It has been suspected that specific nutrients can influence cognitive processes and emotions. Many gut hormones that can enter the brain or that are made in the brain, can also impact cognitive ability. The brain consumes a large amount of energy compared to the rest of the body. The mechanisms involved in the transfer of energy from food into neurons (transmit information) are important in the control of brain activity. So what does this mean? The right nutrients and herbs can support everything from cognitive function, mental performance and memory.
Below we’re diving into some of our favourite ways to show your brain some love!
A diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids is gaining appreciation for supporting cognitive processes in humans. The omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, found mainly in oily fish, can affect the function and communication between two nerve cells and cognitive abilities. DHA is important for maintaining the function of impulses between two nerve cells and transmitting messages from the nerves to the brain.
Adequate caloric intake
Changing the calorie intake of the diet is a potential way that affects cognitive ability. Research shows that the metabolic processes (all the processes continuously happening inside our body that allow normal functioning, including those that break down nutrients from our food) can regulate aspects of how effectively two neurons communicate with each other and cognitive function. Consuming an adequate amount of calories may protect the brain by reducing oxidative damage.
The brain is very susceptible to oxidative damage because of its high metabolic load. Many antioxidant rich diets have become popular from their positive effects on brain function. For example, berries have been shown to have a strong antioxidant capacity. Alpha-lipoic acid, another powerful antioxidant found in kidney, heart and liver as well as spinach, broccoli and potatoes possess high antioxidant activity and is important for maintaining energy homeostasis. Vitamin E has also been involved in cognitive performance, as decreasing levels of vitamin E were linked to poor memory in older adults.
This formula contains Brahmi, which supports brain and mental function. Brahmi also maintains learning and information processing, and mental recall in elderly individuals. Lemon Balm decreases symptoms of mild anxiety, and calms nerves and the mind. Finally, Vitamin B6 supports energy levels, energy production, and general health and wellbeing.
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Gómez-Pinilla F. Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2008;9(7):568-578. doi:10.1038/nrn2421
Liu J. The effects and mechanisms of mitochondrial nutrient alpha-lipoic acid on improving age-associated mitochondrial and cognitive dysfunction: an overview. Neurochem Res. 2008 Jan;33(1):194-203.