3 Brain Ingredients to Blow Your Mind
July 19, 2021
In This Healthy Insight:
Most of us notice occasional forgetfulness or slower thinking as we age, but how much is “normal?” Before we answer that, let’s first review how your brain works.
Why is brain health important?
Your brain only weighs about three pounds, yet it is your most important organ. Its three main parts, the cerebrum, cerebellum and brain stem, are nourished with blood and oxygen with each heartbeat.
The real work of the brain goes on at the cellular level. Your brain contains more than 100 billion cells, and among these brain cells, nerve cells, called neurons, are the most important. These neurons specialize in transmitting information by sending out signals to thousands of other cells at the rate of 200 miles per hour. Some neurons help us think, learn, and remember, while others are involved in our senses – hearing, speaking, smelling – or in our ability to move our bodies.
These neurons branch out to connect more than 100 trillion points, which scientists call a “neuron forest.” Neurons connect to one another at synapses where a tiny burst of chemicals called neurotransmitters is released. It’s at the neuron and neurotransmitter level that serious memory issues start to occur. And you can see why. With so much going on, a lot can go wrong.
Ingredients that may help a healthy brain
What does ginseng do for my brain?
Ginseng is a short, slow-growing plant and one of the most popular medicinal herbs in the world. There are 11 different varieties including the American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng). Panax meaning “heal-all” or “panacea.”
Different varieties offer different health benefits. Typically American ginseng is thought to be milder than the Asian variety. The root is what gives ginseng its power due to the active ingredient called ginsenosides. Some potential benefits include:
- Promotes mental relaxation
- Fosters sharper focus
- Supports short-term boost to concentration and learning
- Combats stress
- Encourages well-being
What does Choline do for my brain?
Choline is considered an essential nutrient because it’s required for vital bodily functions and overall health. It is a water-soluble compound, meaning it needs to be replenished regularly. Although your liver makes small amounts, most choline needs to come from your diet. Food sources include beef, liver, egg yolks, chicken breasts and broccoli.
Your body uses choline to produce acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter for the brain and nervous system. Choline is involved in memory, focusing, concentration, and learning.
What does Acetyl-L-Carnitine do for my brain?
In your body, acetyl-L-carnitine is made from L-carnitine where both play a role in helping the body turn fat into energy. Food sources include meat, fish, poultry and milk. Widely available in supplement form by itself or in a blend with other brain-supporting ingredients, acetyl-L-carnitine is popular for:
How do memory practices help my brain?
Brain games like crossword puzzles, chess or online games and apps can improve attention to detail and ability to concentrate short-term which also benefits long-term memory as well. Keeping the brain active and alert is an important aspect of brain health. These activities stimulate the development of new nerve cells connections and may encourage new cell generation.
Other brain tips
Here are some other ways to keep your brain fit and firing away.
Manage chronic conditions – Brain health can be impaired by blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. Make and keep regular screenings with your doctor to keep these issues under control.
Stay active – Not only does regular exercise strengthen muscles and help weight management it also increases the network of blood vessels in your brain, offering protection against a number of serious health issues.
Eat right – Choose fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid sugary, processed foods.
Quit smoking – You’ve heard it before. Smoking is bad for you. And it doesn’t just affect your lungs. It has a profoundly negative effect on your heart and brain too.
Stay social – Individuals with strong social ties with friends and family tend to be healthier, have a better memory and even live longer.
Get quality sleep – It’s hard to concentrate and make it through the day without proper sleep. Aim for seven to nine hours each night.
For additional ways to support your brain, check out our array of vitamins, minerals and supplements now.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Individual results may vary.