Lutein has been long recognized for its ability to treat age-related macular degeneration but now research shows it might also have a positive effect on brain function.
According to ConsumerLab.com, researchers in Georgia had participants take a lutein supplement fortified with another antioxidant, zeaxanthin, and revealed that after a period of time the subjects enjoyed a 20% increase in vision processing, which helps with sports performance, driver safety, reading speed and cognitive function.
Another study showed the supplement combo improved overall memory performance, verbal memory and attention span. According to Healthline, supplements like lutein and zeaxanthin are called “nootropics” and have a beneficial effect on brain function in healthy people. Here are some other examples:
Fish oils. Supplements that include both DHA and EPA, two types of omega-3 fatty acids, are excellent brain food. The DHA helps maintain the integrity of the brain cells while EPA acts as an anti-inflammatory protecting your brain from free radical damage and aging. Dr. Ellen Kamhi, author of “The Natural Medicine Chest,” says if you choose to get your omega-3 fatty acids from fish, always select the wild variety instead of farmed which has more of the healthy fats.
Resveratrol. This anti-oxidant is found in the skin of red and purple fruits like blueberries, grapes and raspberries. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, taking resveratrol supplements for 26 weeks improved the memory of study subjects.
Caffeine. Johns Hopkins researchers did a study that demonstrated that this popular stimulant is a powerful memory booster. “We’ve always known that caffeine has cognitive-enhancing effects, but its effects on strengthening memories and making them resistant to forgetting has never been examined in detail in humans,” says Michael Yassa, senior author of the study.
Gingko Biloba. This is a very popular supplement that many folks use to boost their brain power, according to Healthline. It works by increasing the blood flow to the brain thereby improving its function. One study found that an extract of ginkgo biloba, known as EGb 761, was clinically effective in treating Alzheimer’s dementia according to Medical News Today.
S-Adenosyl Methionine. SAMe is a naturally occurring substance in your body which can help reduce the decline in brain function in some people. It is especially useful in people suffering from depression according to several studies. According to BrainMD, SAMe helps nerve cells make energy, maintain connectivity and generate mood-related neurotransmitters. In addition, there is some evidence from over 40 clinical studies that this supplement helps battle heart disease, migraines, Parkinson’s and other conditions.
Turmeric. Dr. Kamhi tells Newsmax that this Indian spice acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory which helps support brain health as well as ward off diseases such as cancer and diabetes. BrainMD says, despite the fact over 200 medication trials to reverse Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia have failed, curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to boost brain cell survival pathways and might also be able to help clear clumps of protein called amyloid-beta plaque from the brain.