15 substances that accelerate brain function and improve memory
With the pace of medical and technological progress are probably not far off the day when any person can use one tablet to "overclock" your brain is like a computer. But until a magic pill is not invented, you should pay attention to the means available now – nootropics. This group of substances includes all neurometabolic stimulants that have a pronounced positive effect on brain functions. The main source of nootropics is not the chemical industry, and mother nature, and the Arsenal she has is truly enormous.
Today we present to your attention a hit-parade of the fifteen substances that enhance memory and stimulate the brain. It is unlikely you will be able to become a second Einstein, but to enhance performance, concentration and resistance to stress will be able for sure, but at the same time improve your health and prolong youth. The article has specific advice on taking nootropic substances and extracts of medicinal plants.
But before you start reading, please note a few important points:
- Natural supplements and herbal extracts, for all its harmlessness, can have contraindications, to cause allergic reactions and give side effects. So taking them without consulting with your doctor who knows your medical history and the history of the disease, it is not recommended;
- Dosage nootropics, the duration and the alternation of courses of treatment should be established individually based on the age of the person and features of his body. That is, if your doctor said that ginseng is useful, it does not mean that it should be eaten by the handful for a year in a row;
- The best is the enemy of good, remember this, standing at the pharmacy counter with dozens of colourful bottles. No need to take a few funds at the same time, hoping thus to achieve more pronounced effect. It is best to alternate nootropics and focus on your feelings to determine exactly what the substance that helps to stimulate brain activity and improve memory to you specifically;
- Be sure to track the progress through special tests and exercises. The only way to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of the selected nootropic and replace it with other medication if required.
The content of the article:
1. LecithinThe main organ of the nervous system – the brain – a third of the phospholipid lecithin. Yes, that which we have from childhood is strongly associated with chicken egg yolks. The peripheral nervous system, incidentally, also consists of lecithin by 17%. The components of this substance in a particular amount present in the cells and tissues of the human body and are involved in the synthesis of hormones, enzymes and neurotransmitters. That's why the lack of lecithin has fatal consequences: it disrupted the work of all organs and systems.
In the presence of Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) lecithin transformered into acetylcholine – an important neurotransmitter, which depends on the speed of nervous reactions, the ability to concentrate, store and analyse information. In addition, lecithin provides a more complete assimilation of all fat soluble vitamins (A, E, D, K). Is the achievement of a healthy vitamin status is the basis of neurovirology – science about proper nutrition for the brain and nervous system in General. How well the body is provided with vitamins, directly depend on intellectual abilities, which are laid in infancy.
In the first year of life the baby gets a huge dose of lecithin from breast milk. It is noteworthy that milk of lecithin in 100 times more than in the whole blood system nursing mothers. In case of impossibility of breastfeeding need to choose for the child the milk mixture with the optimum content of phospholipids. From providing the child's body a sufficient amount of lecithin in the first years of life, will depend on the speed of his speech and motor development, stress resistance, ability to adapt to social and academic performance in preschool and school.
An adult, not only engaged in mental labor or precision manufacturing, but also regularly subjected to stress for long periods of time and forced to focus (drivers, vendors) really need the lecithin. Enriching your diet with this phospholipid, you will be less likely to feel fatigue, and can extend your youth and the ability to work. Lecithin in large amounts in eggs, chicken and beef liver, fatty fish, seeds and nuts, as well asall legumes, especially in soybeans. It is from soybeans produce the most supplements lecithin.
Child a day is recommended to 1-4 grams of lecithin, and an adult – only 5-6 grams. To achieve the pronounced effect of drugs with lecithin take for at least three months just during this period can significantly improve memory and enhance mental performance. Contraindications for lecithin not, though, this valuable phospholipid will help you not only to stimulate the brain, but also to maintain the body as a whole.
Find out more: Lecithin — a unique product
2. Caffeine + L-theanineA Cup of strong coffee is what first comes to mind when you need to concentrate, to banish the snooze and force yourself to learn a lesson, to solve the problem, perform complex mental work. But scientists have proved that caffeine by itself does not affect performance and productivity. He will not tell you the right decision and not throw a good idea. All that can coffee cause short-term stimulation of the nervous system through which your brain a little more to hold afloat. But the energy spike will soon turn into a decline, and fatigue and sleepiness will manifest itself much stronger than before the caffeine.
Another thing – the combination of caffeine with the amino acid L-theanine contained in green tea. This substance is able to pass the blood-brain barrier and protect the brain from the aggressive to the exciting action of caffeine, preserving and extending the positive incentive effect of the latter. L-theanine prevents the caffeine to raise blood pressure and provoke a reaction of overcompensation, when the rise in brain activity followed by a sharp decline.
The tests showed that the best result can be achieved by adopting for hours 50 mg of caffeine and 100 mg L-theanine. This dosage is equivalent to two cups of green tea and one Cup of coffee, and it will help you improve your concentration, to improve the speed of logical thinking and processing visual information. There are comprehensive supplements based on caffeine and L-theanine, but to accept them as regularly indulge in caffeine-containing drinks, can only relatively healthy people without cardiovascular diseases.
3. Dark chocolate (flavonols)
Well, when it comes to mood elevation, immediately come to mind chocolate. He not only has a pleasant taste, but also contains flavonols, a substance that stimulatesthe production of the pleasure hormone, endorphin.In addition, flavonols enhance cerebral perfusion and accelerate the transmission of nerve impulses, and this allows us longer to stay focused and cheerful. More flavonols in the kind of chocolate with more cocoa, that is, black, or bitter, as it is called.
Milk and white tiles with a variety of fillings and flavors nullify all the benefits of chocolate. If you want to achieve from your favorite treats therapeutic effect, make it a rule to eat every day, 35-200 g good dark chocolate with a cocoa content of over 80%. Stretch pleasure, breaking off a few pieces, then you will constantly be in a good mood and energetic condition.
4. Piracetam + cholineIf you ask neurologists what substance is best stimulates the brain and improves memory, they are primarily called Piracetam also known as Nootropil and Lucetam. This drug is the flagship of the squadron of nootropics; it is prescribed to patients with mental retardation, senile dementia, Alzheimer's and even schizophrenia. But absolutely healthy people simply wanting to improve memory and enhance intellectual vitality, can be recommended Piracetam.
The principle of action of this drug on the body is to stimulate the synthesis of acetylcholine and the extension of its functions. Piracetam allows a person to use the resources of its main neurotransmitter in full. To enhance this effect, it is recommended to combine taking Piracetam with choline intake. This would also allow you to protect yourself from the headachesthat sometimes arise on the background of prolonged treatment with Piracetam. Usually prescribed for 300 mg of both substances three times a day, but we emphasize again that uncontrolled reception of nootropics without the knowledge of the doctor is not a good idea.
5. Omega-3 fatty acids
The most fashionable trend in modern neurobiologie – omega-3 fatty acids, or simply enrichment of the diet fat varieties of ocean fish, legumes, nuts and seeds. Omega-3 are, literally, food for the brain: eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA)acids promote cell renewal and the required speed of reactions between organelles. In practice, this means that with normal fish oil a person can improve memory, protect against daily stress and provide clarity of mind to old age.
Omega-3 fatty acids positively influence the condition of the brain and nervous system not only sick people, for example, Alzheimer's disease, but perfectly healthy. He has conducted studies involving control groups consisting of people of different sex and age, and the results have confirmed the effectiveness of omega-3 in all areas: memory, stress, concentration, speed of nervous reactions. A day adult only 1-2 capsules of fish oil (1200-2400 mg omega-3), to have a few months to significantly improve brain function.
Creatine belongs to the group of nitrogen-containing organic acids and is synthesized in the body of all mammals, including humans. If you artificially increase the concentration of useful substances, it is possible to accelerate cellular reactions, enhance muscle growth and raise the threshold of fatigue. A great combination of effects for athletes and bodybuilders, right? That's why creatine as a dietary food Supplement, very popular in the sports community.
But today we are interested in nootropic status of creatine. Wishing to "pump up" the brain, this nutrient is also useful because it provides energy saving effect on the brain. Creatine participates in the reactions taking place in the mitochondria and cytosol, and contributes to the accumulation and preservation of energy in cells. As a result, a good memory and high speed of analytical thinking. It is recommended to take daily 5 grams of creatine, unless otherwise prescribed by the physician.
7. L-tyrosineAnother useful amino acid – L-tyrosine is included in the protein composition of all tissues and organs, and is produced from phenylalanine. Without enough of this amino acid it impossible to adequately synthesize hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline, as well as the main neurotransmitter is dopamine. To provide L-tyrosine, you can either significantly increase the consumption of seafood, fish, meat, legumes and grains, or buy a prepared Supplement.
L-tyrosine is very useful not only to those people whose professional activity is associated with severe mental stress and prolonged concentration. This amino acid significantly increases the threshold of fatigue, so for those who are busyphysical labor, it is also extremely useful. L-tyrosine prevents the development of endocrine diseases maintains the health of thyroid, adrenal and pituitary. However, if you are already suffering from such a disease and are taking hormonal drugs, always consult your doctor about L-tyrosine, to avoid unwanted drug interactions.
Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid known want to lose weight and rejuvenate, than those who seek to improve memory and stimulate brain activity. But its nootropic functions deserve attention, because acetyl-L-carnitine exerts in the brain the same effect as creatine regulates energy balance. Regularly taking this amino acid, we can achieve three positive effects: to intensify the work of the brain, to get rid of chronic fatigue syndrome and bring order to carbohydrate metabolism.
A study conducted on the basis of one of the American universities showed that students who took the acetyl-L-carnitine for two months, could improve academic performance in science is much better than their comrades who did not take this amino acid. The men will be surely interested to know that acetyl-L-carnitine stimulates the natural synthesis of testosterone, and thus improves sexual function.
9. B vitamins
For the nervous system there is no more important vitamins than these: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12. It is the B vitamins are actively involved in the work of the nerves and brain, so to provide for themselves they need everyone who wants to preserve a clear mind and good memory. Every third inhabitant of Russia suffers from a lack of B vitamins, especially worrying is the fact that the nutrients receive less children, and it is in a period of growth and development of the nervous system is determined by the intellectual potential of the person. Just reviewing the daily diet of their families, and taking a multivitamin for the season, you can solve this problem.
Thiamin - vitamin B1
The first vitamin to our list, perhaps, is such and important because thiamine is not without reason called "the vitamin of the mind." It promotes the full and rapid absorption by the brain of glucose, that's why thiamine deficiency immediately affects memory and concentration. To the brain is not starving, you need to regularly consume cereals (buckwheat, oatmeal), legumes (peas, lentils, beans), vegetables (radish, spinach,potatoes). Thiamine is well absorbed, but very quickly collapses under the influence of sugar, alcohol, nicotine, and tea tannins.
Riboflavin - vitamin B2
This substance we will call "energy vitamin" because it is the Riboflavin metabolism and the transmission of impulses between neurons. In other words, vitamin B2 helps the body make full use of the obtained food energy. Then mental training, and the sport will bring more joy and less fatigue. To replenish reserves of Riboflavin can, eating eggs, offal (liver, kidney), milk, yeast, rose hips, tomatoes and cabbage. This vitamin is retained during the heat treatment, but does not like direct sunlight.
Nicotinic acid - vitamin B3
Nicotinamide (Niacin), we give the name "vitamin", because it is involved in the synthesis of important digestive enzymes and hormones (insulin, testosterone, progesterone, cortisol). Deficiency of Niacin leads to human chronic fatigue, depression, irritability, insomnia and apathy. Learn important vitamin from organic foods (eggs, liver, meat) and some vegetables (asparagus, garlic, parsley, carrots, pepper).
Pantothenic acid - vitaminv5
Pantothenic acid fit the title "beauty vitamin" because it is directly involved in fat metabolism and skin regeneration. Need this vitamin and for rapid transmission of nerve impulses, so those who wish to improve memory and increase brain activity, we can recommend regularly eat nuts, sprouted grains, yeast, mushrooms, legumes, meat, and drink green tea.
Pyridoxine - vitamin B6
This vitamin will give the title "antidepressant" because it is required for proper synthesis of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and serotonin. Pyridoxine is also involved in the endocrine, cardiovascular, immune and digestive systems – it is involved in the development of gastric juice. The correct absorption of other important vitamin, B12 only occurs in the presence of sufficient amounts of vitamin B6, so it is recommended to include in your diet legumes, grains, yeast, vegetables, fish and fruits, especially bananas, strawberries and cherries.
Folic acid - vitamin B9
This acid rightly gets the title of "the vitamin of the future", because withouta sufficient amount of folic acid, the expectant mother will not be able to carry a child with a healthy nervous and circulatory system. Adults also need vitamin B9 because it regulates the composition of blood, involved in protein metabolism, prevents premature aging and graying of hair, increases the threshold of nervous fatigue and promote active work of the brain. Most folic acid in dark green vegetables: asparagus, spinach. Quite a lot of it in beans, eggs, liver, wheat and avocado.
Cyanocobalamin - vitamin B12
This is "vitamin-a mystery", after all, people and animals in dire need, but do not produce! Where does the cyanocobalamin? It is synthesized by some bacteria, microorganisms and green algae, and from there the vitamin B12 gets to our body when we eat meat, fish, seafood and seaweed. The cyanocobalamin acts as a regulator of the nervous system, it provides an appropriate transition from sleep to wakefulness and back. In addition, this vitamin is involved in the distribution of information between short term and long term memory.
10. Rhodiola roseaRhodiola grows in the North-West of the Eurasian continent, and has long been used in Scandinavian Nations for medicinal purposes. This plant contains substances that reduce the concentration of the enzyme monoamine oxidase. Thus, Rhodiola rosea regulates the balance of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the human body. Regular intake of Rhodiola extract improves the health, contributes to high concentration of attention and speed of processing visual and auditory information.
The Rhodiola plant is widely used in cosmetics, its extract is added to anti-aging creams to stimulate cell renewal and reduce wrinkles. And the intake of Rhodiola in the form of biologically active food supplements in a dosage of 100-1000 mg per day is recommended all the people of Mature and elderly, complaining of fatigue, poor memory and inability to concentrate for long periods attention.
11. Asian ginseng
The legend of traditional Chinese medicine – ginseng – recommended for almost any health problems. It contained pectins, tannins, glycosides, polysaccharides, resins, essential oils, alkaloids, vitamins and minerals are in perfect harmony, and together havebody stimulating, rejuvenating and toning effect.
Prophylactic administration of ginseng topical with reduced immunity, loss of strength after a serious illness, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, endocrine and digestive disorders, sexual weakness in men. It is known that the ginseng stabilizes the heart rate and normalizes blood pressure. This natural medicine has no contraindications and side effects, however, this is a very powerful stimulant and tonic, so it is recommended to take ginseng at a dosage of no more than 200-500 mg twice a day.
12. Ginkgo Biloba
Another Chinese doctor – Ginkgo tree – a truly amazing creation of nature. At present Ginkgo is considered to be a fossil, since he left no direct relatives in the plant world. The ancestor of Ginkgo is the giant ferns that grew on the planet in the distant era of the dinosaurs.
In the composition of Ginkgo leaves, scientists have discovered glycosides, flavonoids and terpenes, hitherto unknown to science, so I had to give them the same name: bilobalides and ginkgolides. These terpenes have a pronounced stimulating effect on the brain and nervous system, improve memory, increase stamina and emotional stability and even slow down the regression of nerve fibers and cells of the brain in senile dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
According to recent scientific data, a pronounced therapeutic effect is observed when taking 240-360 mg of Ginkgo biloba extract per day. This herbal nootropic is widely considered to be the most powerful known to date, so if you want to improve brain work or have serious difficulties with memory and concentration, Ginkgo biloba.
13. Gotu KolaAsian Centella, which in the homeland in India, called "Gotu Kola" is literally the twin sister of the famous Chinese giant Ginkgo. The juice of its leaves has a similar stimulating effect on the brain, thanks to the unique terpene-glycoside composition. Local residents have discovered the unique properties of Gotu Kola, observing the behavior of Indian elephants: animals readily grazed in thickets of plants, and because elephants have high level of intelligence and longevity.
Gotu Kola is also an excellent stimulator of circulation, so it is recommended for thrombophlebitis, varicose veins and cellulite. receiving Centella helps to enhance the production of choline and acetylcholine, important functions of which we have manyI told above. In Thailand, in 2008 it was conducted a large-scale study of Gotu Kola with a group of elderly patients. The results showed a significant improvement in General health, mood, concentration and memory.
Another medicinal plant, with whom we met, thanks to the Indian science of health, Ayurveda, is called ashwagandha. In Sanskrit this word means "horse's smell", and this name is due to the fact that in the thickets of Ashwaganda likes to graze livestock, and medicinal herb is strongly associated with local residents with the horse's health and stamina. The ashwagandha is sometimes called Indian version of ginseng, however the herb much more available and therefore cheaper.
Local healers recommend the ashwagandha people engaged in heavy labour (such as in rural India the majority), since this medicinal plant helps to regain strength and to escape from the raging epidemics. Part of Ashwaganda contains essential oils, glycosides, polysaccharides, terpenes and volatile natural antibiotics that help the immune system to resist diseases.
After being hit by aswaganda on the European pharmaceutical market, it began to position it as a natural tonic and cerebral stimulant, but also as a means to improve male sexual function. Antibiotics and immunomodulators in Europe are lacking, but the plants that have such a pronounced positive effect on the brain and nervous system, very little. Make the extract is recommended Ashwaganda students and knowledge workers, athletes and the elderly complaining of memory impairment.
15. BacopaTo complete the story of the amazing plants that stimulate brain activity, we would like bacopa – another Ayurvedic medicinal herb. Bacopa improves memory, speeds up the transmission of nerve impulses and the analysis coming from the external world of information, but also leads to thoughts in harmony. Mild sedative effect bacopa provides peace of mind and a long attention span. This plant can even be used as a muscle relaxant – it reduces the frequency of epileptic seizures and counteracts spasms in nervous disorders.
Recent research of medicinal properties of bacopa have shown that it is also an effective antioxidant: fights free radicals and protects cell integrity. The local application of the juice of bacopa has anti-inflammatory and healing action, and the receptioninside is an antipyretic and analgesic. As for the use of the extract of bacopa as a nootropic substances, scientists recommend combining it with Ginkgo biloba extract for best results.
There are already scientific evidence that taking supplements based on these two plants for three months caused subjects of the control group growth on tests on memory and attention in average by 25%.