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Brainfoods are mood and cognitive enhancers that improve brain functioning and may help prevent age-related decline.
Brainfood supplements are also known as Nootropics or Smart Drugs, because they have the ability to enhance mental performance and give you the opportunity to excel during mentally challenging times. From learning to attention and memory recall, brainfood supplements can supercharge your brain to work more efficiently and more effectively.
Brain activating botanical extracts, amino acids, vitamins and minerals have many health benefits, including:
Lecithin is a group of natural fats that contain high amounts of phospholipids. First identified by a french chemist in 1845, the name lecithin is from the Greek word lekithos, which means egg yolk. Lecithin is found in higher quantities in egg yolks, but also in milk, fish, soybeans and seeds.
Lecithin is a major dietary source of choline, which is physiologically important for many types of brain signaling processes, e.g. cholinergic neurotransmission. Research suggests that dietary choline can improve brain functioning and even help prevent cognitive decline associated with ageing.
Lecithin has also been shown to improve fat metabolism and is currently used as a natural therapy to help decrease high blood fat (hyperlipidemia) levels. Research suggests that dietary choline can help protect people from cardiovascular risk factors through the regulation of blood lipid levels.
Amino acids such as tyrosine, phenylalanine, theanine, and tryptophan are precursors for many types of neurotransmitters that are important for optimal brain functioning. Supplementation with these specific amino acids can naturally assist the production of these neurotransmitters.
The monoamine neurotransmitters include dopamine, melatonin, noradrenaline and serotonin which all play a role in mental processes, such as cognition, emotion, memory formation and mood. These monoamine neurotransmitters also help maintain brain integrity and plasticity, which is important to help healthy brain ageing.
Precursors of dopamine and noradrenaline are the amino acids phenyalanine and tyrosine, whereas the precursor for serotonin and melatonin is tryptophan. Supplementation with these precursor amino acids has the following health benefits:
The compound 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan and is a precursor for the hormones serotonin and melatonin. These hormones are responsible for the regulation of sleep patterns, quality of sleep and promote inner peace and happiness.
Rhodiola rosea is a flowering plant found at high altitude across Europe, Asia and Russia and has been used for many centuries to naturally increase endurance and physical strength. Recent scientific studies on Rhodiola show that it has potent therapeutic properties that enhance mental strength during physical performance.
The biologically active components of Rhodolia are the compounds rosavin and salidroside, both of which are associated with its nootopic influence. As well as physical and mental enhancement, these compounds are suggested to reduce fatigue and alleviate depressive symptoms. Studies suggest the following benefits:
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fats required for the healthy functioning of your heart, brain and joints. Omega-3 fatty acids primarily include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both of which have been scientifically proven to be of benefit to help maintain optimum health and vitality.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a natural supplement that have been shown to reduce blood pressure and blood triglyceride levels thus improving the health of your blood vessels as well as decreasing the risk factors associated with type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Omega-3 supplementation has the following health benefits:
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), also know as Indian Ginseng, is a traditional Ayurvedic herb that has been used in Indian medicine for centuries as a tonic for many illnesses of the mind. Ashwagandha is mainly used as a natural therapy to reduce stress and anxiety and improve mental performance and mental stamina.
Clinical trails on Ashwagandha root extracts have proven its safety and efficacy to notably improve resistance to stress and thereby improve general wellbeing and vitality.
Ashwagandha has been shown to contain several active chemical constituents that have potent antioxidant and regenerative activity that are protective in stress-related disorders.
The traditional Ayurvedic herb Bacopa monnieri, also known as water hyssop, has been used for centuries as a natural herb for its cognitive enhancing effects. In Indian cultures, Bacopa monnieri is known to help improve working memory accuracy as well as enhancing attention and focus.
Clinical research shows that as a natural nootropic, Bacopa monnieri interacts with the dopamine and serotonin systems in the brain, enhancing brain cell communication. It has been reported to significantly improve spatial working memory as well as speed of learning and memory capacity. Supplementation with the smart drug, Bacopa Monnieri, can help with the following:
Citicoline, otherwise known as CDP-choline, is a nootropic supplement that can enhance cognitive processing, including: enhanced learning, attention-promotion, and help reduce forgetfulness particularly when associated with brain ageing.
Following supplementation with citicoline, it is metabolized into choline and cytidine. These compounds are essential for the biosynthesis of structural phospholipids that make up cell membranes. These components of citicoline have also been shown to have neuroprotective effects under ischemic conditions (stroke).
The molecule NADH, also known as co-enzyme 1, is a necessary part of every cell's energy metabolism. The brain, muscles, heart and lungs all have a high-energy demand so that they can function at an optimal level and therefore have a high requirement for this molecule.
NADH is a brainfood, because it provides the body with more NADH that allows cells and tissue the ability to produce more energy and therefore function better. In one clinical trial, patients with chronic fatigue syndrome were supplemented with NADH and Co-Q10 resulting in significant decreases in fatigue parameters.
The Ginkgo biloba tree is native to China and has been revered for centuries as a symbol of strength and hope. Ginkgo biloba has been used as a nootropic in Western medicine since the 1960's to help memory impairment, reduce attention deficits and enhance cognition.
The active constituents of the Ginkgo biloba tree leaves are flavonoids and terpenes, both of which are potent antioxidants. They have scientifically been shown to be a natural therapeutic to prevent age-related cognitive decline as well as significant cognitive enhancements in short-term memory and subjective wellbeing.
The B-vitamins are an essential group of compounds that play important roles in the healthy functioning of the brain. The brain is by far the most metabolically active organ in the body and B-vitamins are required to help the brain generate energy, perform physiological functions, synthesize neurochemicals, and remain malleable (neuroplasticity).
B-vitamins are water-soluble organic compounds that are not synthesized in the body and therefore need to be supplied in the diet. They include B1 (thiamine), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B9 (folate), and B12 and many of these are consumed at sub-optimal levels even in developed countries.
Supplementation with B-vitamins gives the brain the opportunity to function effectively, as well as they can prevent age-related mental decline.
Most brainfoods are considered to have very few possible side effects if taken in the recommended dose. However, caution is advised if you suffer from any mood or behavioural disorder, such as depressions, anxiety disorder or schizophrenia. In these instances, talk to your health care professional before taking brainfood supplements.
Bacopa monnieri is a potent inhibitor of several intestinal enzymes, which are often necessary for the absorption and activity of certain aromatase drugs.
Ginkgo biloba can interact with anti-seizure medications, such as Carbamazepine, Gabapentin, and Phenytoin. Ginkgo biloba can interact with blood thinners, such as Warfarin, Aspirin and Heparin as well as anti-platelet drugs, such as Clopidogrel and Ticlopidine.
Many brainfoods come as a combination of botanical extracts that are naturally fortified with vitamins and minerals. Combinations can for example include:
Brainfood supplements are smart drugs that offer natural enhancements that give you the ability to
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2. Stough C, Lloyd J, Clarke J, et al. The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology. 2001; 156(4): 481-484
3. Stough C, Downey L, Lloyd J, et al. Examining the nootropic effects of a special extract of Bacopa monniera on human cognitive functioning: 90 day double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial. Phytother Res. 2008; 22(12): 1629-1634
4. Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Ind J Psychol Med. 2012; 34(3): 255-262
5. Jump D, Depner C, Tripathy S. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and cardiovascular disease. J Lipid Res. 2012; 53(12): 2525-2545
6. Noreen E, Buckley J, Lewis S, et al. The effects of an acute dose of Rhodiola rosea on endurance exercise performance. J Stren Cond Res. 2013; 27(3): 839-847
7. Castro-Marrero J, Cordero M, Segundo M, et al. Does oral coenzyme Q10 plus NADH supplementation improve fatigue and biochemical parameters in chronic fatigue syndrome?. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2015; 22(8): 679-685
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9. Kennedy D. B-Vitamins and the brain: mechanisms, dose and efficacy - a review. Nutrients. 2016; 8(2): 68
Niacin is an essential B vitamin with many tasks to maintain health. Amongst others, it supports the heart and a healthy cholesterol level, promotes mental energy, motivation and concentration, reduces inflammation in the body and ensures healthy, beautiful skin and hair.Read more
L-tyrosine plays a huge role in the production of dopamine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. Of all the brain-active amino acids, L-tyrosine has the greatest influence on mental energy and performance. L-Tyrosine can help increase personal performance, attention, concentration and motivation in a natural way.Read more
Many people suffer from a lack of energy, are constantly tired and unable to concentrate. NADH triggers more energy. The more NADH is present, the more energy is available, which is why experts recommend taking NADH to boost energy, vitality and performance. NADH improves your memory, lifts your spirits and helps with fatigue and jet lag.Read more
Ashwagandha has been used medicinally in India for 5,000 years as a means of restoring vitality. Ashwagandha bestows inner strength and calm, increases energy, vitality and performance, is a natural aphrodisiac, rejuvenates the body and mind, and promotes longevity.Read more
Rhodiola Rosea (rose root) has been used as a natural tonic to increase energy and strengthen vitality for more than 3,000 years. In Siberia, it is said that people who use Rhodiola Rosea live to be at least a hundred years old. With Rhodiola Rosea you can feel the energy of the Siberian tiger.Read more
Omega 3 is known as the wonder-worker among vital substances because it has such a positive effect on health in general. Research shows that omega 3 helps to prevent heart disease, normalize blood pressure and reduce cholesterol, and to relieve joint pain, chronic inflammation, migraines, depression and many other conditions.Read more
Lecithin has become one of the most valuable natural substances in our high-performance society, which is plagued by stress and hectic. If you want to strengthen your nerves and improve your memory, then you have found the elixir of life in lecithin. People who take lecithin on a regular basis are calmer and show strong nerves even in stressful situations.Read more