Feed To Turn Your Brain To A Superbrain

Brain is the most energy-consuming organ in Humans. Therefore, if you want to have a superbrain you’ll need to offer the right diet with the aliments that can boost your brain performance

Feed To Turn Your Brain To A Superbrain

Brain is the most energy-consuming organ in Humans. Therefore, if you want to have a superbrain you’ll need to offer the right diet with the aliments that can boost your brain performance

Who doesn’t want a superbrain ? In our lives, most of us devote considerable time for studying in order to have the best grades, for planning and preparing in order to increase a business or a project success. Many people dream of additional brain capabilities so they make better choices, solve problems faster and rapidly evolve in their career. And such people are constantly looking for tips and methods that may help them upgrade their brains. Fortunately, there is no need to look for brain boosters further than your plate.

In fact, feeding habits have always been associated with the development of the human civilization. Humans have learned through experience how to select natural ingredients form their environment and how to turn them into assets that either help them physically or mentally. Alimentary products have been suspected to affect the mental capabilities from a long time ago both positively and negatively. For example, Humans discovered the distracting effects of alcohol from fermented fruits, vegetables and cereals since the Babylonians. Prehistoric populations knew that Opium had a strong capacity to reduce awareness and depending on the dose, they used Opium extract as a sedative or poison since 500 BCE.

Nowadays, after thousands of years of technological advances and worldwide scientific efforts we can say with certainty what aliments have a positive influence on human’s cognitive abilities and by which mechanisms these aliments affect our nervous system. Let’s see what products you should definitely have in your kitchen in order to boost your brain through healthy food habits:

  • First of all, your brain needs power and a lot of it. To keep its 100 billion of neurons at their optimal functioning your bioprocessor consumes almost a quarter of your overall body energy.

Not surprising that you are exhausted by overthinking… So, the best way to fuel your brain is to eat complex carbohydrates found in fiber rich food, starchy whole grains, protein, legumes or vegetable to have a stable glucose blood levels. Avoid at all costs simple sugars like those found in sweetened drinks because they induce glucose spikes and neurons don’t like such acute variations. Finally, have regular healthy snacks such as cereal bars to keep your blood sugar levels balanced.

  • One super brain food you can easily introduce to your diet are Omega-3 fatty acids known to improve cognition and learning. It appears that they can influence both communication between cells and cell function and can be found in cold-water fish, such as salmon, as well as almonds, avocadoes, walnuts and flaxseed.
  • Some spices typically used to flavor different kinds of dished are also considered brain-friendly, as they are exceptional sources of antioxidant. Cinnamon for example contains powerful antioxidant agents, it has in addition phytochemicals that assist the brain in metabolizing glucose. Turmeric is rich in the curcumin molecule and curcumin is a neuroprotector which acts against the cognitive decay. Ginger also significantly improves learning and memory, its major active constituents are gingerin, gingerol, shogaol and zingerone. The cognitive enhancing effect and neuroprotective action of ginger is partly due to its antioxidant activity.
  • Dark chocolate and cocoa are rich in a chemical species called flavanols. Flavanols are a form of flavonoids, plant-based substances that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. According to Harvard Medical School short-term, consumption of dark chocolate may improve memory and reactivity. Studies showed that among adults aged from 50 to 69, those taking a cocoa supplement with high flavanol content for three months had better performance on tests of memory than those assigned to take a low-flavanol cocoa supplement suggesting that higher levels of flavanol could potentially lead to better cognitive capabilities. Flavanols are also found in apples, red grapes, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, beans, kale, and onions. (https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/your-brain-on-chocolate-2017081612179)

(Gómez-Pinilla, Fernando. “Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function.” Nature reviews. Neuroscience vol. 9,7 (2008): 568-78. doi:10.1038/nrn2421)

  • Research also demonstrated that iron treatment was able to normalize cognitive function in young women, it is necessary for a fully functioning brain and for staying mentally sharp. Iron also helps create hemoglobin (an iron containing protein in red blood cells) which transports oxygen to the brain. Oxygen is vital for the brain cells since it helps in metabolizing glucose and extracting energy from the organic molecules. In food, iron is found in red meat, fish, poultry, lentils and beans.
  • Vitamin C or ascorbic acid plays an important role in neuronal differentiation, maturation and myelin formation. It is also a pivotal antioxidant involved in many other primary brain reactions. Neurons are especially sensitive to ascorbate deficiency and this vitamin can not be produced by the human body, this is why we need to include vitamin C rich aliments in our diet. This essential factor can be naturally found in guava, strawberries, cantaloupe, papaya, bell pepper, oranges, broccolis, tomatoes…

(Travica, Nikolaj et al. “Vitamin C Status and Cognitive Function: A Systematic Review.” Nutrients vol. 9,9 960. 30 Aug. 2017, doi:10.3390/nu9090960)

Besides all these above mentioned food products, studies also shown that many plants extracts can positively influence brain’s activity. You may want to consider some of them on your next shopping list:

  • Panax notoginseng or the Chinese ginseng, is proven to enhance memory and learning. So why not a ginseng tea from now an on?
  • Polygala tenuifolia Willd, is a plant commonly used in the Chinese traditional medicine as a memory booster, powder from roots is consumed as a warm drink.
  • Bacopa minnieri or waterhyssop is used in Ayurvedic traditional medicine to improve memory and to treat various ailments. Preliminary clinical research found that Bacopa minnieri might improve cognition. In stores, you’ll find many food supplements based on extracts from this herb, just consider to read carefully any product details before using. (Eckert, Gunter Peter. “Traditional used Plants against Cognitive Decline and Alzheimer Disease.” Frontiers in pharmacology vol. 1 138. 8 Dec. 2010, doi:10.3389/fphar.2010.00138)
  • Gingko biloba also known as maidenhair tree is one of the oldest living tree species in the world, it has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine. Its leaves are known for increasing blood flow to the brain, which result in better oxygenation, cellular waste remove and new materials intake. An  extract  of  ginkgo  containing  24%  flavone  glycosides  (the herb’s  active  flavonoids)  has  been  found  to  enhance  mental  functioning both in the young and old.  Ginkgo extracts enhance nerve transmission in the brain and improve the production and usage of neurotransmitters within the central nervous system.  Ginkgo components are also known to act as powerful antioxidants scavenging free radicals and preventing premature death of brain cells. You can consume ginkgo either as leaves extract leaves infusions.
  • Emblica officinalis or the Indian gooseberry, or aamla is a tree of the Phyllanthaceae family. It is known for its edible fruit of the same name. Anwala churna is an ayuvedic preparation of amla, which possesses memory-enhancing actions.

(Mani, Vasudevan and Milind Parle. “Memory enhancing activity of Anwala churna (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.): An Ayurvedic preparation.” Physiology & Behavior 91 (2007): 46-54.)

  • Rosmarinus officinalis, is a typical Mediterranean herb that is massively studied by researchers for potential effects on human brain activity. Many investigations proved that it had a positive role in improving the memory and the overall mental conditions. In a recent study, 500 mg of rosemary have enhanced the memory performance, reduced anxiety and depression in university students. (Nematolahi, Pouya & Mehrabani, Mitra & Karami-Mohajeri, Somayyeh & Dabaghzadeh, Fatemeh. (2018). Effects of Rosmarinus officinalis L. on memory performance, anxiety, depression, and sleep quality in university students: A randomized clinical trial. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 30. 24-28. 10.1016/j.ctcp.2017.11.004.). Another study showed that even rosemary water had beneficial effects on brain’s activity (Moss, Mark, et al. “Acute Ingestion of Rosemary Water: Evidence of Cognitive and Cerebrovascular Effects in Healthy Adults.” Journal of Psychopharmacology, vol. 32, no. 12, Dec. 2018, pp. 1319–1329, doi:10.1177/0269881118798339.)

(Natural Cognitive Enhancers. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221676516_Natural_Cognitive_Enhancers )

To sum up, for a superior brain performance including stronger memory, better concentration and quicker reactivity you’ll have to start with energy offering food which are carbohydrates. Once the cognition engine is successfully powered it will be time to care about details. Be sure to include sources of iron in your diet as it is necessary for a balanced blood composition and brain oxygenation. Also, think about vitamins from B and C family in addition Omega-3 fatty acids that help in cell maintenance and functioning. Brain-friendly antioxidants are also widely available products, such as Cinnamon, Turmeric or Ginger and you can easily get used to consume them. Other herbs extracts and infusions proved to possess the capacity to potentially improve your brain aptitudes and they worth a try, so if you have some exams or important meetings in few weeks it is maybe the right time to start a ginseng or rosemary cure.

Allie Leon, Chief Fun Officer

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