Lecithin is a naturally occurring fatty acid that is said to play a major role in maintaining energy balance and supporting metabolic function. Important for the digestion of the fats and oils necessary to maintain efficient brain and nerve function, lecithin is an important dietary component necessary to support optimal health.
Health Benefits of Lecithin
To keep your brain healthy it is important to provide specific nutrients. This includes essential fatty acids. Researchers have found that lecithin consumption helps to regenerate sluggish brain cells and improves memory, speech and motor functions. Lecithin also benefits both the brain and the nervous system by encouraging neuron growth. It helps in the production of vital neurotransmitters responsible for memory storage and retrieval. Consequently, lecithin consumption shows promise when taken to prevent early onset dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Soy lecithin has also been found to reduce cholesterol levels by helping to remove unwanted forms of cholesterol from the body. It is a source of soluble fiber which is said to improve liver health, prevent blood clotting, improve metabolism, reduce blood pressure and support heart health. Research has shown that lecithin may be helpful in protecting arteries to support cardiovascular health.
Sources of Lecithin
The most common sources of lecithin are soybeans and sunflower seeds. Look for certified organic non-GMO because soybeans are a high risk for genetic modification. Choosing certified organic when sourcing supplements is important to avoid pesticide and herbicide residues which one may be ingesting in concentrated form.
Sesame seeds are also rich in lecithin as are milk, yogurt, cheese, nuts and a variety of vegetables. Select a variety of sources to boost the lecithin content of your diet. And if you read the label carefully you may be delighted to find that you are consuming lecithin regularly in your favorite organic chocolate bar.
Lecithin in granule form is most often sold in bulk containers. You can add a spoonful to smoothies, protein drinks, yogurt or cereal as it has a pleasant almost neutral flavor. Organic and non-GMO soy lecithin should be available through your local health and natural food stores. It is also available as soft gels and in liquid form.
You can improve your brain power by ensuring that you consume an adequate amount of the nutrients necessary to keep your brain functioning at its peak. Enjoy the benefits of lecithin and the many positive side benefits for your health!
Simi Summer, PhD is an independent researcher and freelance writer. She is a strong proponent of organic consumer education and informed consumer choices.