Go Mag Issue 68 | Digital Version


Guard Your Brain Health

Nootropics is a medical term used to define a variety of substances that support and enhance cognitive function, thinking, learning and memory. Nootropics include some medicinal prescription drugs and an increasing number of natural substances, primarily antioxidant nutrients, amino acids and herbs. Here are the ones to look for. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) A staple of Ayurveda, the centuries-old healing tradition practised in India, ashwagandha improves psychological balance and wellbeing by increasing cognitive ability, improving sleep Cutting-edge research into nootropic nutrients and herbs shows that they improve cognition, memory and mental alertness.

adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the brain, which boosts the transfer of energy, blood and oxygen to all cells in the body. This action also has benefits for heart and brain health, with small-scale studies suggesting a potential role in recovery from brain injuries. As an adaptogenic herb, cordyceps regulates mood disorders, stress and anxiety. Folic acid Folic acid is probably best known for its ability to prevent birth defects; however, a growing body of research points to its critical role in nervous system health, especially in supporting brain health and both short- and long-term memory. There is also evidence of its importance to the ageing brain, especially in mental and emotional balance and motor function. Nutrient-dense greens, such as alfalfa, wheatgrass and spinach, are all excellent sources of folic acid. Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) This medicinal mushroom is rich in antioxidants and plays a role in regulating cortisol levels which rise during stressful periods, as well as having been shown to have potent effect on cognitive function and memory and increasing overall vitality and energy and having a mild pain-relieving effect. Research shows that taking lion’s mane boosts Long used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve brain function, reduce brain fatigue and speed recovery from illness and debility, this is an adaptogenic herb, which means that it helps the body to adapt to stress and maintain mental focus during difficult times. Contemporary research has proven that it does improve mental function, possibly due to its anti-inflammatory action, which protects the brain from oxidative stress. reaction time, alertness, and focus. Ginseng (Panax ginseng)

quality, and sharpening focus. Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis)

A neuroprotective mushroom, this works to minimise damage to the brain caused by oxidation, which increases with age, and to fight mental fatigue, improve learning capacity and memory,

and to support overall mental health and brain function. Cordyceps also improves physical stamina and performance by increasing the production of


ISSUE 68 • 2023

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