A young woman meditating in a gym.

Do Brain Boosters Really Work?

We don’t always value the power of moments in our lives until they become distant memories.

And unfortunately, due to the power of the aging process, the value that we imbue into memories will also become lost to time as we age.

Everyone ages. No one escapes the ravages of age. 

And one of the irrevocable consequences of aging is incremental and gradual memory loss as we get older.

And are you ready for a little more bad news? Scientists previously believed that gradual memory loss started in the human brain at age 60 or 65.

But now, scientists believe that the start of slow, gradual, and irretrievable memory loss can start as early as age 45!

And what exactly is memory loss? Memory loss is the slow decline and deterioration in cognitive function, mental sharpness, and the ability to remember things as quickly as possible.

While some people start losing their memory by age 45, about 40% of people will begin experiencing appreciable memory loss after 65.

This is “age-related memory loss.” Age-related memory loss is just a part of getting older. This kind of memory loss is not life-altering and does not result in the inability to remember new things.

However, over 5% to 8% of everyone over the age of 65 will develop severely debilitating memory conditions like dementia or brain disease Alzheimers.

Is there no hope? 

You can also try natural foods and ingredients that act as brain boosters. 

These foods are scientifically proven to build and repair brain cells. Some brain boosters may even slow down mental loss and cognitive decline.

But do brain boosters really work? Let’s check some of them out.

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Do Brain Boosters Really Work?

The answer is basically, “yes and no.”

The brain booster ingredients on this list are scientifically proven to build nerves in brain cells in the brain. Or they will stave off the beginning of memory loss.

But they won’t completely stop memory loss. And taking one of these brain boosters will not make you a memory genius after ingesting it once.

Stay mentally active and work some or all of these memory boosters into your diet in moderation. Every bit helps when it comes to brain-boosting, and these brain boosters will only help as much you challenge yourself mentally.

Also, consult a doctor before taking a brain-boosting supplement. And eat brain-boosting foods in moderation with a healthy diet.

Foods That are Bad For Your Brain

Before we dive into brain-boosting supplements, vitamins, and minerals, let’s look at foods that are bad for the brain. Your diet makes all the difference on how your brain functions daily.

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Alcohol

It’s no secret that alcohol isn’t the best for your brain function. Alcohol is a chemical depressant that feels great at the moment but deteriorates your higher brain functions in various ways.

Ongoing studies have found that alcohol affects the brain’s ability to transmit information. This phenomenon is why you can sometimes black out from drinking too much alcohol. While drinking once in a while isn’t unhealthy, too many drinks will have a long-term effect on your health.

Modern research shows chronic drinking is associated with an increased risk of the following mental health conditions:

  • Depression
  • Depressive episodes
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Dementia
  • Mood changes

Alcohol also affects your physical health, such as increasing your risk for cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. When using brain boosters, we recommend reducing alcohol usage so you can enjoy the full range of benefits.

How is your collagen intake? We have recommendations on how to spruce up your diet here!

Sugary Foods

Sugar is a natural compound found in many foods. Choosing the right kind will go a long way in improving your brain’s health.

Natural sugars appear in fruits such as apples, bananas, pears, strawberries, and mangoes. These sugars are not quite as concentrated and have plenty of vitamins to balance them out. The daily recommended fruit intake is one to two cups per day for adults. This fruit intake can look like eating a few raw fruits, a smoothie, or an energy drink with natural fruit.

Sugary foods are highly processed and deprived of most of their minerals and vitamins. While there’s nothing wrong with a treat, too much processed sugar will greatly impact your brain. Harvard Health revealed too much sugar consumption will cause your brain to shrink and increase your risk of dementia.

Beware of excess sugar found in seemingly healthy food like energy drinks or protein shakes. Always read the label closely and look for ingredients like high fructose corn syrup or refined sugar.

Deep Fried Food

There’s nothing like a basket full of crispy, fried chicken wings. Sadly, fried foods are also on the list of bad-brain additions!

Deep-fried food goes through an oil and salt overload before it reaches your mouth. The structure of fried food means it is digested very quickly, leading to inflammation throughout the body. A recent study revealed that constant fried food consumption results in an increased risk for depression years later.

If you want to have the occasional pack of French Fries, go ahead and indulge. Just remember that too much fried food will fry your brain!

What are the most effective energy drinks for your brain performance? We have some top-notch suggestions here!

High Volumes of Carbs

We need carbohydrates to give us fuel as we go to work, study, or engage in our passions. However, too many carbs will backfire and have you struggling with decreased brain performance.

What’s the science behind this strange phenomenon? The word you’re looking for is high glycemic load. This term refers to how fast your body transforms food into glucose during the digestive process. While carbs come in the form of white pasta or bread, your body will treat them like it does sugar.

High glycemic load foods are closely associated with increased blood pressure, worse anxiety, and poor brain performance. On the other hand, low glycemic load foods are considered quite healthy for your brain! Since oatmeal or wheat doesn’t convert to sugar as quickly, your body and brain feel much better as a result.

When you work hard to reduce carbs, increase nootropics, and manage alcohol, you’ll be amazed at how much sharper your mind becomes!

Microwavable Foods

This section will be tough to read if you regularly rely on the microwave for quick meals. While it’s okay to do the occasional quick meal using this method, we don’t recommend it for your brain health!

The microwave is notorious for stripping your food of its essential nutrients and minerals. The heating process may also expose you to additional chemicals in the plastic wrapping. If you want to heat or reheat your food, we recommend using a conventional oven or a toaster oven. Keep a quality thermometer on hand so you can check the internal temperature of your food.

It’s important to note that microwaves don’t cause harmful radiation. Nonetheless, try to get the most nutrients out of your food possible by making homemade meals or using conventional ovens.

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B Vitamins

There are two that are specifically vital for brain health, B6 and B12.

Vitamin B6 is also known as Pyridoxine. B6 enhances processes in the brain and encourages the generation of neurotransmitters. 

Neurotransmitters are chemical couriers or messengers who relay messages from neurons, or brain cells, to another until the message sent by the brain connects with a function or body part.  

Some research suggests that B6 can slow memory loss. 

You can find B6 in legumes, bananas, sunflower seeds, eggs, and supplements.

Your brain and body require B12 to efficiently generate red blood cells and keep maintenance of your central nervous system. But medical research suggests that people with low levels of B12 are more likely to develop memory loss problems and dementia.

You can get B12 via fortified breakfast cereals, animal proteins like fish, meat, poultry, dairy products, and eggs.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

 Salmon teriyakiki dish.

Omega-3 fatty acids or polyunsaturated fats are only found in fatty fish and fish oil supplements.

There are two primary kinds of omega-3 fatty acids - DHA and EPA. 

DHA and EPA are only found in fatty fish and fish oil supplements.

Omega-3 fatty acids are scientifically proven to enhance blood flow to the brain. And enhanced blood flow to the brain increases cognitive function. 

Fish is often called brain food because of this fact. People with cognitive function decline, memory loss, and depression may benefit from taking omega-3 fatty acids.

But omega-3 fatty acids don’t automatically make you smart; they might make becoming smarter easier if you strive to become more intelligent. 

Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • Atlantic mackerel
  • Cod
  • Herring
  • Canned tuna
  • Lake trout
  • Sardine
  • Salmon

Eat fish in moderation due to mercury concerns. Mercury is a neurotoxin responsible for a number of health issues such as kidney damage, heart disease, and neurological deficiencies. Choosing organic fish will reduce your possible exposure to this neurotoxin. Wild fish have a higher probability of having levels of mercury in their body.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E may reduce and slow down memory loss, especially in senior citizens. And some research says that vitamin E may help those suffering from Alzheimer’s.

You can get Vitamin E from nuts, seeds, spinach, broccoli, and vegetable-based cooking oils.

Other Vitamins

Vitamins A and C have been shown to assist in the slowing of cognitive decline and the start of dementia.

You can get your dose of vitamin A from eggs, liver, dairy products, and fatty fish. You can get vitamin C from red, yellow, orange, and green fruits and vegetables. 

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba, or the maidenhair tree, is a species of tree that is native to China. And it is an ancient species of tree that is almost 300 million years old.

The brain-boosting supplement Gingko Biloba is made from the leaves of the tree. The supplement is said to enhance blood flow to the brain and cognitive function and improve overall memory.

Middle-aged and healthy senior citizens who take a Ginkgo Biloba supplement once a day for day few months may see noticeable results.

Always take Gingko Biloba under a doctor’s supervision.

Huperzine A

Huperzine A is a chemical found in the Fir Club or Chinese Club Moss plant.

Huperzine A is believed to increase levels of acetylcholine in the human body. Acetylcholine is a chemical that has been found to treat or moderate mental conditions and brain diseases that degrade thinking, cognitive function, and memory.

Huperzine A may help people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s.

You can take it as a dietary supplement but consult a doctor first.

Acetyl-L-carnitine

Acetyl-L-carnitine is a chemical that is naturally generated in the human body, but it is also made in a synthetic supplement form. 

Acetyl-L-carnitine as a supplement can be used to ease symptoms of Alzheimer’s in older people. And it can also be used to improve memory and cognitive thinking.

Caffeine

 Closeup images of coffee beans.

Caffeine is a plant-derived stimulant that is used to stimulate the mind and central nervous system.

A good jolt of caffeine from coffee or an energy drink can make you hyper-alert, jittery, and mentally aware.

Caffeine reduces drowsiness and can make your memories seem sharper.

Just don’t overdo it. Too much caffeine is associated with a number of memory problems and concentration issues. Likewise, people with caffeine sensitivities may feel nauseous or anxious when consuming the chemical. Pay close attention to your body so you can reap benefits, not negatives!

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a shrub native to India. 

Ashwagandha supplements have been proven to enhance cognitive function and memory.

Check with a doctor before taking this supplement, as it is not safe for everyone.

Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri, also known as Brahmi, thyme-leaved gratiola, water hyssop, and herb of grace, is an ancient herbal remedy found in the wetlands of every major continent.

Scientific studies have shown that Bacopa Monnieri enhances cognitive function, enhances memory, and boosts basic brain functions,

Rhodiola

Rhodiola Rosea is an ancient plant that grows in the arctic tundras of Europe, North America, and Asia.

It is an ancient plant that has long been used to increase bodily energy and boost cognitive function.

Some scientists consider Rhodiola to be a natural nootropic. Nootropics are a class of experimental supplements and drugs that are specifically designed to enhance, improve, and one day even augment cognitive functions.

Keep This in Mind When Using Brain Boosters

Brain boosting foods and supplements are not an instant curative for what ails you.

Many brain-boosting food and supplements are still undergoing extensive medical research to verify their long-term effectiveness.

Consult with a doctor before using a brain-boosting supplement. Many brain booster supplements must be exactingly dosed according to your medical history, health, and weight. And some are only supposed to be taken for several weeks at regular intervals.

If you’re already taking supplements or medication for mental health, make sure you tell your doctor. Certain medications may reduce the efficiency of your brain boosters or even make you feel worse. Likewise, drinking alcohol or caffeine regularly may impact your brain’s ability to enjoy the benefits.

Last Words

Brain boosters work to a short extent. They won’t improve your memory instantly.

You should stay mentally active every day. Read. Learn another language. 

Learn how to read music and then master an instrument. 

Stay engaged in mental activities that keep your brain active and trigger neuroplasticity. (Neuroplasticity is the brain actively rewiring itself to adjust to learning new skills and activities.)

The best way to improve the viability of brain boosters is to work with them and challenge yourself cognitively every day.

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