How you think and feel is directly affected by what you eat, the supplements you take and the type of lifestyle you choose to live. This may seem like a strange concept, but eating the right foods and taking the proper supplements has been proven to boost your IQ, improve your memory, help you focus, improve mood and emotional stability, sharpen your mental acuity and keep your mind young.
A sharp mind and a good memory are as natural to us as breathing. It is an ability that most of us have, yet rarely ever think of – unless we perceive that we are losing the ability to remember things or think clearly. Memory lapses are an annoyance, but worse is the anxiety that often comes along with the lapses. We begin to asking ourselves if they are symptoms of some other problem, such as mid-life depression, Alzheimer’s disease, (AAMI) age-associated memory impairment…or even something else.
One reason many people suffer from memory loss is an insufficient supply of necessary nutrients (especially b-vitamins and amino acids) to the brain. The life of the body is in the blood. It literally feeds and nourishes every cell in our bodies. The brain is surrounded by a protective envelope known as the blood-brain barrier, which allows only certain substances to pass from the bloodstream into the brain. If the blood is “thick” with too much cholesterol and tri-glycerides, the amount of nutrient-rich blood that can pass through the blood-brain barrier decreases. Over time, this can result in the brain becoming malnourished.
In addition, the functioning of the brain depends upon substances known as neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that act as electrical switches in the brain and, through the functioning of the nervous system, are ultimately responsible for all the functions of the brain. If the brain does not have an adequate supply of neurotransmitters, or the nutrients from which they are made, it begins to develop the biochemical equivalent of a power failure or short circuit. If your mind goes blank when you are trying to recall a specific fact or piece of information or it begins to plug into some other irrelevant memory instead, it is likely that such a “short circuit” has occurred.
There are numerous other factors involved in the deterioration of memory and brain health. One of the most important is exposure to free radicals, which can wreck enormous damage to the brain, if left unchecked. Allergies, candidiasis, stress, thyroid disorders, and poor circulation to the brain may also be contributing factors. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can play a role in memory loss as well, because to function properly, the brain requires that the level of glucose in the blood fall within a very specific narrow range. Wide swings in blood sugar levels, as what may occur if diabetes is not well managed or extreme dieting methods are used, affect brain function and memory.
Whether your brain is in great shape or it could do with some improvements there are ways to “tune-up” your brain’s health.
Balance your glucose – it’s fuel for the brain
Essential Fats - these keep your brain well oiled.
Phospholipids - these memory molecules give that added boost to your brain’s function.
Amino Acids - these are the brain’s messengers.
Intelligent Nutrients – these include vitamins, supplements, minerals and herbs that fine tune your mind.
Knowing a few key facts about your brain and the nutrients it needs will help you keep your memory, focus and mental acuity as sharp as possible.
Some very important nutrients for the brain are:
Acetyl-L-Choline: Most important of the neurotransmitters. Maximizes mental ability and prevents memory loss is adults.
Boron: Improves brain and memory function.
DMAE (Dimethlyaminoethonol): Aids in learning and memory. *Not intended for everyday use, best reserved for days when you need to be especially focused and alert.
Garlic: May be useful for treating physiological aging and age-related memory deficits. Potent brain cell protector.
Huperzine A or Vinpocetine: Aids the effectiveness of Acetyl-L-Choline in preventing memory loss.
Lecithin Granules or capsules: (Non-GMO Soy or Sunflower) needed for improved memory function. Contains phospholipids – Choline, Inositol, and Ethanolamine.
Manganese: Helps nourish the brain and nerves. Aids in the utilization of choline.
Multivitamin & Mineral Complex: All nutrients necessary in balance. Use a high-potency formula, will also help with electrolyte balance and to replace deficiencies in needed nutrients, not received through food sources.
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Complex: Low levels have been associated with impaired brain function.
Phosphatidyl choline: Improves memory.
Phosphatidyl serine: Improves memory.
Superoxide dismutase (SOD): Known for its ability to eliminate free radicals.
Vitamin A, with Beta-Carotene: Deficiencies of antioxidants expose the brain to oxidative damage.
Vitamin B-Complex: Needed for improved memory. Helps in transformation of amino acid choline to the neurotransmitter acetyl-l-choline. Needed for proper brain function. (I suggest using on containing methyl-B-12 and methyl-folate for better absorption)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin): To promote proper circulation to the brain and aid in brain function.
Vitamin C w/Bioflavonoids: A powerful antioxidant that also improves circulation.
Vitamin E: Causes dilation of the blood vessels, improving blood flow to the brain. Use a d-alpha-tocopherol form, with as many mixed tocopherols as possible.
Zinc: Important in binding toxic substances and removing them from the brain.
Other important nutrients include:
Acetyl-L-Carnitine: May enhance brain metabolism. Slows deterioration of memory and reduces the production of free radicals in the brain.
L-Glutamine, L-Phenylalanine, and L-Aspartic Acid: Amino Acids necessary for normal brain function; serves as fuel for the brain and prevent excess ammonia from damaging the brain.
L-Tyrosine: Helps sharpen learning, memory, and awareness; elevates mood and motivation; aids in preventing depression.
Additional helpful supplements:
Co-Q-10 or Ubiquinol: Improves brain oxygenation.
DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone): May help to improve memory.
7-Keto DHEA: A metabolite of DHEA that has been found to be superior to DHEA in enhancing memory. Unlike DHEA, it is not converted into estrogen or testosterone in the body.
DMG (Dimethylglycine): Improves brain oxygenation.
NADH (Nicotinamide): A coenzyme form of niacin that is essential for the production of certain neurotransmitters and energy. Natural levels decline with age. Supplemental NADH can improve energy production in the brain and nervous system.
Pregnenolone: May improve brain function and enhance memory.
RNA/DNA: Increases energy production for memory transfer in the brain.
Herbs, helpful for brain function:
Gota Kola: Increases circulation in the brain and has been found to improve both short and long term memory.
Garlic: Has been found to possess memory enhancing properties.
Gingko Biloba: Has the ability to increase blood flow to the brain and central nervous system, thereby enhancing memory and brain function.
Other helpful herbs/sea plants for memory include anise, Ashwagandha, blue cohosh, bocopa, chlorella, curcumin, ginseng, kelp, rosemary and Spirulina.