The aging population in the United States is growing rapidly. The projected number of people over the age of 65 will be roughly 80.4 million by the year 2050. This rapid increase of the aging population also raises the amount of people with cognitive impairment. As of 2015, roughly 6.7% of elderly people reported symptoms of declining cognition, including early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
This is not meant to depress you; rather, we present you with this information so that you can be aware. Additionally, you can start consuming certain foods and supplements that help to improve memory, productivity, and focus as you age. Nootropics are natural and synthetic compounds that encourage healthier brain function. Many beverages contain powerful nootropics, antioxidants, and probiotics that optimize the brain.
If you feel like you need to boost your brain power, start consuming the following beverages.
Beets are nutritional superstars. They help to cleanse the liver, but they also increase levels of nitric oxide, which is a blood gas that increases blood flow. What does that do for your brain, you ask? Nitric oxide signaling may affect the areas of your brain that are responsible for decision making, learning, and language. One study scanned the brains of test subjects before and after drinking beet juice. The scans found that there was more white matter, i.e. increased blood circulation, in the frontal lobe after drinking beet juice.
Green tea contains two powerful nootropic compounds: epigallocatechin (EGCG) and L-theanine. When you drink green tea, the EGCG enters the brain via the blood-brain barrier. This may help benefit the brain by combatting neurodegenerative diseases, but more research is needed on that matter. Typically, L-theanine works to promote relaxation, but the combination of L-theanine with the caffeine in green tea help to improve memory, focus, and attention.
According to research, having more healthy bacteria in the gut improves brain function. The gut-brain axis is a two-way line of communication that exists between the gut and brain. Biochemical signaling occurs between the nervous system in the digestive tract (the enteric nervous system) and the central nervous system, which includes the brain. The gut is often called “the second brain,” because it produces many of the same neurotransmitters as the brain does. To keep your gut healthy, you need to replenish it with probiotics, and kombucha has a lot of them. Made from green or black tea and fruit botanicals, kombucha is a great beverage to promote gut and brain health.
Nutritionists often refer to blueberries as “brain berries” because contain a lot of antioxidants that neutralize free radicals. When the body is overloaded with free radicals, it is more prone to cell damage. Researchers believe that the anthocyanins in blueberries, which give them their signature color, are largely responsible for their brain-boosting benefits. Similar to the antioxidants in green tea, the flavonoids in blueberries cross the blood-brain barrier, which enhances brain cell communication. In fact, some research found that those flavonoids may even promote the growth of healthy, new brain cells.
People praise carrots for their vitamin A content, which is a brain-boosting nutrient. According to several studies, increased oxidative stress in the body accelerates the rate of cognitive decline. Vitamin A, which the body converts into beta-carotene, helps to reduce oxidative stress and improve brain function. The brain benefits of carrots don’t stop there, though. People often overlook the potassium content in carrots, and potassium works to send more oxygen to the brain, helping it function better. When you don’t have sufficient oxygen supply to the brain, you’ll notice the side effects, which can worsen if the brain doesn’t receive sufficient oxygen.