Natural Nootropics – Brain Health Supplements That Improve Your Memory and Concentration
Poor memory, lack of concentration, and inability to focus have become such common complaints, they’re practically considered “normal”. Despite the fact that we’re living in the 21st century, where access to higher education and modern medicine is widely available, our brains no longer seem to be keeping up.
This is why the science of nootropics (brain health supplements) is slowly gaining in popularity. Any functional foods, nutraceuticals, supplements, or drugs that help improve the function of the brain are considered nootropics.
Romanian psychologist and chemist, Corneliu Giurgea synthesized the first nootropic in 1964, a cyclic derivative of Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) called Piracetam. GABA is a neurotransmitter that acts as a natural calming agent to the brain.
Nootropics Improve Both Mental and Physical Health
Nootropics don’t just improve your brain, they help improve every aspect of your health and well-being. Since your brain controls every organ and function in your body, when it’s working well, so does the rest of you. Conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, and addictions have all been traced back to unhealthy brains. Brain health supplements can help heal your brain and stabilize these problems naturally.
Not All Nootropics Are Created Equal
A true nootropic will improve your brain health without causing toxicity, excitement, or dependence. If you see brain health supplements or drugs advertised with additives like caffeine, ephedrine, or psychoactive chemicals, avoid them.
The chemicals in these drugs only give you an illusion that your brain is functioning better. What they’re really doing is causing your brain to burn out.
For example, avoid drugs such as:
. Adderall – This popular ADHD medication has been linked with headache, stomach ache, dry mouth, anxiety, restlessness, decreased appetite, and loss of libido.
. Modafinil – This pharmaceutical has been shown to cause headache, nervousness, and nausea.
. Ritalin – This drug comes with a host of disturbing side effects including nausea, vomiting, anxiety, insomnia, vision problems, high blood pressure, numbness in the hands and feet, and psychosis.
Finding the Right Brain Health Supplements for You
If you want to try brain supplements to improve your health, opt for these natural nootropics instead:
1. Folic Acid
Folic acid (folate) is a B vitamin that has been shown to reduce oxidative damage and improve cellular protective mechanisms, which can help slow the cognitive decline associated with aging. One of the most noticeable enhancements from folic acid seems to be the improvement of memory.
2. Bacopa Monnieri
Bacopa is an Ayurvedic herb that is considered an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a substance the makes your brain and body more resilient to the effects of stress. This herb also contains active chemical compounds called bacosides that help improve the way your brain communicates, thus improving memory and attention.
A study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine confirmed that this herb demonstrates a clear ability to enhance the attention, working memory, and memory processing of healthy elderly individuals.
3. Krill Oil
Krill oil is an omega-3 fatty acid that has been shown to improve learning ability, enhance blood circulation, and increase the volume of gray matter in the brain. Omega-3 fatty acids are especially protective of the hippocampus, your brain’s long-term memory storage center.
4. Lion’s Mane
These medicinal mushrooms also have adaptogenic properties and have been shown to stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF). This helps protect neurons from degenerative conditions, improves memory and recall, and helps maintain focus and attention. Increased nerve growth factor also helps reduce inflammation, a contributing factor to cognitive decline in the aging population.
In one study, Japanese men and women between the ages of 50 and 80 were divided into two groups. The group receiving the mushrooms showed marked increases in their cognitive function scores as compared with the placebo group.
5. Rhodiola Rosea
In clinical trials, this herb has been shown to fight fatigue and stimulate the central nervous system, which helps improve mental clarity. It has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective benefits that may be effective in the treatment of neurodegenerative disease.
Natural nootropics are the best brain health supplements to use to improve your memory and concentration. Use them individually or in a process called “stacking”, which is combining two or more nootropics to achieve a desired effect.
Always consult your healthcare provider before taking a new supplement.