow the brain to function. These chemicals that carry these messages are called neurotransmitters. These chemicals regulate a lot of activities in the body including how the body responds to different stimuli. Neurotransmitters are classified into two groups: neuropeptides and small-molecule transmitters. Neuropeptides have larger molecules and include up to 36 amino acids. Small-molecule transmitters are smaller than neuropeptides. Neurotransmitters are made from an amino acid(protein), vitamins and mineral salts. Vitamin plus nutrient deficiencies impact neurotransmitter function which impacts moods, emotions, and thoughts. Below, we have outlined some of the nutrients that will help create neurotransmitters and a healthy brain.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is necessary for the biosynthesis of several neurotransmitters. It is important for the synthesis of many neurotransmitters, including Gamma-aminobutyric acid(GABA), serotonin, dopamine, noradrenalin, histamine, glycine, and d-serine, indicating that vitamin B6 supplementation may enhance many neurotransmitter systems. Vitamin B6 can be found in turkey, liver, eggs, cheese, seafood, soybeans, bananas, and other foods.
Vitamin B12 acts as a cofactor in synthesis of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, thus B12 deficiency affects mood, emotions and sleeping and can lead to psychiatric disorders. This vitamin is plenty in chicken, beef, liver, eggs, yogurt, salmon fish, tuna fish, and cheese.
Folate is intimately linked to the synthesis of neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Furthermore, brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels are a useful marker for clinical response or improvement of depressive symptoms. Folates are in abundance in the following foods: dark leafy green vegetables like spinach and broccoli, beans, peanuts, avocados, sunflower seeds, fresh fruits, whole grains, liver, and seafood.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids influence gene expression, oxidative stress, cerebral blood flow, levels of neurotransmitters, and the production of new neurons. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods, such as fish and flaxseed, walnuts, chia seeds, soybean oil, canola oil, and soy beverages.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids play a role in regulating both the structure and the function of neurons, glial cells and endothelial cells. They can be assimilated into the body by consuming the following foods: fish, sunflower oil, walnuts, avocados, and chia seeds.
The nervous system relays messages between your brain and body. These messages are delivered in the form of nerve impulses and help regulate your muscle contractions, heartbeat, reflexes and many other body functions. Interestingly, nerve impulses are generated by sodium ions moving into cells and potassium ions moving out of cells. The movement of ions changes the voltage of the cell, which activates a nerve impulse. Unfortunately, a drop in blood levels of potassium can affect the body’s ability to generate a nerve impulse. Getting enough potassium from your diet can help you maintain healthy nerve function. Potassium rich foods are: bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, spinach, potatoes, oranges, water melon, salmon, leafy greens, et cetera.
Zinc is a bio factor that plays essential roles in the central nervous system across the lifespan from early neonatal brain development through the maintenance of brain function in adults. At the molecular level, zinc regulates gene expression through transcription factor activity and is responsible for the activity of dozens of key enzymes in neuronal metabolism. At the cellular level, zinc is a modulator of synaptic activity and neuronal plasticity in both development and adulthood. Given these key roles, it is not surprising that alterations in brain zinc status have been implicated in a wide array of neurological disorders including impaired brain development, neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, and mood disorders including depression. Zinc rich goods are: eggs, pumpkin seeds, legume, chicken, whole grains, beef, yogurt, spinach, milk, oats, avocados, berries, bananas, et cetera.
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I am a beauty, lifestyle, and fashion content writer. I have worked with diverse clients over the years and some of my best qualities include being cooperative, patient, and always striving to meet my clients’ specifications. I developed an interest in fashion and fabrics from a young age. I have also had the opportunity of engaging in second-hand clothes retail business in Gikomba Market, Kenya.