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Natural Brain Enhancers - Get Your Brain Running on all Cylinders

17 October 2013 5 comments

Do you often find yourself in the following situations?


  1. You're wondering where you left your keys.

  2. You see a familiar face at the grocery store, and when you open your mouth to greet her, you suddenly realize that you forgot her name.

  3. Brain fog. No matter how hard you push your brain to do something like thinking of a solution, you're not able to accomplish it.

These may seem everyday normal situations for you. Truth is, they shouldn't be. You don't have to go through these as you age. There are natural brain enhancers which can help you prevent these situations and more. Take a look at our top picks.

  • 178796748 Ginkgo biloba. The name of this brain enhancer sounds old, that's because it is. I don't think it's a surprise for you to hear or read about this. It's one of the best-selling herbal medicines out there.Ginkgo works by enhancing blood flow to your brain. The greater the blood flow, the greater the amount of nutrients and oxygen delivered to your brain cells. Likewise, the waste products from your brain cells are also promptly collected and disposed of. This ensures that your brain cells function optimally. In addition, Ginkgo also acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidant get rid of bad oxygen compounds, also called free radicals, in your system. This herb is recognized for its role in the treatment of dementia. Several studies have validated this already. Just an important reminder dear reader, don't try and eat any part of the tree, okay? Instead take a supplement as it will be properly prepared. According to the experts, you should look for one that provides 240 mg/day.

  • Bacopa monnieri. Together with Ginkgo biloba, Bacopa monnieri is another touted brain herb. Both are regarded as effective nootropics. Nootropics are supplements or drugs, which enhance the following brain functions: concentration, attention, motivation, intelligence, cognition and memory. Untitled-1 Bacopa is a significant player in Ayurvedic medicine. It's used to for mental illness, anxiety and epilepsy. For those without any of the above mentioned diseases, Bacopa can function as a brain enhancer. Preliminary studies have already shown this. The compounds responsible for its brain stimulating properties are bacosides A and B.

  • DHA. DHA stands for *acid. Big word, huh? Let's just stick with DHA. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid required for the structure of neural (brain) cell membranes. Without adequate DHA omega-3’s the cell membranes of your brain cells will not have enough support for their structure.153555402-(1) You can get enough by eating at least 8 ounces of fish. If you don't like to eat fish (hey, it's a free world), there are many supplements available. Omega-3 fatty acids assume many roles when it comes to your brain cells. They are equipped with anti-inflammatory (inflammation fighting) and memory enhancing properties. The anti-inflammatory properties aren't just good for the blood vessels in your brain, they're also good for your heart. DHA helps to lower your chances of developing heart disease in the future.
  • GABA. GABA is short for gamma-Aminobutyric acid. Another big word, so let's stick with the shorter version for now. No. This wasn't the compound Dr. Banner (The Incredible Hulk) was bombarded with (gamma radiation). GABA unleashes your brain's power, not by making you really muscular with slow speech and thinking (I apologize Hulk fans), but by enhancing your brain's cognitive capabilities.GABA is a neurotransmitter naturally found in our brains. Neurotransmitters are substances which your neurons use to communicate. If your neurotransmitters are low, your neurons will have difficulty communicating and relaying information. In addition to enhancing brain function, GABA is believed to help with depression, anxiety, sleep problems and stress. GABA can be taken in a supplemental form, but there are some concerns that it has a hard time crossing the blood-brain-barrier (The blood barrier between the brain and the body). However there are some report benefits that suggest it may pass through into the brain afterall.

  • 185193333-(1) Antioxidants. The antioxidants C and E are especially essential for brain function. Vitamin C aids in protecting your brain cells from the destruction brought about by free radicals. Free radicals are harmful forms of oxygen that are formed by your body during normal biochemical processes. They exert oxidative stress on your brain cells. You might not be aware of it, but your brain actually contains the greatest amount of vitamin C in your body. This is not surprising since the brain is especially susceptible to oxidative damage from free radicals.Another antioxidant important for brain function is vitamin E. This vitamin has been shown in studies to slow down the progression of Alzheimer's Disease. Research has found that it is not just the most common alpha tocopherol that is needed to prevent cellular damage, the other tocopherols are just as important. So for best results when buying your supplements, check the label for terms like mixed tocopherols (all four tocopherols) and naturally sourced vitamin E. Natural foods rich in tocopherols include hazelnuts, almonds and green, leafy vegetables.

  • Magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral which protects your brain from neurotoxins. Stay away from processed foods and balance cooked foods with fresh, raw foods, because cooked and processed foods have already lost their magnesium content. Include seeds, nuts, whole grains and dark, leafy green vegetables in your diet.

  • Iodine. Iodine deficiency is said to be the most common preventable cause of brain damage. Mental retardation can result from severe iodine deficiency. Just to refresh you, iodine is needed to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormones. The thyroid hormones are needed for normal brain development especially during infancy (0-1 year old). This is because infancy is a period of rapid brain growth. Impaired intellectual development is one of the end results of iodine deficiency.

159450278Start at an early age in firing up all your cylinders. Prevent dementia and other neurodegenerative (brain cells weaken and die) from taking hold. However don’t despair if you are already in your later years as it’s never too late to start looking after your brain and supporting it with nutrients such as those mentioned above. Another important food with wonderful benefits for brain health is coconut oil which we have discussed in a previous article (see our Superfoods Part 2 for some great information on coconut oil for brain health.

Lastly, the same old mantra of avoiding sugar and refined carbohydrates also applies to the health of your brain! Read Our Previous Article Carbohydrates; the Good, the Bad and the Ugly’

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