With the New Year comes many resolutions of becoming healthier. After a year of experience, I can greatly say that my 2020 resolution of ingesting more vitamins as a ploy to stay more healthy definitely worked. Additionally, working at a retirement home gave me a great perspective of how important it is to stay healthy to keep my mind and body young.
The following vitamins each have their own health benefits, and I recommend taking a supplement once a day or eating more foods that have high levels of these vitamins to increase your cognitive abilities and reduce chances of various diseases and cancer!
- Evening Primrose Oil
This supplement is made from a plant native to North and South America and is created through the oil from its seeds. Other than ingesting it through supplements, it can also be found in multiple cosmetic products and soaps. The primrose oil contains fatty acids which aids to decrease inflammation from arthritis and eczema. It has many benefits for women such as aiding with breast pain, PMS (premenstrual syndrome), menopause symptoms, and lowering acne.
- Vitamin B6
Pyridoxine, or B6, is a water-soluble vitamin found naturally in many foods and can be added to various supplements. The benefits of this vitamin are it can lower homocysteine levels, i.e. it lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases (heart attacks and strokes). It can also increase cognitive function, which aids in reducing the chances of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. If you happen to be pregnant, this vitamin is also known for aiding against morning sickness!
If you prefer not to take vitamin supplements, you can also try ingesting it through foods such as salmon, beef liver, tuna, chickpeas, dark leafy greens, bananas, and oranges.
- Vitamin B12
Cobalaminor, B12 is very close to B6 with similar benefits. It can also be found in foods high in fat or can be taken in supplement form. Although B12 doesn’t help with morning sickness, it does aid with cardiovascular disease and cognitive abilities.
This vitamin aids in the breaking down of a protein called homocysteine. If your homocysteine levels are high, your risk of heart attacks or strokes increase. High homocysteine levels also increase the risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, thus B12 lowering these levels aids in decreasing the potential of obtaining these diseases. However, there still needs to be more research as to how much cognitive improvement the vitamin actually initiates.
If you don’t want to take the supplements you can increase your B12 levels by ingesting fish, shellfish, red meat, eggs, poultry, dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt), and fortified nutritional yeast or cereals.
Omega-3 supplements are essentially filled with fish oil, a fatty acid substance that heavily impacts creating a healthier you. There are multiple benefits to increasing your Omega-3 consumption, such as lowering blood pressure, reducing triglycerides (leads to clogged arteries), levelling heart rhythms, reducing the likelihood of cardiovascular diseases, and aiding in brain nutrition.
You can easily find Omega-3 supplements, however I recommend either taking a coated pill or ingest them at night, as they can leave a fishy taste in your mouth. Or, as most doctors recommend, you can consume more fish as a meal instead of any red or white meats.
- Ginkgo Biloba
This is a supplement that has numerous health benefits. It is a Chinese medicine that has been used for 1,000 years that especially aids with mental health conditions. Some of its most notable benefits are that it treats anxiety and depression, blood pressure problems, insufficient blood flow to the brain, and can aid in lowering blood sugar levels.
Because the supplements are made from ginkgo biloba leaf extract and ginkgo seeds, there are no foods that you can ingest instead of the supplement. Although I take the supplement once a day and have had no issues with it, it may cause headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
These are just a few of some integral vitamins and supplements that aid in creating a long-lasting life. Other than the evening primrose oil and sometimes the ginkgo biloba, most of these vitamins will not show results any time soon, however, they will definitely help as we grow and age. I hope some of these will aid in creating a healthier you!