Stroke of genius

Natural ways to supplement your brain’s brawn

By Leslie T. Snadowsky

Where would Agatha Christie’s fictional detective Hercule Poirot be without his superior “little grey cells,” or physicist Albert Einstein without his colossal cerebral capacity, or Hollywood actress Geena Davis without her Mensa membership card? 

When it comes to getting ahead in the intelligence-quotient arena, you’re either born with it or need a boost of brain power. Try accelerating your acuity by ingesting these noodle-nurturing supplements.

Sounds fishy

Who would equate eating oily fish with being a brainaic? Someone smart, I guess, because the omega-3 fatty acids it contains reels in the benefits. But if you aren’t hooked on the idea of eating anchovies, herring and sardines, try a fish oil supplement loaded with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Fatty acids can improve your brain health and function, and their anti-inflammatory properties can stave off the brain-draining effects of aging.

Wine not?

Relaxing with a glass of red wine and a box of bonbons could be the smartest thing you could do. They both contain an antioxidant called resveratrol, as do red and purple fruits like raspberries, blueberries and grapes and even peanuts. It acts as a memory booster and can help prevent insulin resistance, heart disease and cancer. Most resveratrol supplements attain their acumen from an Asian plant called Polygonum cuspidatum.


Creatine is an essential amino acid found in meat, fish and eggs and is naturally found in the muscles and the brain. It helps with your energy metabolism, and its supplements are far more potent than what your body can produce in a day. Not only can it improve cognition and brain health, this crafty correlative is also a mastermind at strengthening bones and slowing the progression of aging skin. 

Jolt to the system

Anyone in quest of a “caffeine high” knows what they’re after – more energy and intellectual stimulation. Found in coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks and dark chocolate, caffeine shoots a jolt to the nervous system that can help anyone get through a boring business meeting or stay awake when doing work on a red-eye flight. It’s the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug, but you better mind your dosage. Too much caffeine can give you the jitters.

Herbal wisdom

It’s fun to say, and it packs a punch to your noggin. Ginkgo Biloba is an herbal supplement containing antioxidants that power your psyche by improving blood flow to the brain. Studies have shown it also can hone your thinking skills, improve your memory and reduce age-related mental decline. Ginkgo extract is also known to reduce anxiety, treat depression and improve asthma.


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