an Alternative to Natural Health
Nature's Sunshine Products
Feed Your Brain and Increase Your Intelligence
A myth many people have is that your intelligence is something that was "set" by your genetics and there is nothing you can do to increase your brain power. The fact is that unless you have some kind of organic brain damage, the idea that you were born "smart" or "stupid" is absolutely false. The fact is that you can increase your intelligence when you feed your brain right.
It is true that different people have different aptitudes, that certain subjects are easier to master than others. This does not mean people are born with a "fixed" amount of intelligence. Whatever your IQ, you have the capacity to boost your brain power and increase your intelligence if you feed your brain with good nutrition and information.
You Are A Genius!
There are many different aptitudes and aptitude testing suggests that everyone is a genius in at least one area. Public education focuses on a very limited number of these aptitudes, which can make certain people feel "dumb" because they didn't do well in the areas that school emphasizes.
If you didn't feel very "smart" in school, just remember that many of the greatest geniuses including Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison did very poorly in public school.
Learning is associative, the more you learn, the more you increase your capacity to learn. Besides feeding your brain with good nutrition, it's a good idea to be continually learning something new. Anytime you start learning something new, it increases the number of neural connections in your brain and makes you smarter.
When you get off of the standard American diet that is loaded with sugar, refined carbohydrates, processed fats and oils, A junk food diet creates a junk food brain and body, while a healthier diet will give you a clearer, more alert and healthier mind.
Food for Thought
Body builders take extra protein and nutrients to help them build their muscles, because the right diet and nutritional supplements can enhance athletic performance. Why is the brain any different?
When you're "working out" or "learning something new" to build your mental muscle, shouldn't you think about optimum nutrition for the mind? The brain simply functions better when you give it the right raw materials to work with in the first place.
Your brain is the most chemically sensitive organ in your body and nutritional problems tend to show up in your thoughts and mood before they show up as physical illness.
Get Water on the Brain
Your brain is 70% water and is very sensitive to dehydration. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger problems like fuzzy short-term memory and trouble with basic math. Dehydration can make it difficult for you to focus on a printed page or a computer screen. Start your journey to a better brain by drinking adequate quantities of pure water.
Become a Fat Head
If you remove the water from the brain 50% of what is left is fat. That's why children who receive plenty of good fats in the womb and earlier childhood have better brain development. The bottom line is that low fat diets are harmful to the brains of both developing children and adults.
You need the right kinds of fats to become a smart "fat head". What your brain primarily needs is more Omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are deficient in most American diets. One of these omega-3 fatty acids is DHA, the most abundant phospholipid in the brain. It is highest in the frontal cortex and critical to the developing brains of infants.
Deficiencies in DHA result in reduced learning ability in both infants and adults. Low levels result in a reduction of brain serotonin levels, which can lead to depression. Deficiencies have been associated with ADHD and Alzheimer's disease.
To be smart increase your intake of DHA and other good fats. Deep ocean-fish and grass fed meats are good sources of brain healthy fats. So are dark green leafy vegetables, omega-3, eggs and certain nuts and seeds (like walnuts, macadamia nuts, flax seeds and hemp seeds). Consider supplements like DHA, Krill Oil, Super Omega-3 EPA and Flax Seed Oil.
Is It Time to Change Your Genes?
Your intelligence isn't predetermined at birth. That's because your diet and lifestyle actually regulate how your genes express themselves. A new science called epigenetics shows that the body has markers (epigenome) that switch genes on or off. This means that a healthy diet or lifestyle can improve the way your genetics express themselves. An unhealthy lifestyle will adversely affect your genetics expression.
The amazing part of this discovery is that epigenetic information is transmitted to your offspring. This means that if you eat well and develop your brain with ongoing learning, you'll improve your own brain power and help your children be smarter.
The February 2009 Journal of Neuroscience published a paper showing that memory can be improved from one generation to the next via epigenetics. Mice with genetic memory problems were exposed to a learning rich environment (toys, exercise and extra tension) and the mice showed improvement in long-term memory formation. Their offspring also showed improvement even though they didn't get the extra attention. (Why Your DNA Isn't Your Destiny by John Cloud, Time Magazine, Jan 6, 2010)
A book about this concept called The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything you've Been Told About Genetics, Talent, and IQ Is wrong by David Shenk. If you start taking better care of your brain (nutritionally and otherwise), it won't just benefit you, it will benefit fut.
Amino Acids Aid Intelligence
Brain cells talk to each other by sending messages via chemicals called neurotransmitters. All neurotransmitters are built from amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Low fat and protien diets reduce your brain power. Without adequate levels of amino acids from proteins, you brain cells can't communicate properly with each other.
Studies have shown that children, who start the day with breakfast that contains high protein foods like eggs, perform better in school than children who eat sugar-sweetened breakfast cereals. It's the same for adults.
This doesn't mean you need to eat bacon and eggs for breakfast to stay smart, but it does mean you should have some kind of high quality protien at the beginning of your day. Try a protein shake or fruit smoothie made with a protein powder like Love and Peas or SmartMeal.
A great supplement to get more amino acids is Super Algae. This product is a blend of spirulina, blue-green algae and chlorella are a great vegetarian sources of amino acids. Super Algae tends to balance blood sugar levels, increase energy, stabilize mood and increase mental clarity.
B Vitamins are an A+ for Your Brain
Synthesizing neurotransmitters from amino acids takes other nutrients, particularly B vitamins. They are found naturally in most complex carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. They are missing from refined carbohydrates like white sugar, white flour and white rice, which is why most Americans aren’t getting enough B's to keep their brain working at the A+ level.
To better the "grade" your brain gets take B-Complex or Nutri-Calm. These formulas supply B vitamins that will calm your nerves and clarify your thoughts. Nutri-Calm will reduce your stress level, help you feel calmer and give you better energy at the same time.
B vitamins are important for the epigenome that marks whether genes should be turned on or off. B vitamins can help you change your genes, too.
Ban Sugar for a Better Brain
If you want a clear, sharp mind it's best to avoid refined carbohydrates like refined sugar and white flour products. These foods spike your blood sugar and then allow it to drop dramatically a couple of hours later. This is bad for the brain, since the amount of sugar reaching your brain affects your memory, focus and mental clarity.
When your blood sugar is too high, your brain is over stimulated, which will make you hyperactive and irritable. You'll feel agitated, excitable, restless and have difficulty concentrating. When your blood sugar is too low, your brain won't function properly. You'll feel sluggish and lethargic or angry and irrational.
Eat complex carbohydrates like fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains for breakfast instead of processed cereals, white toast, pancakes or waffles (covered with sugar-laden jam or syrup) and fruit juices. Complex carbohydrates will give you a more stable brain, which will make your mind clear and sharp instead of muddled and confused.
If you crave sugar use Xylitol as a sweetener instead of refined sugar. It doesn't spike your blood sugar and helps reduce carbohydrate cravings. You can take Licorice root to help stabilize your blood sugar levels and reduce sugar cravings. Healthy Gum: Cinnamon, Peppermint, Spearmint or Green Tea and Mints: Berry, Lemon and Peppermint with Xylitol.
Want to Learn Faster and Remember Better?
Make Learning Fun and Stress Free!
You will readily see that learning is a game for young children. It's something that is natural and fun. The rewards and punishments parents and schools tend to introduce to "encourage" learning interferes with memory and ability to learn. Here's why:
The hypothalamus is the "switching station' in our brain. It determines what information should be placed into long-term memory. When an experience is unpleasant, the hypothalamus resists storing the memory of that experience. It transfers information to memory that is fun, entertaining and unusual. The truth is that the way children learn in kindergarten and preschool is the way we should be learning our whole lives.
The problems you encounter is that certain subjects may simply be the result of a teacher who made that subject unpleasant for you. Think of how much more you remember information where you had teachers that made learning exciting and fun.
You can take advantage of this whenever you want to learn something new. Make a game out of it. Use bright colored markers to write things down, put some enjoyable (not distracting) music on in the background and make crazy and fun mental pictures to attach new ideas to. The more fun you make the learning process, the easier you'll commit the new information to memory.
If trying to learn something makes you feel stressed, try taking an adaptogen like Eleuthero or Suma Combination an hour or two before studying. Adaptogens reduce the output of stress hormones, which have been shown to improve both physical and mental performance.
Herbal Brain Boosters
Ginkgo TR improves alpha-wave activity in the brain and helpd with absentmindedness, confusion and dizziness. It has been shown to help prevent cognitive decline in the elderly.
Gotu Kola has been widely used in Indian medicine as a nerve tonic in the treatment of mental and nervous ailments such as epilepsy, schizophrenia and memory loss. Gotu kola contains theobromine, which helps increase oxygen to the brain promoting greater mental capacity and vitality. "An elephant never forgets?" Tradition suggests that it's because elephants like gotu kola.
Mind Max Supports brain function, memory and concentration. Mind-Max contains magnesium l-threonate plus gotu kola aerial parts, bacopa leaf and ginkgo leaf—herbs well-known to benefit circulation and brain health—for a powerful brain boost. Between the ages of 20 and 90, the average person loses 5–10% of his/her brain weight, with an accompanying loss in memory, attention and other cognitive functions.
Rosemary Essential Oil or in HSN-W an antioxidant herb that protects the brain. The traditional phrase "rosemary for remembrance" shows its reputation as an herb to enhance mental clarity. It enhances acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter involved in memory.
Sage enhances acetylcholine. Its traditional use as a memory-enhancing herb is part of the reason a wise person is called sage. Available as Clary Sage Essential Oil too. Both rosemary and sage are found in the herbal formula HSN-W which is traditionally used for improving hair, skin and nails, but helps the nervous system and memory.
Brain Protex is a formula designed to supply nutrients to enhance the production of acetylcholine. It contains antioxidants, which help to protect the brain from free radical damage and inflammation.
Bacopa contains the memory boosting compounds bacopaside-A and bacopaside-B well known antioxidants that help protect the brain's memory centers from free radical damage. It increases the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which means it helps promote better memory, reaction times and learning during stressful periods. It helps slow aging and degeneration of the brain. Included in Mind Max and Focus Attention formulas.
Focus Attention was formulated to help calm overactive mental activity. It contains ingredients to enhance acetylcholine and can be helpful with overcoming forgetfulness, being easily distracted, lack of concentration, hyperactivity and impatience. It encourages restful, balanced mental activity and promotes decision-making and task completion.