In our pursuit of optimized lives, the use of supplements may appear to offer a shortcut to that lofty goal. Although popping pills is surely not a suitable replacement for a healthy diet, there are some supplements and extracts that are known to provide key nutrients that can assist your body and mind in performing to their peak potential when used properly.
In answer to the question that everybody, who ever walked into a health food store and been overwhelmed by the variety of supplements available, has asked regarding what really works; here are five supplements that have been researched and tested extensively. The result was that these five are some of the most potent supplements available today, and most of them have been used successfully for centuries in other parts of the world to boost brain power, enhance memory, and optimize cognitive functions.
1. Lion’s Mane
The Lion’s Mane mushroom, or Hericium Erinaceous, was highly prized in Chinese tradition and reserved only to be eaten by the Chinese Emperors. A leading worldwide authority on Lion’s Mane for more than a decade has extensively researched and proven the mushroom to have the remarkable ability to stimulate Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), which is a protein that is important for the survival, growth, and maintenance of specific target neurons.
Neuroscientists have recently proven that the human brain retains the remarkable ability to grow new neurons via neurogenesis even as we age. Chemicals like NGF and other neurotrophins aid in stimulating and controlling neurogenesis. Two types of molecules within Lion’s Mane were isolated and they display the ability to stimulate NGF production while passing unhindered through the blood-brain barrier, which is crucial.
Paul Stamets, one of the world’s leading experts on fungi called mycologists, and the author of numerous reference books about medical mushrooms was quoted as saying, “Lion’s mane mushroom mycelium is nature’s nutrients for your neurons.”
Scientific research has found Lion’s Mane to be completely safe and free of any signs of toxicity or side effects. Ancient Chinese herbalists promised their privileged patients nerves of steel and a lion’s memory for thousands of years. The absorption rate of Lion’s Mane is greater when consumed with Vitamin C, which breaks down the polysaccharides.
In India, the Bacopa plant has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine for its tranquilizing and antioxidant effect on the human body. Initially researchers were interested in Bacopa Monnieri because of the effect it was believed to have on ancient shamans, who used the herb to assist them in memorizing exceptionally long poems word-for-word. Researchers hypothesized that the Bacopa plant enhanced their brain function and improved their concentration and recall.
Scientific studies have shown that Bacopa improves abilities of retaining new information. “Americas Doctor”, Dr. Mehmet Oz recommends Bacopa for brain health and recently said, “Bacopa Monnieri will make you smarter, enhance your memory, and help you to focus better”. Bacopa extract should be taken as recommended daily for 12 weeks for maximum effectiveness.
A supplement that aids in raising energy levels, CoQ10 is a vitamin-like compound that is found to be produced naturally in the human body and most living organisms. Virtually just about every cell of the human body contains CoQ10 and the mitochondria, which is the area of cells where energy is produced, contains the most CoQ10. This supplement assists the production of numerous key enzymes used by the human body to create ATP, which is then burned for energy. CoQ10 is absolutely necessary to the chemical reaction in our body and brain that provides energy. A shortage of CoQ10 can leave us feeling lethargic, and it has also been a proven remedy for patients suffering from migraines, high-blood pressure or are in need of an immune system boost. CoQ10 is primarily found in fish and meat, however those amounts are far less than what can be obtained from taking supplements.
Superfood Chlorella is a green single-cell algae that really packs a huge nutritional punch. It contains so many vitamins, mineral and phytonutrients that it could easily be called nature’s multivitamin, but unlike most commercial multivitamins, the different components of Chlorella have a true synergistic effect and are highly absorbable by the human body. It is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E, and contains important minerals like magnesium, potassium, iron and calcium. It is also a rich source of protein and contains all the essential amino acids. One of the greatest features of Chlorella is that it has the highest concentration of chlorophyll of any food known to man. Chlorophyll has a similar chemical structure to hemoglobin, so Chlorella is highly beneficial in the production of new blood. Chlorella is now widely available in tablets and powder form.
Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is an herb commonly used in Ayurveda for its powerful stress-reducing properties. Scientific studies show that, in addition to relieving stress, it also protects brain cells against the deleterious effects of the modern lifestyle. Ashwagandha has been shown to be as effective as tranquilizers and antidepressant drugs and is much better for you.
Ashwagandha has been proven in scientific studies to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol by 26 percent, increase energy, reduce fatigue, promote better sleep, and enhance the sense of well being. Researchers have also found that it helps support the growth of nerve cell dendrite and promote the healthy growth of normal and damaged nerve cells alike. Studies suggest that Ashwagandha could help users to stay focused for longer periods of time and experience better mood.
Add one of them or all five and optimize your brain performance to its full potential.