Boost your mind and memory
What affects memory?
Stress: Prolonged stress raises cortisol (a stress hormone) which damages the brain.- after 2 weeks of raised cortisol levels the dendrite ‘ arms’ of the brain which reaches out to connect with other cells, start to shrivel up. The good news is that such damage is not permanent. If you can reduce your level of stress and anxiety you can decrease your cortisol levels. You need to cut back on stimulants such as tea, coffee or cigarettes and opt for something like ginseng, which halts the overproduction of corisol and improves the ability of the adrenal glands to respond to stress.
Oxidants: The natural by-product of metabolism damages brain cells. Taking anti-oxidants : Vitamin A, C, E, selenium and zinc protects against such damage. Boost your supply of acetylcholine. This is the key brain chemical for memory. It is derived from a nutrient called choline. Fish, egg, liver, soybeans, peanuts and other nuts are good sources of it. You don’t simply make acetylcholine by adding choline rich foods – you need vitamin B5 as well as B1, B12 and vitamin C. Choline not only makes acetylcholine, it is also vital for building nerve cells and the receptor sites for neurotransmitters. In other words, at the “ears” of the nerve cells. Once Choline reaches the brain it reduces anxiety and racing minds, improves concentration and learning and actas as a mild brain stimulant. It is a great natural mind and memory booster.
Omega 3 fats found in fish, called DHA and EPA have been shown in numerous well-controlled studies to improve concentration, mood and memory. The reason for this is that the higher your levels of DHA the higher your levels of acetylcholine and serotonin (a mood transmitter). The reason for that is that DHA builds receptor sites as well as improving reception. EPA makes information molecules that also tune up the brain and promote healthy brain function. You need to eat at least 100g of fish- preferably mackerel, herring, sardines, tuna or salmon, three times a week and take a good quality supplement that provides about 200mg-300mg DHA and EPA per day.
Ginko Biloba: is a herbal remedy for memory enhancement that has been used in the East for thousands of years. Research has shown that it improves short-term memory, slow thinking, depression, circulation of blood flow to the brain.
Ginseng seems to fire the action of ginko. It clears the mind and also helps to adapt to stressful situations as it balances the adrenal glands, which produces the stress hormones.
This Arctic Herb has been used for hundreds of years to boost mental alertness and help the body recover from mental and physical stress. It improves the body’s stress response by balancing stress hormones.
Vitamins and minerals:
Its official: multivitamins make you brainier. In dozens of studies supplementation improved IQ of participants significantly. Of all the vitamins and minerals B-vitamins have the most important role to play in ensuring optimal brain function because they’re vital for delivering oxygen to the brain and protecting it form harmful oxidants. They also turn glucose into energy within brain cells and help to keep neurotransmitters in circulation. They are in short the brain’s very best friends.
Action plan to Boost your mind and memory:
Eat fish three times a week, with preference for mackerel, herring, sardines, tuna or salmon.
Supplement a good all round multivitamin supplying optimal amounts of B-vitamins or take a good B-vitamin supplement
Take a DHA/EPA fish oil supplement.
Supplement with Rhodiola Rosea when energy levels are low or when you are writing exams or going through a highly stressed period
Increase intake of Lecithin in your diet. Good dietary sources of lecithin are eggs, liver, soy, beans and nuts.
Eat regularly. Every 3-4 hours you should have a meal or a snack. Make sure not to eat refined foods like biscuits, cakes, sweets and chocolates, which fluctuates blood sugar levels and influence concentration and energy levels.
Drink enough fluids but go slow on the coffees and hot chocolates. Also be careful of supplements that contain large amounts of caffeine as they increase the level of anxiety.
Get enough rest and exercise to clear your mind now and then.