People are constantly trying to get the brain to work harder. In recent years, many drugs at best possible prices have been developed, claiming to be nootropics – drugs to stimulate mental activity.
As a neuroscientist, I see one big drawback of these prescription drugs: they often do not contain the basic vitamins necessary for the normal functioning of the brain. These supplements at reasonable priceshave been developed with the fact that people are already getting the right substances from food or taking pharmacy vitamins.
Don’t think that purchasing Modafinil give your brain superpowers. Much more effective are useful habits and the right diet.
So brain stimulation drugs won’t help if you’re eating the wrong food. Nootropics make you more attentive and cheerful, but they do not affect your mind. If you want to actually improve your cognitive abilities, try replacing your medication with the following:
1. Eat more healthy fats and drink more water
The brain is an organ consisting mainly of fat and water. Unsurprisingly, it needs healthy fats and enough hydration to function properly.
Numerous studies have proven the benefit of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish (vegans can get similar substances from algae). Avocados, nuts, and seeds contain omega-6 fatty acids and other micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Coconut oil also has a good effect on the brain and can be added to tea or coffee.
2. Drink green tea
Many nootropics contain L-theanine. The concentration of this substance is also high in green tea – especially a lot of it in matcha.
This substance increases the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, which reduces the level of anxiety. Studies have shown that in conjunction with caffeine (it is also included in green tea), L-theanine can improve concentration. Matta also contains a lot of catechin EGCG, a natural antioxidant that helps brain cells live longer.
3. Add more antioxidant-rich foods to your diet
Antioxidants counteract free radicals. This is often said in the context of fighting cancer or aging, but antioxidants also help stimulate brain function.
Antioxidants include flavonoids and vitamins C and E. It has been proven that they suspend processes triggered by free radicals. Eat berries and beans (the darker the better) – they are an excellent source of antioxidants.
4. Increase your intake of B vitamins
B vitamins (especially B6 and B12) are essential for the brain. Scientists have found that their deficiency negatively affects cognitive function, mood and neuroplasticity.
B6 is found in eggs, carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and whole grains. In times of stress and heavy workload, it is worth taking B vitamins in tablets to support the body.
5. Reduce stress
Try to maintain normal brain function, while not worrying too much about it. A little stress is useful, but when strengthened, it negatively affects the brain.
You can reduce anxiety in a variety of ways, such as a magnesium bath twice a week or using a proper spray before going to bed. Today, 75% of people are deficient in magnesium. The stronger the tension, the more this substance we lose, namely it helps regulate cortisol, the stress hormone.
Meditation has become a daily practice for many prominent people. It reduces stress levels, regulates emotions and increases levels of oxytocin, a hormone that enhances a sense of belonging and identity. This helps you to work productively and to develop successfully. Without oxytocin, we are gripped by impotence and apathy.