There is a lot of hype out there right now about brain-boosting supplements and people are flocking to find the best solution for their needs. Taking a step in the right direction towards brain health and supporting your memory and cognitive function will greatly benefit your health in the future, but let’s be honest. With all of these new products flooding the market, can you really be sure that they are safe for you or the best option for your needs? You all know I always suggest an individual approach to any changes in your healthcare routine, and this is no exception! After doing a lot of research on the subject, there are no over-the-counter supplements that I can wholeheartedly suggest for anyone.
And, like I always recommend for everything, before you resort to brain-boosting supplements, I would focus on your health overall. If you are deficient in any vitamins or your nutrition is lacking, then your brain will be affected. It is well-known that deficiencies in nutrients exist in the United States, including lack of Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Magnesium, three essential nutrients for brain health.In addition, if you are not balancing your sleep and exercise routines or managing your stress levels, this too will decrease your brain power as your body succumbs to fatigue and other side effects from exhaustion and overwhelm.
As far as brain-boosting supplements go, I recommend focusing on foundational nutrition and essential oils to get the help that you need.
If indeed you do balance your life, including nutrition, sleep, exercise, and stress, and still find that your brain may need something extra, only then would I recommend using natural supplements. Even then, however, you need to assess your needs and select the supplements that specifically correspond to the needs that you have for your mind and body. Please don’t take combinations of supplements if they aren’t serving your individual needs. And, for me, there just isn’t enough research done to wholeheartedly support many of the popular supplements available now for brain support.
BOOSTING BRAIN POWER NATURALLY
Because the following supplements have been well-researched and proven effective over time, I feel comfortable recommending them at large for anyone looking to support overall brain health. Be sure to assess your own individual situation first to determine where your individual needs lie and consult a trusted healthcare provider before changing anything in your healthcare routine, especially when considering adding supplements to your routine.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS (DHA & EPA)
In general, most people can supplement their bodies via diet to garner the effects of these fatty acids. By simply eating 2 or more servings of fatty fish per week, you are supplying your brain with a healthy boost of Omega-3. If you have an aversion to fish, however, I would suggest supplementation because this has proven to be one of the most helpful brain supplements available. DHA has proven to increase brain function and strengthen its function, while EPA decreases inflammation to allow for increased blood flow. It is absolutely essential for pregnant women to supplement with DHA and EPA if they aren’t getting enough Omega-3s in their diet already!
Used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic practices, this adaptogenic herbal supplement is just recently gaining popularity in Western culture. Because it covers a wide spectrum of people with its brain-boosting power in the areas of thinking and memory, research has branched out to include even child and adolescent populations, where it has been found to support brain health.Known to decreases inflammation in the brain, Bacopa enables blood to flow more freely and therefore improve the health and function of the brain. The one downfall is that there are no immediate results – you must be consistent in your usage and put in 4-6 weeks of time to see real results, so be sure to discuss this one with your healthcare provider. It would be a lifestyle incorporation rather than a quick fix for anyone looking for immediate results.
Used for thousands of years in Chinese healing, Matcha offers incredible support to the body on many different levels, and it should come as no surprise that it’s on my list. More potent than simply drinking green tea, Matcha delivers 100% of the nutrients and benefits to the body because you are consuming the tea leaf as a whole. The power-packed, antioxidant-rich Matcha helps to rid the body of free radicals that attack you at the cellular level, particularly important when you consider that brain cells are at risk of attack. And we all know how damaging toxins and free radicals can be to our overall systems! Matcha can greatly aid your body in the detox process to filter out these harmful chemicals.
With 10 times more antioxidants than green tea, Matcha provides the body with L-Theanine as well, an amino acid that may boost mental clarity in just a single cup per day. It also contains EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), a polyphenol that works synergistically with the L-theanine to support and increase brain health. In addition, Matcha also contains caffeine that works synergistically with the L-theanine as well. And since a popular supplement on the market today is L-theanine with added caffeine, why not go the natural route and work Matcha into your day? Matcha provides an all-natural alternative to this supplement while punching the body with the power of antioxidants and nutrients. It is also very easy to work it into your nutritional plan since you can easily add it to smoothies or cook with it. I would hesitate to recommend it to pregnant women, however, due to the caffeine content, though it would be safer than coffee, in my opinion. Be sure to check out The Matcha Miracle, my best-selling book, for even more ways to work some Matcha magic into your life!
Found in turmeric, a popular Indian spice, Curcumin provides the body with a variety of benefits and has been used in both traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Due to its ability to increase blood flow to the body and the brain, it has found specific popularity in the exercise community. Unlike many supplements that require prolonged use to see results (if any), Curcumin has found success in boosting memory and retention in Alzheimer’s patients in as little as an hour’s time, in addition to improving their mood and stress levels. It is also particularly anti-inflammatory, allowing the blood to flow more freely in the brain and has a positive effect on the brain stem cells.
Curcumin has also found popularity in a variety of other health fields and for a variety of needs, including cancer, diabetes, and HIV.
As a simple spice, it can easily be worked into your foods, but for a true response, it needs to be linked with a fat of some sort such as by creating microemulsions with coconut oil or other healthy fats. Be sure that you have high-quality organic curcumin free of any additives or fillers, and, as always, do your research on the company producing it.
Did you know that simply inhaling certain essential oils can immediately boost your brain power? Essential oils provide an easy way to support brain health with immediate recognizable results. Research has proven them to be fully supportive in many aspects of brain health, and I would wholeheartedly recommend starting with essential oils before moving on to any other supplementation. Keep your eyes out for many more research studies to be completed on a wider array of essential oils supporting brain health. And get your diffuser and your rollerballs ready!
Rosemary Essential Oil
One of the simplest ways to increase memory and concentration is to simply inhale the scent of pure, high-quality Rosemary essential oil. The terpene levels in this essential oil enter the bloodstream and directly affect your body, especially since they can easily pass the blood-brain barrier. These are IMMEDIATE results! Memory can improve up to 75% by simply inhaling Rosemary, according to recent studies. It has the ability to inhibit the enzymes that break down acetylcholine in the brain, allowing more to remain and aid the brain in its function. Rosemary is one of my favorite ways to improve my daily focus without the worry of side effects or putting unnatural substances into my body. You have to be sure that you are using only the highest-quality essential oils, however, for the results to be impactful and that you aren’t putting any adulterated substances into your body. Pregnant women should also avoid contact with Rosemary EO as the increased blood flow could cause contractions.
Peppermint Essential Oil
While we all know Peppermint to be helpful for digestion and fresh, kissable breath, it is one of my favorite essential oils for boosting memory and alertness, especially first thing in the morning. You can often find Peppermint and Wild Orange being diffused in my office for a pick-me-up any time of day. Peppermint also promotes respiratory health, enabling your lungs to breathe clearer, which may help to oxygenate the brain. Try inhaling peppermint or even including a drop in your favorite smoothie or drink for increasing focus and mental clarity.
Linalool in Essential Oils
Though several past studies have recommended essential oils such as Lavender and Clary Sage for improving brain health, especially in situations where dementia or Alzheimer’s were at play, scientists still weren’t sure what the specific link was. A recent study suggests that it is the Linalool content, a primary constituent of some high-quality essential oils like Lavender and Clary Sage, that, when ingested over a period of time, helped to improve learning, memory, and overall cognitive functioning. While more research still needs to be done, essential oils continue to prove to be an effective way to boost brain health. Other essential oils high in linalool include Basil, Cilantro, and Coriander, so keep an eye out for them in future scientific research
BRAIN HEALTH BOTTOM LINE
As with anything else, there is no easy answer to this brain-boosting question because we are all individuals with different bodies, personalities, social influences, and lifestyle choices. The best advice I have for you is to assess your current health situation and see where your strengths and weaknesses lie, consult with a trusted healthcare provider, and don’t do too much at once. If you are eager to start, let’s get you some Rosemary essential oil to inhale for those moments when you need a boost, cut back the caffeine and work in the Matcha, and really assess your current nutritional situation. Only when you know yourself will you be able to focus on specific areas for improvement!