We have all heard the saying ‘you are what you eat.’ There is a direct link between the foods we consume and the way we feel and mentally perform. We all know that eating fatty junk food can result in heart disease, liver conditions, and even diabetes.
Our brain is an organ, and it is no exception. When you look at cognitive-decline due to aging, only a third is due to genetics. Two-thirds of our brain development comes down to the choices we make in terms of our lifestyle. Feeding your brain is essential. What foods do you choose? Which foods have nootropics effects?
How Can Food Produce Nootropics Effects?
Many take nootropics due to their cognitive effects. There is not doubt that a number of supplements are highly beneficial. Racetams for instance have been used since the 1960’s, targeting deficiencies in memory. Depending on the nootropic you take, you can increase your learning abilities, memory, motivation, focus, and attention. Nootropics also yield benefits in terms of your overall brain health.
Nootropics work with your brain chemistry to increase the production or re-uptake of neurotransmitters. This helps to increase cognitive function, improve mood, and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Brain energy is also involved when taking nootropics. Just as nootropics work with your brain, food does as well.
Acetylcholine for instance, is related to a number of nootropics. This neurotransmitter relies on choline in order to be synthesized. This is why many nootropics are taken in a stack with supplements such as Alpha-GPC. Choline is provided in a number of foods we eat, which will be discussed below. Therefore, eating a balanced diet WHILE taking nootropic supplements, will provide an even greater effect.
There are a number of nutrients involved regarding food and cognitive function. Some of these include antioxidants, proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, complex carbs, and B-Vitamins to name a few. Below you will find foods that boost your brain power.
Which Foods Increase Cognitive Abilities?
Eating a balanced diet is so important regarding brain health. We are a society that is eating far too many processed and fast foods. These foods provide very little benefits and actually harm our brain and overall health.
By choosing the right foods, you can actually boost your focus, concentration, memory, and slow down cognitive decline. The following foods should be a part of everyone’s daily life:
Nuts are packed with many nutrients, boosting mood and cognitive function. To be more specific, walnuts not only boost cognitive performance but reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Walnuts are high in antioxidants, which help to reduce the effects of free radicals in the brain. They are also associated with improved cognition and memory. This was reported in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, as walnuts improved memory scores.
Coffee and Dark Chocolate
Caffeine is well-known for producing nootropic effects. Having a cup of coffee in the morning stimulates the brain, leading to increased focus and attention. In order to get the most out of your caffeine, stack with L-Theanine. This stack counteracts any anxious feelings you may experience due to caffeine. It allows you to focus, while feeling calmer.
Pure dark chocolate is also highly beneficial. It not only contains caffeine, but it has antioxidants that protect your brain. The darker the chocolate, the more flavonoids are present. These compounds are known to improve the formation of long-term memories. They are also strong antioxidants, which promotes brain health.
Berries are packed with antioxidants. Blueberries delay neurological decline and improve cognitive function. Once again, berries contain flavonoids which may improve memory, learning abilities, decision-making, and reasoning.
They have also been shown to protect against cognitive decline, protecting individuals from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Berries also improve the way neurons communicate, which improves overall cognition, while preventing neuronal damage.
Fish is known as ‘brain food.’ That is due to the high level of omega-3 fatty acids. If you consume fish weekly, you can potentially slow down mental decline and reduce your risks of dementia. The human body cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids on its own. This is why it’s essential to include these fatty acids in your diet.
DHA is one acid that is related to improved memory. If you’re not fond of fish, you can supplement with pills. Those who eat a lot of fish are said to have higher levels of grey matter in the areas responsible for memory. In a study, it was found that those who eat fish once a week, had a hippocampus that was 14% larger than those who don’t eat fish. The hippocampus is the area of the brain that is related to memory and learning.
Dark leafy greens are so beneficial for your brain and overall health. You should try to eat greens as often as you can. Once again, spinach is packed with antioxidants that block free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for damaged cells, cancer, and mental decline (Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s).
When studied in rats, those that ate spinach did better on both memory and learning tests. Spinach is also high in Vitamin E, which increases brain tissue and helps release dopamine.
Choline and Glutamate
Choline is an essential nutrient, that is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is related to memory and motor control. Choline supplements are often taken with racetams such as Piracetam and Aniracetam. This helps to counteract headaches associated with low levels of acetylcholine.
Foods that are high in choline include:
Glutamate is another neurotransmitter that is involved in cognitive function. It is known to be involved in memory and learning abilities. Basically, glutamate gets your brain cells fired up. Glutamate is also responsible for producing GABA, which is what reduces feelings of anxiety. You can obtain glutamate from; cheese, soy sauce, walnuts, peas, mushrooms, broccoli, and more.