12 Vitamins & Compounds That Can Improve Cognitive Function

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Since cognitive function is vital in performing any task proficiently, it’s crucial to take care of your brain health. It is typical for cognitive function to decrease as part of the natural aging process; however, there are certain things you can do to help improve any declines in brain ability and slow down the natural loss of memory, information processing or decision-making.

How can I improve my cognitive function?

To improve your cognitive abilities, it’s best to start with some simple changes. There are a variety of different tasks or tools you can implement to boost your brain’s abilities and function. Mental stimulation is one of the most important factors when it comes to boosting cognitive function – that old cliché, ‘If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it’, applies to several brain abilities.

Ongoing mental stimulation will help improve connections between nerve cells within the brain and may also have the ability to help the brain regenerate. Reading, furthering education through things like courses and word and math puzzles, and even undertaking artistic endeavors such as painting or crafting can provide the mental stimulation you need.

Physical exercise can also help improve cognitive function. More exercise creates more oxygen-rich blood transfer to the brain. It also increases synapses, which results in a more efficient brain altogether.

What foods improve cognitive function?

Food is a simple tool that all people can use to help boost brain function. Some foods reign supreme when it comes to helping cognitive abilities, and incorporating these foods into a healthy diet can lead to an increase in brain health and a decline in the risk of cognitive disorders such as dementia.

Fatty fish

Fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Fat is vital for brain health and therefore, in maintaining cognitive function. Other than fatty fish, several plant-based oils, specifically linseed and rapeseed oil, have beneficial fatty acid ratios and noteworthy omega-3 content.

It has also been shown that omega-3 can lessen the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the slow mental decline that often comes with age. One particular study found that when people had a diet full of fish, the grey matter in their brains was found in higher amounts. Since grey matter is behind decision-making, memory and emotion control, omega-3 is vital to overall brain health.

 

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Image by Harris Vo on Unsplash: Eating fatty fish can lead to a boost in memory and learning abilities.

Blueberries

Research has shown that eating blueberries can help cognitive function because they are full of antioxidants that can contribute to the protection of neurons from oxidative stress. These tasty berries have the ability to help ward off short-term memory decline.

Turmeric

Turmeric might be on the current list of ‘fad’ spices, but it’s all for good reason. Curcumin, the active ingredient in the yellow spice, has been investigated for its numerous health effects and benefits. It provides the cells with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Turmeric has been linked to improved memory, lessened depression, and brain cell growth.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are jam-packed with minerals that the body needs to maintain and improve cognitive function. They also have antioxidants that protect the body and brain from damage by way of free radicals.

The nutrients in pumpkin seeds that give them their brain-boosting power are zinc, magnesium, copper and iron. Zinc is required for proper nerve signalling; magnesium provides a boost to learning and memory; and copper helps control nerve signals, while a lack of iron can lead to brain fog.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is full of different compounds that can help boost brain health, such as flavonoids, caffeine and antioxidants. The flavonoids in dark chocolate set up shop in the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory; they also help to ward off age-related mental decline.

 

What supplements help cognitive function?

Sometimes it can be difficult to get everything you need through diet alone. That’s where supplements come in. When you’re worried about brain function or just want to be more apt in regard to your cognitive ability, there are a few good supplements that can help boost brain function.

Fish oil

Fish oils contain two types of the omega-3 fatty acids mentioned above. The two omega-3s in question are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). DHA helps to maintain the structure of the brain as well as its function, and EPA has been linked to improvements in mental illnesses such as depression. Although mental illness isn’t always linked to cognitive dysfunction, having a mental illness can cause some symptoms of cognitive decline.

Acetyl-L-carnitine

L-carnitine is naturally produced and is a vital component in metabolism and energy production. Research has shown that people who took acetyl-L-carnitine supplements experienced more alertness, an improved memory, and the slowing of age-related memory loss.

Some studies have also found that this supplement may positively influence the onset of certain cognitive diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, or improve the function in the brain for those who have already been diagnosed with these conditions.

Ginkgo biloba

This powerful herb has the ability to increase blood flow to the brain, which helps to improve focus, memory and thinking skills. Some studies have suggested that the regular use of ginkgo biloba can also slow the natural cognitive decline that comes with age.

 

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Image by Jerry Wang on Unsplash: Ginkgo biloba is derived from the ginkgo biloba tree and can help with focus, memory and thinking skills.

Resveratrol

Resveratrol can help to prevent the deterioration of the part of the brain known as the hippocampus, which is associated with memory.

What can be important supplements for focus and concentration?

In today’s busy world, distractions are a dime a dozen. Being able to focus and concentrate on the task at hand has never been more difficult. Fortunately, there are a few effective supplements that can help improve your focus and keep you productive.

B vitamins

B vitamins affect a significant number of functions within the body, and boosting concentration and focus is just one of their many benefits.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 has a hand in how the brain’s signals are fired. It can help boost focus and concentration because of the effects it has on healthy nerve functioning in the body and brain.

Featured image by Siora Photography on Unsplash