Plants Have the Power to Save Our Brains

Most of human history has been focused on using our environment and creating tools that can allow us to survive. When it comes to our health and harnessing our environment for mental purposes, this has been no different. For many people who are using nootropics and cognitive enhancing substances, it is useful to consider how often plants have a role to play.

For most people, plants are one of the most important tools that we can use in order to improve our general abilities and definitely our cognitive markers. Finally, there are studies that show just how effective things can be for us if we use plants to achieve our goals.

Plant Based Nootropics (2 You Can’t Miss)

When it comes to nootropics based on plants, there are a lot of different options that we can choose from. There are plenty that are really effective for improving not just the standard stimulation that most people are going for, but also the deeper things like memory and creativity.

#1. Huperzine A – this is not to be trifled with as it is an extract of a plant and is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. This is fancy language for improving acetylcholine levels and thereby increasing memory and learning ability.

For many people who are trying to find a greater memory or simply stall the decline of their neurological connections, huperzine A is a great choice. The huperzine supplement is so effective that some people even use it as a basic treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

#2. Phosphatidylcholine –  don’t believe just because the name seems long and unnatural that this product is not from a natural source. The greatest source of phosphatidylcholine is from eggs and while this might not be a plant, it is better than the soy version that you can find in many products.

For many people, phosphatidylcholine can be helpful in order to improve levels of acetylcholine and thereby also improve memory. You can click here to learn more.

There are a ton of other supplements that you can use in order to improve your cognitive performance without going down the rabbit hole of unnatural synthetic drugs. While they are often harder to find research on if they don’t have a profit motive, at least make the attempt to try it for yourself and see what you can experience.

For many people who are utilizing these nootropics, it makes sense for you to improve mental performance in a natural way that is hopefully a lot safer than some of the other methods that you may have been exposed to in the past.

Top Nutrient Deficiencies

 

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Nutrition and health are two matters that are virtually inseparable. Not having the amount of vitamins and nutrients in one’s system can lead to serious diseases and health conditions with long-term ramifications. Of course, there are still a lot of people who do not understand how these things work.

This article seeks to clear things up by presenting readers with the most common nutrient deficiencies today. It gives particular attention to the Choline, Magnesium, and Vitamin D deficiency. It delves into how these could potentially impact one’s brain and overall well-being.

 

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Choline Deficiency

Choline is widely considered to be an essential macronutrient that plays a vital role in the everyday functions of the brain. It is primarily responsible for the brain’s elasticity and its ability to quickly respond to various stimuli.

Of course, it should be stated here that the medical community is still divided on the issue of just how much Choline should be consumed on a daily basis. Establishing a baseline has been proven to be especially difficult considering that the Choline needs of a person may sometimes vary.

However, this does not mean to say that the signs of choline deficiency are unclear. On the contrary, the symptoms of the condition itself have been well-established. In fact, numerous studies have also shown how Choline deficiency can increase one’s chances of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other conditions related to cognitive decline.

If you are curious about Choline deficiency, here are a couple of the signs that you need to look out for:

  • Memory loss
  • Low Energy Levels
  • Fatigue
  • Nerve Damage
  • Cognitive Decline
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Muscle Aches
  • Mood Swings

Considering the specific role that Choline plays in the body’s chemistry, it is wholly unsurprising that a shortage of the said chemical manifests itself in the ways presented above. After all, this particular nutrient is vital in terms of nerve signaling and neurotransmitter maintenance.

 

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Magnesium Deficiency

It may come as a surprise to most that Magnesium is actually an extremely important nutrient in terms of one’s brain health. This is because it plays a major role in regulating the brain’s Cortisol level through the transport of protein p-glucoprotein. The Magnesium ions also help regulate the production of neuronal nitric oxide.

Take note that all of these chemicals contribute, in one way or another, to a person’s stress levels. There are even studies that show the correlation between depression and magnesium deficiency. Not getting enough Magnesium could easily lead to neuronal damage, which could ultimately manifest as depression.

There have been studies that show how the increased intake of 125–300 mg of magnesium can have an overwhelmingly positive effect on a person’s mental health. For instance, by taking Magnesium supplements, depression patients have shown signs of recovery in a period of less than 7 days. The same study also shows the positive effects of this supplementation regimen for treating anxiety, traumatic brain injury, migraines, suicidal thoughts, insomnia and postpartum depression. In addition to that, it has helped patients get over their cocaine, alcohol, and tobacco addiction.

Needless to say, they have found that there is a strong chance that magnesium deficiency contributes largely to a wide array of mental health and brain related conditions. Other studies have also shown that it can help in terms of treating migraine headaches as well as cognitive decline.

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Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is perhaps most known as a crucial element to healthy bones. However, recent developments in the scientific community have shown that it is much more than that. Scientists have found that Vitamin D also plays a crucial role in the workings of the brain. This is because vitamin D receptors have been found scattered throughout the entire central nervous system and the hippocampus region of the brain.

There have been a number of studies which show how vitamin D helps control the enzymes in the brain which are most involved in the process of nerve growth. This is in addition to its purported importance in terms of protecting neurons and reducing inflammation.

These same studies show that low levels of vitamin D can be closely associated with cognitive impairment. This makes the vitamin all the more interesting for scientists, as cognitive impairment is a major symptom for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

 

 

How Sleep Benefits Cognition

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In the US alone, there are around 50 to 70 million individuals suffering from sleep disorders. 37.9% have unintentionally fallen asleep at least once in a month. It has also been reported that there are 4.7% cases of people who even slept while driving.

Insomnia in the US is the most common type of sleeping disorder.  This is a serious problem since sleep is a basic physiologic requirement of the body. Sleep is a necessity in order to help the body repair cells. In fact, sleep can also help improve cognition.

How exactly does sleep help individuals improve their overall brain functions including their cognitive functions?

Easier to process information

It is suggested by experts that you can make better decisions when you have slept well. In fact, you can never expect yourself to make the right decision when your mind is stressed and tired.

The brain can process information easier when you have slept well. Keep in mind that stimuli that your brain picks up ranges from auditory to visual to neurosensory. Once the brain is tired, it just can’t process everything all at once. Sleep is responsible for making an archive of these experiences.

Improvement of memory

What we don’t notice is that the mind is still busy even if you are sleeping. According to studies, sleeping improves consolidation of memories. This means that if you are going to learn something new, you can strengthen it by practice. According to studies, you will be able to further improve your learning and once you sleep.

One chemical that is produced during sleep is acetylcholine. This is involved during sleep and when you are dreaming. This is a chemical believed by experts that is responsible for creating memory.

One condition that affects a person’s memory is Alzheimer’s disease. According to some studies, it is possible to reduce the risk of having Alzheimer’s disease just by sleeping. And also, it is worth mentioning that acetylcholine is destroyed when a person starts developing Alzheimer’s disease.

But of course, there is always that possibility of preventing Alzheimer’s disease merely by sleeping. Once you sleep, the lymphatic system gets rid of the brain’s toxins. One protein that has been recycled during sleep is responsible for developing amyloid plaque which is a hallmark in brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

Improved attention

It has been established that sleeping can also help boost attention. It can even help keep you safe. In fact, it has been established that missing a couple of hours of sleep can already double your risk of car crash. In a research made by AAA foundation, missing one or two hours of sleep from the recommended 7 hours of sleep can already double the risk being involved in a car accident.

That is something that you should consider closely. Driving while sleep deprived even for just a couple of hours is just as dangerous as drunk driving. This is a study done on 7,234 drivers who were involved in 4,571 car accidents.

According to studies, chronic sleep deprivation can damage the neurons that are important for alertness and cognition. In fact, the damage can be permanent. It is also discovered that short sleep can result in brain shrinkage. It is believed that there are chemicals that are secreted in the brain during deep sleep that can help in the repair of the brain and even the rest of the body.

Improve Creativity

Another improvement that you will notice when you have enough sleep is your creativity. Sleep can help facilitate behavior and flexible reasoning. In a study, conducted on individuals woken from REM sleep, respondents had a 32% advantage on an anagram task. It also shows that there is a difference in the problem-solving mechanism when an individual just woke up from REM sleep. There is also a separate study wherein participants who went 32 hours without any sleep had a problem solving figural and verbal tests.

Getting enough sleep is a must. Not only it is a good idea to relax, it has also been proven that sleep can help individuals become healthier. Unfortunately, there are many reasons for a person to not have enough sleep. From the distractions that they usually get from gadgets that they bring to their bed to the stress that they are exposed to, these are just some common reasons why someone lacks sleep.

By making sure that you prioritize sleep, you will be surprised how you well can function the next day. You will also be surprised how more productive you could potentially become.

 

https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/what-happens-when-you-sleep