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You May Have Heard About Superfoods, But What About Natural Nootropics?
The brain-boosting supplements set to be a huge trend in 2019.
Have you ever experienced one of those days where your brain just isn’t working? Perhaps you’ve hit the dreaded 3 pm slump and you’re practically ready to start snoozing at your desk (ahem...six cups of coffee a day is safe, isn’t it?). Or maybe you continually wake up in the morning with zero motivation and energy to get through the day.
Whatever the case, we bet you’re totally ready to get out of your Daria phase and become more like Bradley Cooper in Limitless—unbelievably focused, productive and working at your highest potential!
Enter: natural nootropics, supplements crafted to improve concentration and reduce brain fog and stress without any harmful or synthetic chemicals.
What is a natural nootropic?
Natural nootropics (sometimes referred to as ‘smart drugs’) are plant, herb and root extracts that can enhance your cognitive performance. Predicted to be one of the biggest health and wellness trends in 2019, these brain-boosting supplements have surged in popularity recently because of the biohacking movements in silicon valley.
But while the tech nerds are going nuts for the prescription stuff (like Adderall and Modafinil), the natural versions are popping up not only in capsules, but in elixirs, coffee and even snack bars. You can even get herbal ‘stacks’ (i.e. blends) that are designed to precisely match your personal DNA!
Some of the benefits of natural nootropics include:
- Enhanced learning and memory
- Improved focus, attention and mental alertness
- Increase in mood-boosting neurochemicals (e.g. dopamine)
- Better memory storage and recall
- A boost in energy levels
- Lower anxiety and depression symptoms
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved blood circulation
- Protection from damage and degeneration
Here are 3 of the most commonly used natural nootropics:
1. Rhodiola Rosea
A cell-healing flower from the wild Arctic.
Rhodiola Rosea (or Arctic Root) is a flowering plant found in the arctic regions and at high altitudes of Europe and Asia. Its root has been used in natural medicine in Russia and the Scandinavian countries for centuries.
Rhodiola is a cell-healing adaptogen, which means it helps to relieve stress, avert fatigue and improve physical and mental performance. Natural nootropic enthusiasts love Rhodiola for its ability to increase attention to detail-orientated tasks by improving concentration over a long period of time. Think: Red Bull or caffeine, but without the crazy jitters!
Rhodiola has also been used as an effective, natural treatment for anxiety and depression. Practitioners often call it the ‘magic bullet’ for mood, energy, stamina and concentration.
Rhodiola can reduce mental fatigue and improve performance on work-related tasks by 20%.
(International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology)
2. Ginkgo Biloba
An ancient Chinese memory enhancing tree.
Ginkgo Biloba (or Maidenhair) is a native Chinese tree, which is said to date back over 200 million years (aka the time of the dinosaurs!). It’s sometimes referred to as a ‘living fossil’ because it’s the only surviving member of an ancient order of plants. Sounds like something straight out of a magical forest in Lord Of The Rings, doesn’t it?
While it may not be enchanted, this natural nootropic certainly has some extraordinary benefits. People have long associated Ginkgo Biloba with memory improvement, enhanced cognitive function and increased blood circulation in the brain. Studies show it helps with attention, mood and processing speed. One reporteven states that Ginkgo Biloba extract can reduce symptoms of ADHD in children and teens.
An aquatic Ayurvedic herb named after the Indian God, Brahma.
Bacopa Monnieri (orBrahmi) is a therapeutic herb and a staple in traditional Ayurvedic medicine in India. While Brahmi is a succulent, it’s not the type of plant that you can pop on your coffee table and water just twice a year. In fact, it’s actually an aquatic plant that many fish-keepers use in their aquariums!
Like Rhodiola, Brahmi acts as an adaptogen and helps to prevent the chemical and physical effects of stress (instead of just suppressing them like many modern antidepressants). As a natural nootropic, it’s gaining popularity as a powerful memory and cognition booster. One study reports better word recall, attention, memory scores and focus after just 12 weeks of using it!
“It kind of feels like that moment when the caffeine from my coffee hits—suddenly I’m more awake and able to concentrate. But nootropics are superior to coffee since that same feeling of wakefulness and focus lasts for an entire day. What’s more, I can take them regularly without side effects.”
If you’re just getting into natural nootropics, or are looking for a new supplement to add to your collection, this is just a very small selection of supplements to try out. Other popular natural nootropics includeLion’s Mane, L-Theanine, Huperzine A, Tyrosine, Citicoline, Acetyl-l-carnitine, Vinpocetine, and more!
We have an amazing range of all-natural, brain-boosting supplements at Nutrient Avenue. Check them out here.