6 Natural Brain Supplements & Nootropics That Enhance Your Brain Power
Nature’s home-made nootropics
We live in an awesome world in which technology and developments in neuroscience allow us to improve our memory, creativity, concentration and other cognitive functioning.
Utilizing cognitive enhancers, neurofeedback or brainwave-entrainment makes passing exams and focusing for extended periods of time is more and more easy.
The emergence of these brain enhancing tools also give rise to plenty of controversy though, as the ethical, safety and social issues of cognitive enhancement are yet to be solved.
Fortunately, there are also various ‘natural’ brain-enhancement-options for those who are still a bit skeptical about consuming chemical compounds or connecting their brains to a bunch of electrodes in order to optimize their cognition.
Meet nature’s most popular and powerful natural brain supplements:
Gingko biloba is a tree species that has been cultivated in Asia for centuries and extracts made from its leaves are acknowledged worldwide as a potent memory and concentration enhancer. Scientific evidence regarding gingko biloba’s effectiveness remains ambiguous though, as memory-improving results vary. Nonetheless, there are quite a few studies out there that do illustrate the positive effects of Ginko on cognitive functioning. One study implies that ginkgo’s effects on cognition are possibly results of its inhibitory effects on norepinephrine re-uptake. Besides this, Gingko has no negative side-effects and is therefore definitely worth a try!
Also a healthy natural gift from our beloved Chinese friends, green tea is well known for its powerful anti-oxidant properties, but it turns out that it also serves as an impressive brain enhancer. Interesting research has shown us that the ‘polyphenols’ found in green tea have neuro-protective are able to stimulate the availability of important neurotransmitter such as dopamine in the brain. In other studies, elderly people that drank the most amount of green tea showed were the least likely to show cognitive deficits.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid. Fats are the essential building blocks of your brain – 60% of your brain and nerves consists of fats – and the better the fat in your nutrition, the better your brain and its functioning.
An omega 3 fatty acids (such as DHA) abundant diet makes sure the body and your brain consist of healthy fats and lowers the amount of not-so-healthy fats such as trans fatty acids and specific unhealthy types of cholesterol. Plenty of research has already verified the cognitive enhancing effects of DHA.
Good news for many! Chocolate has been around for over three decades now and is craved by countless of people for its bittersweet delicacy. Despite the negative effects of sugar that is found in plentiful amounts in most cocao-derived products nowadays, chocolate does has various mind-enhancing capacities.
Serotinin, endorphins, phenylethylamine, anandamine, theobromine and flavanols are all active brain-stimulating ingredients found in cacao that cause mild feelings of euphoria, happiness and love.
Moreover, research has indicated that flavanols enhance brood flow to specific areas of the brain, something that has shown to boost mental performance and general alertness. If you’re into brain-enhancing chocolate; go with the purest (most cacao %) – this allows for the best mind-improving effects and the least amount of refined sugars.
Another botanical extract that the Chinese have already been using for several millennia; Ginseng is a root herb that enhances the functioning of the adrenal glands (the Chinese would refer to it as balancing the ‘yang’ energy).
By moderating and controlling the release of the stress hormone cortisol, the brain’s cognitive functioning improves, resulting in quicker reflexes and improved mental endurance. Interestingly enough, ginseng seems to have synergistic effect when combined with its previously mentioned botanical cousin; ginko biloba.
Also known as vitamin B9 – Folic acid is essential compound that plays an important role in various bodily functions such as DNA synthesis, DNA Repair and many other molecular biological reactions. Even though a modern diet is usually an adequate supplier of Folic acid, various research has shown that vitamin B9 supplements have the ability to improve short-term memory and concentration.
On memory test, those who had been taking supplements showed scores comparable to people five years younger. Various neuro-protective properties have also been reported.
There you go! Nature’s very own brain enhancers.
What is your experience with natural brain supplements?