We all know that we need to eat the right foods to keep our bodies healthy but what about our minds? This week’s Nutrition News evaluates the most recent nutritional studies including one article that explores the different minerals needing to support gamers’ cognitive function in esports.

The minerals that support cognitive function

With the rise in popularity of gaming and esports, there’s been an increasing amount of interest in cognitive support supplements. This article by Natural Products Insider, looks at some of the minerals that are being focused on by esports professionals. Perhaps surprisingly, there is some correlation between physical sports performance and online sports performance; the article highlights the importance of mental health in both sports categories, something in which nutrition plays a major role.

Specifically, the article highlights the importance of certain minerals, including magnesium, iron and zinc, for gaming due to their role in brain function. Magnesium is crucial for energy production within its role in ATP. Iron also has a huge role in brain function as it is responsible for transporting oxygen to the brain, which is why fatigue is a key sign of iron deficiency. Zinc is essential for eye health support, which is important for gaming, but it also has a role in cognitive function as it is found in high concentrations in the hippocampus.

These minerals are essential for all people to stay healthy but their unique functions are what make them particularly important for gamers and esports players.

Supplements that offer menopause support

The menopause is something that affects every woman around the world with everyone experiencing varying severity of symptoms. This recent article by Healthline explores a number of different dietary supplements and how they can offer menopause support.

One of the most well-known menopause support supplements is evening primrose oil (EPO), which is made from the seeds of the evening primrose plant. While more research is needed because the findings are inconclusive, there is research to suggest that EPO may mitigate against the onset of hot flushes.

Flax seeds are another seed that may benefit those going through menopause symptoms. The chemical structures and compounds of flax seeds are similar to that of the hormone oestrogen. Because of this, research suggests that flax seeds can alleviate some menopause symptoms, such as hot flushes and bone loss, but again this is not yet conclusive.

In addition to evening primrose oil and flax seeds, the article also highlights maca, ginseng and black cohosh, amongst others, as natural considerations for menopause support.

A summary of omega 6

We are frequently asked the difference between omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9, and recently Medical News Today published an article that explains the functions and best sources of omega 6 specifically.

In essence, omega 6 fatty acids are a type of fatty acid that are a part of the same family of fatty acids as omega 3. These essential fatty acids (EFA) are fatty acids that the body needs but cannot make on its own. We hear more about omega 3 than omega 6 because it is thought that western diets naturally consume far more omega 6s than omega 3s. The reason for this is that omega 6s belong to a group of unsaturated fats known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are commonly found in processed foods that are prevalent in western diets.

Despite this, it is important to get the right balance of different omega essential fatty acids, which is why Omega 3, 6, 9 is produced as it offers the perfect balance of all three when you cannot obtain them through diet alone.

While omega 6s are a type of unsaturated fat that supports heart health, it is important to get the right balance of omegas and consult a healthcare practitioner who can make an informed assessment of your intake based on diet and specific requirements.

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Alison Astill-Smith author Alison is Director and Founder of Metabolics who writes about Metabolics updates, events and natural healthcare. Her experience and passion for natural supplements and healthcare comes from her years of experience as a practising osteopath, having founded Metabolics in her search for high quality, natural products in her own work. Alison has been a qualified and practising Osteopath since 1981 and regularly gives seminars on a range of healthcare subjects to the wider practitioner community helping share her knowledge and experience.