The Brain is the most complex organ in the human body which regulates multiple bodily functions like secretion of crucial hormones, interpretation of sensory information, intelligence, creativity and memory of individuals, etc.
The brain does a lot for you, and it’s your job to provide it with the required nutrition and protection to keep it young and efficient.
While many people have been experiencing brain fog or a drop in cognitive performance, most of them are doing nothing to optimize their brain performance. Just like your body needs a workout and nutrition to stay strong and healthy, your brain requires workout and proper nutrition.
Modern lifestyle and hectic work schedule have a negative impact on our brain’s ability to operate at its optimum level.
Ahead in this article, we are going to discuss various techniques that will help in optimizing the overall brain performance.
Discover your brain’s true potential with the following tips.
Food items that may help
Several food items may assist in improving brain health, and some of them may already be sitting in your fridge or pantry. Let's have a look at the best food items for your brain health.
Do you know that about 60% of your brain is made of fat?
When it comes to maintaining a healthy brain, fatty fish has to be on the top of the list. Deep sea fishes like salmon, trout, albacore tuna, herring, and sardines, all of which are the best sources of Omega-3 Fatty acids.
Your body uses omega-3 fatty acids to nourish brain and nerve cells, Omega-3 has been proven to boost learning and memory.
Blueberries are a naturally rich source of antioxidants but it also has some additional benefits to brain health.
Unique antioxidants identified in blueberries are found to accumulate in the brain and help improve communication between brain cells.
According to a 2019 review paper, consuming blueberries regularly can boost up cognitive functioning and memory.
Turmeric has been a part of a diet for hundreds of years but it has garnered a lot of limelight in recent days.
Curcumin, an active ingredient found in turmeric, has been known for its wide range of benefits including its ability to fight against free radicals and reduce inflammation.
Consume turmeric to fight depression, boost memory and increase the growth of new brain cells.
Supplementing with Curcumin is also an effective way to ripe all its benefits.
Dark Chocolate is one of the best brain-boosting foods that you should be stocking in your pantry.
Dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants and caffeine which works wonderfully well to boost brain performance while eliminating the free radicals.
Green vegetables like broccoli, kale, spinach, and lettuce, are generally rich in vitamin E, folic acid, vitamin K1, lutein, and beta-carotene.
Nutrients present in green vegetables may play a crucial role in protecting the brain from damage by fighting inflammation and accumulation of free radicals.
Nuts are a rich source of healthy fats that benefits your brain health in many different ways.
A study was conducted to investigate the association of nut intake with cognitive function in adults aged 55 and over. It was found that Nut intake of more than 10g/d was associated with higher cognition score or 40% less likely to have post-cognitive function.
Walnuts are the top nut for brain health.
Eggs are one of the most nutrition-dense food items that you should be including in your daily diet. Eggs are a good source of brain-boosting nutrients like B6 and B12, folate, and choline.
Choline is a crucial micronutrient that has been linked to improved memory and brain functioning. Furthermore, the B vitamins found in eggs also have several roles in brain health.
Caffeine in green tea boosts brain functions while its antioxidants reduce oxidative stress.
Green tea has been proven to improve alertness, performance, memory, and focus. Green tea is also a rich source of L-Theanine, an amino acid that regulates stress and anxiety.
Herbs with proven brain benefits
While eating a nutrient-dense diet and regular workout is an effective way to optimize brain performance, some natural herbs have been shown to boost energy and brain health.
For hundreds of years, ginseng has been used to improve strength, alertness, energy, vitality, and vigor. It's one of its kind herbs that benefit the body in many different ways.
A paper published in Elsevier describes the Effects of ginseng on stress-related depression, anxiety, and the hypothalamic-pituitary–adrenal axis. It stated “Ginseng is effective in memory improvement, and in the direct prevention of degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. The neuroprotective effect of ginseng may be useful in the prevention of depression. Indirectly, enhanced memory can ameliorate anxiety.”
Bacopa monnieri, also called Brahmi, has been widely used in ancient ayurvedic medicines.
Bacopa monnieri has been traditionally used by young adults to improve memory and to protect the brain from damages, reduce anxiety, and treat epilepsy.
Maca is a native Peruvian plant growing over 13,000 ft high in the Andes mountains. Native Peruvians have been cultivating and consuming maca for hundreds of years because of its multiple health benefits.
According to 2006 research, maca root impacts hypothalamus and the pituitary gland to help boost focus. Maca is one of the most common herbs found in almost every nootropic supplement.
Lion’s mane mushrooms are one of the most potent nootropic herbs that contain bioactive substances which are proven beneficial to the brain, heart and gut.
Lion's mane extracts may help in fighting dementia, depression, anxiety, nervous system injuries and reduce oxidative stress.
Guarana is a Brazilian plant native to the Amazon basin. It is used for its antioxidants and ability to reduce mental fatigue.
Precautions: Some of the mentioned herbs may interact with medications. It’s suggested to consult with your physician before supplementing with these herbs.
Just a decade before, people hardly knew about nootropics but now these brain-boosting supplements are being widely used by young adults and professionals who require boosted brain performance.
Basically, Nootropics are substances, herbs, or drugs that have been proven to improve memory, creativity, and motivation.
Many supplement companies are working hard to develop the best blend of nootropic substances to enhance mental and cognitive functioning.
If you don't prefer the supplementation then you always have a choice to choose the natural nootropics like Caffeine, L-Theanine, Creatine, Ashwagandha, Nicotine, etc.
Regular exercise has been found to improve cognitive functioning by improving blood flow and supplying oxygenated blood to the brain.
Intense physical activities also help in the release of crucial hormones that reduces stress, improves sleep quality, and enhances the sense of well-being.
A calm mind is usually a high-performance mind.
Practicing mindfulness may help in improving your brain performance by direct or indirect means.
Direct benefits of practicing mindfulness include a drop in anxiety, better concentration, and lower stress.
Having the ability to stay focused allows the individual to perform a task with greater accuracy and efficiency.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, research suggests that meditation may benefit the brain by slowing brain aging and increasing the brain’s ability to process information.