Brain Power Up
In general, a healthy and balanced diet provides the brain with all the essential nutrients.
However, most people face great demands in a high performance-oriented society which strains the brain.
To keep up with fast paced technology and society, people turn to dietary supplements and activities to increase brain power.
In fact, a study published in Neurology physically active people seem to have larger brain volumes than their less active peers.
Top 10 Brain Boosters You Can Try
1Increase DHA intake
Docosahexaenoic acid or most commonly known as DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid fundamental in the cell membranes and neurons.
The brain is composed of 60% fat and 30% DHA. This high level of DHA in our brain is a requirement for fast impulse transmission in the central nervous system.
A significant amount of DHA is found in fish and algae. Although marine animals in some places may have high toxicity and is therefore not recommended. However, a better alternative is DHA from bred freshwater algae.
DHA from freshwater algae like chlorella, combined with other valuable brain-relevant oils, becomes super food for the brain.
2Protect the brain from free radicals
Several oxidation processes take place in the body every day which results in the formation of large amounts of free radicals.
These free radicals damage cell membranes, cause inflammation and serious neurological disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Though the body can normally produce antioxidants that fight off these free radicals, it is not enough.
For this reason, it is essential to take antioxidants through dietary supplements like astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid that has the unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and become active in the brain.
The unique effects of astaxanthin are not limited to the brain. It can also decrease the risk of heart disease, improve immunity, sleep and skin elasticity, among others.
| Related: 12 Healthy Foods High in Antioxidants
3Spend time outdoors
Vitamin D3 has a protective function for the nerve cells of the key areas of the brain.
Lack of vitamin D3 results in slow brain activity, lack of drive, unpleasant mood and depression.
In addition, neurobehavioral conditions in children such as autism and ADHD as well as neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in adults are all associated with vitamin D3 deficiency.
The body can make its own vitamin D by converting sunlight absorbed by the skin into vitamin D3.
However, there are various factors that can prevent enough sun exposure of the skin.
Therefore, taking larger amounts of vitamin D3 as a dietary supplement in a lot of cases may be effective.
4Feed the brain with “Brain Food”
The vitamin B group is known as “brain food” because they are involved in the formation of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters transmit signals or impulses from one nerve cell to another.
The B vitamins are essential in the development of new nerve cells and in the activation and renewal of damaged nerves.
Since B vitamins cannot be stored in the body, except for vitamin B12, they should be supplied through the diet.
5Clear your mind with krill
Krill oil is taken from small, shrimp-like crustaceans that live in the clear and clean waters of the Antarctic.
It contains larger amounts of omega-3 fatty acids compared to fish oils.
Krill’s omega-3 fatty acids is different from fish oil because they are bound to phospholipids which are strikingly similar to the brain’s phospholipid-rich cell membranes.
The phospholipids ensure the rapid transmission of information from cell to cell.
And they contribute to our ability to remember and concentrate; they strengthen the nerves and support brain performance and efficiency.
A clear change in the mental state is often noticed after the intake of krill oil.
This supplement is beneficial to children who suffer from a learning disabilities or attention deficit disorder.
Additionally, krill oil has a remarkably high content of astaxanthin.
6Improve concentration with L-tyrosine
L-tyrosine is an amino acid found in the body used for dopamine formation.
An increase in dopamine production improves thinking, concentration and responsiveness.
However, L-tyrosine is not used permanently, but only when needed.
For instance, challenging situations may demand the brain to function at an optimum level, like a pop-up test.
When taken, L-Tyrosine will optimize the brain and promote those skills mentioned and guarantee success and great results.
7Maintain a healthy gut
Gut health and brain health are directly associated.
Both regions communicate with each other constantly. What happens in the gut, the brain knows and vice versa.
In fact, a minimum 40 neurotransmitters, including the happiness hormone serotonin, are produced in the intestinal tract and their emission is controlled from there.
When the brain feels fear or excitement, the stomach reacts.
In the same way, an inflammatory bowel disease can trigger inflammation in the brain and start to impair neurological processes.
For this reason, the intestinal health should always be considered to increase brain performance.
8Get a colon cleanse
One way of taking care of the gut is cleansing the colon.
When the brain is not functioning properly, the gut is not in good condition either.
Thus, regular bowel cleansing is advisable once or twice a year.
However, if you have been eating food with good bacteria and taking vitamins and supplements mentioned above, bowel cleansing comes second on the list.
The positive effects of colon cleansing or taking probiotics is beneficial in the improvement of brain performance.
In recent news, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey revealed he only eats one meal a day during the week and fasts throughout the weekend.
This is called intermittent fasting, where you eat during a small window of time in a day and fast the rest of the time. It promotes the ability of nerve cells to repair their DNA.
Moreover, fasting improves cognitive function and increases stress resistance.
Though fasting is a challenge for the brain, and to many, the brain responds to that challenge through adaptation.
The stress response finds ways to help the brain cope with stress and reduce the risk of diseases. Similar changes in the brain occur with regular physical exercise.
This, and an increase the production of protein in the brain which in turn promotes the growth of nerve cells, the connection between nerve cells, and the strength of the synapses.
A recent study showed that older adults who were regularly and physically active have more flexible brain activity and showed greater brain health.
Researchers, led by study leader Agnieszka Burzynska, analyzed data from 100 adults between the ages of 60 and 80 years who carried accelerometers for a week to measure their physical activity.
They found that older adults are more flexible than their younger, lesser fit peers in cognitive and brain functions.
Physical activity enhances blood circulation to the brain and slows down the buildup of amyloid plaques which contribute in dementia and Alzheimer’s.