Dopamine is one of the neurotransmitters most associated with attention, which relates to memory. The more focused you are, the more likely you are to remember something. Sometimes the things you’ve ‘forgotten’ are things you never listened to in the first place).
Dopamine is also correlated with BDNF
“Bran Derived Neurotrophic Factor.” As we age, the rate at which are brains adapt and grow changes and this results in a poorer ability to learn new skills and ideas.
What you can consume to increase your dopamine levels, gain focus and enhance learning?
Good old caffeine! And perhaps by no coincidence. Caffeine consumption is also associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.
Many of these neurochemicals are made from simple amino acids. Amino acids are molecules that combine to form proteins.
The nine essential amino acids are tryptophan, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, methionine, lysine, phenylalanine, threonine, and valine. When protein is consumed, it’s broken down into amino acids in the gut.
Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks
This can not only help us to pick up new skills – to teach the old dog new tricks – but also to prevent us from falling into old, lazy thinking habits. One of the big issues here is the way we use our brain; as we get older we know more (we form more ‘crystallized intelligence’) which results in a reduced need to keep learning.
Decades of rehearsing the same thought patterns makes certain memories and ideas become deeply ingrained in our brain. Others are ‘cut off’ from the brain and left to wither and atrophy.
Use It Or Lose It
It’s important to keep the brain fueled with the right nutrients and ingredients. Learn to support that growth with the right nutrient regime or supplements.
So How Do You Do This?
The best answer is to eat a nutrient-dense diet. Examples of nutrient-dense foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free milk products, seafood, lean meats, eggs, peas, beans, and nuts. This can help to give you more mental energy, clarity and improve your mood.
The right nutrients can also help protect your brain from a lot of the wear and tear that it might be subjected to over time.
These are molecules that can react with the outside of cell walls causing damage and potentially even impacting the nucleus of your brain. Antioxidants like vitamin C can help to prevent this kind of damage. Omega 3 fatty acid can help to improve communication between cells by enhancing ‘cell membrane permeability.
If you’re starting to feel your grey matter slow down. Start eating more fruits, vegetables, salads, meats. If you’re not seeing results or you struggle to eat healthily, consider creating a nootropic ‘stack’ for yourself.
Make sure it contains the following:
Vitamin C (precursor to serotonin and an antioxidant)
Garlic (a natural vasodilator)
Creatine (boosts cellular energy)
CoQ10 and/or resveratrol (boosts cellular energy)
Vitamin B6 & B12 (for enhanced energy and better
L-Tyrosine & 5HT (a type of tryptophan – any amino acid supplement will work)
Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin D (these will also help with testosterone production in men)
Lutein (this will also help with vision)
Omega 3 Fatty Acid (improves cell-membrane permeability)
Guarana (a slow-releasing form of caffeine)
Try to avoid things that can actually damage the brain and exacerbate neurochemical imbalances/trigger deterioration. The worst culprits is alcohol.