A Nootropics Crash Course
Just like we nourish our body with calcium supplements and vegan diets, our brain also requires supplements to optimize its performance. Nootropics do just that. They are a group of compounds that facilitate learning, memory recall, focus and much more. They’re one of the most clinically studied ingredients today. Various trials and studies have proved their cognitive enhancement capabilities. Most studies have found Nootropic formulas are based on a nutritional strategy that utilizes alternative metabolic pathway, which aids both cognitive improvement and weight loss.
Natural, key word here is NATURAL nootropics include substances like vitamins, minerals, superfoods and other natural ingredients that aid in brain performance and output!
✓Improve mental functions like cognition, memory, intelligence, concentration, problem solving abilities, critical thinking, and focus.
✓prevents cognitive decline in adults by aiding in neuroplasticity.
✓induce formation of new neurons.
✓ increase oxygen supply to brain.
✓ are the safest cognitive enhancers.
Use of these so-called smart drugs has lately been on an upward trend, which has led to a lot of research into the active ingredients that actually bring about this nootropic function. Some of these are widely used in popular brain supplements. These are :
A) Medium chain triglycerides (MCT) oil -
It is a highly concentrated source of triglycerides. It’s very popular among athletes and is the latest buzz in health industry.
Much of our daily diet contains long chain fatty acids. In contrast to these, medium chain fatty acids are metabolized directly in the liver, where they are further converted to ketones. These ketones serve as an instant source of energy.
Adding this to your daily diet, can give a 'real boost ' to your brain cells. Since, natural sources like dairy contain small amount of MCT, supplementation can really help deliver noticeable effects.
B) Reishi Mushroom -
Ganoderma Lingzhi is a polypore fungus, known for its use in traditional Chinese medicine as a brain booster with a recorded history of more than 2000 years. It contains diverse phytochemicals, with a structure resembling steroid hormones.
This bitter mushroom has various bioactive components that are known to have therapeutic effects on the human brain. It is used to increases intellectual capacity and memory.
C) Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine (GPC) -
Is a natural choline compound found in the brain, which is a potential treatment for Alzheimer's and dementia. It increases the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which helps to facilitate learning and memory. It is also known to improve endurance levels in athletes.
Research has also shown EEG activation elicited by alpha GPC correlated with its stimulatory effect on the brain ACh release (an organic chemical that functions in the brain). It also increases hippocampal neurogenesis.
D) BACOPA- bacopa monnieri -
Also known as brahmi is a well-known herb in age old traditional ayurvedic medicine. It forms a part of diet in various Asian countries.
It has powerful anti-oxidants that neutralize free radicals, thus preventing fat molecules to react with free the radicals, which are the main causes of neurodegenerative disorders. It has many properties such as; anti-inflammatory, memory enhancing and anti-epileptic.
This plant is so potent, that even its extracts are proven to be nootropic in their action.
E) Gamma amino butyric acid (GABA)-
Is a naturally occurring non protein amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter in our brain. It attaches to the GABA receptors of the brain that produces a calming effect and thus, helping fight anxiety, stress and fear. With our everyday stressed lives, supplements rich in GABA can help us to focus and be more precise in problem solving.
So, if you are one of those who value your mental health as much as you value your physical health, you might think about including these brain boosters into your diet.