Substances that Boost Brain Power !!
Most of us use only 5 percent of our brain power. It may be possible to enhance the brain power by using the remaining part of the brain to increase mental clarity and enhance memory. Many substances have been shown directly or indirectly to affect the brain cells to make them fuction more effficiently. Since ages people had been curious to find out means to increase memory. Some of the substances said to affect the brain power are :-
Alpha Lipoic Acid: It is an antioxidant that fights free radicals in both the watery and fatty areas of the body. Animal-based research demonstrates that ALA protects brain cell membranes from free-radical damage and improves long-term memory in aging animals.
Phosphatidylserine: PS is a vitamin-like substance used by the body to help build and maintain healthy brain cells. It sharpens the mind by helping the brain’s nerve cells function better including generation, storage, transmission and reception of nerve impulses.
Huperzine A: Huperzine A is a naturally occurring compound found in club moss, a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine. In recent years, Chinese researchers have discovered that a purified and standardized extract of Huperzine A enhances memory and learning in animals. In human studies, the compound has been shown to increase clearheadedness, memory and language ability in Alzheimer’s patients.
Acetyl L Carnitine: ALC molecules are found naturally throughout the body. It is thought to improve communication between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, thereby promoting intuitive and balanced thinking.
Coenzyme Q10: This vitamin-like nutrient found in every cell of the body is thought to safeguard sharp thinking by protecting mitochondria (a cell’s power centers). Mitochondria are prime targets of free-radical damage, and CoQ10 may be one of the few nutrients that provide protection for these delicate and important cell structures.
Docosahexaenoic Acid: The brain is more than 40 percent fat, much of it DHA. DHA, found in fish oil, makes brain cell membranes more fluid which may help sharpen mental acuity. In Japan, students frequently take DHA pills before exams to improve their academic performance. DHA is also critical for the early development of the brain especially in the three months prior to and following birth, the time of most rapid brain growth.
Ginko Biloba: Ginko Biloba is supposed to stimulate intellect by increasing the availability of oxygen to the brain. It has benificial effect on many fuctions of brain such as alertness, memory and intellectual capacity.
Brahmi: This traditional ayurvedic herb has been widely used in India for more than 3,000 years to build and improve mental performance. The herb is safe for use by healthy people of all ages. In India, brahmi tea is given to infants starting in their first month of life to encourage optimal mental development.
Ashwagandha: Ashwaganda is believed to nurture and clear the mind while calming and strengthening the nervous system.
Ginseng: This powerful herb has been used traditionally to enhance memory and sharpen mental acuity. It is a mild stimulant so it is sometimes recommended for people feeling lethargic or having trouble concentrating.
Rosemary: The long-standing herbal tradition of rosemary for remembrance has persisted for at least five centuries. This may be because rosemary contains more than a dozen antioxidant compounds, and studies show that the herb exerts its antioxidant activity by scavenging free radicals.
Gotu Kola: Ayurvedic physicians in India claim that gotu kola can increase intelligence, memory and longevity.
Antioxidants: Free radicals, implicated in heart disease, cancer and various other serious ailments, also can have a negative effect on the brain. The brain may bear the brunt of free-radical attacks since it is rich in fatty acids, and it uses large quantities of oxygen (a potential source of free radicals). Antioxidant nutrients such as Vitamine C, Vitamin E, Beta Carotene, immobilize dangerous free radicals before they have a chance to damage brain cells.
B- Complex : The B vitamin family is critical to proper brain function.
B1 ( Thiamin ) helps the brain efficiently utilize carbohydrates for mind fuel
B3 ( Niacin ) may help improve memory, protect against stress and blood clotting, and help prevent strokes.
B5 ( Patothenic Acid, calcium pantothenate) may increase stamina as well as help during times of stress.
B6 ( Pyridoxine ) is essential for production of the brain’s chemical messengers (or neurotransmitters): norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine.
B12 ( Cobalamin ) may relieve stress and fatigue in the brain because it helps release the energy found in food for use by the brain. It is also linked to the production of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that affects memory and learning.
Folic Acid: Also known as folate, this important vitamin helps the body produce the category of neurotransmitters called catecholamines. A lack of these chemicals can cause depression, anxiety and an inability to concentrate.
Iron: Iron is essential for clear, uncluttered thinking. By helping the blood form hemoglobin, the substance that carries oxygen from the lungs to the brain, iron enhances memory, learning, reasoning and judgment.