People often ask me what the best things are that they can do to improve cognitive function. So let's talk about that.
The key point to realize is that our brain is like our body's motor. It consumes 10 times as much energy for its size as the rest of our body. So what we feed it determines whether it purrs like a Ferrari, or runs in fits and starts, leaving us with brain fog throughout the day.
Food for Thought (Pun Intended :-)
Below are excellent examples of foods that provide some of the key fuels that our brain needs.
One of the key memory molecules is called acetylcholine. To make this, our body requires that we take in about 500 mg of choline daily. Interestingly, when a woman doesn't have enough estrogen, as occurs during perimenopause and menopause, they are more likely to develop memory problems when they don't get enough choline. This can be aggravated by certain genetic defects and can be a major player in cognitive dysfunction. The solution? Simply eat one or two eggs a day. One egg supply 680 mg of choline. Be sure to eat the egg yolk, as this is the part that has the choline. More good news? Numerous studies have now shown that eating eggs does not increase cholesterol or increase risk of heart disease. In fact, eggs have been shown to be a very healthy food.
Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, sardines or mackerel are good sources of omega-3 oils. Most of our brain is made of the omega-3 oils found in fish.
Almonds and Fresh Veggies
B vitamins and magnesium are the key nutrients needed to produce energy. They can be found in whole unprocessed foods. Almonds, for example, are a good natural source of magnesium. And fresh veggies are a great for getting B vitamins.
Coffee and Tea
Up to 2 cups of coffee or tea along with up to an ounce of chocolate each day can have wonderful benefits for mental clarity.
Supplements that Fuel Your Brain
In terms of nutritional supplements, the key items that I recommend (and personally take myself) include:
Upwards of 90% of the oils in most fish oil products are not Omega-3's, and are more likely to be toxic than helpful. Because of that, I take one Vectomega tablet (by EuroPharma) each day. Vectomega is a non-fish oil form of Omega-3 that has been shown to be up to 50 times as effective as regular fish oils! A single small tablet replaces seven typical large fish oil pills.
The Energy Revitalization System multivitamin powder (by Enzymatic Therapy) supplies optimal levels of B vitamins, magnesium, amino acids (approximately 950 mg of tyrosine, which makes the important brain chemical called dopamine) and other nutrients needed to optimize brain function (including choline) in one low cost simple daily drink.
I add one scoop (5 g) of S.H.I.N.E.® D-Ribose powder to the multivitamin powder. I recommend taking it three times daily for the first six weeks. After that it can usually be reduced to 1-2 times a day. In our published study, ribose dramatically improved cognitive function in people with CFS and fibromyalgia by an average of 30%.
I also add CuraMed® 750 mg once a day for its overall brain and immune system benefits. The CuraMed® brand contains a patented formulation of curcumin, called "BCM-95® Curcumin," that dramatically outperforms other brands.
The best 30 seconds you can spend each day to boost your brain performance is to have a morning drink made with a scoop of Energy Revitalization System mixed with a 5 g scoop of S.H.I.N.E.® D-Ribose, followed by taking a single Vectomega tablet.
Cognitive Function "Intensive Care"
For those of you with CFS and fibromyalgia, after addressing the above your next step is to follow the overall S.H.I.N.E.® Protocol. This will help you with other issues caused by these illnesses, such as sleep, thyroid and adrenal function, orthostatic intolerance, and Candida and other infections. The free Energy Analysis Program is a simple 10 minute quiz that can tailor the S.H.I.N.E.® Protocol to guide you on your specific needs.