An important piece of healthy living is healthy eating. There are incredible benefits to having a nutrient-dense diet, but sometimes, our bodies need a little boost.

This is where supplements come in — they can help fill a nutritional gap you may have, and help you live a healthier, happier life. When you’re not getting the correct nutrients to support your brain, your neurons become impaired and slow down. This can cause lethargy and lack of focus — even forgetfulness.

Not all supplements are created equal. Always be cautious when purchasing supplements, as misrepresentation or unsupported medical claims can trick even the savviest consumer. Do a little research and compare various companies’ prices, and make sure there is a money-back guarantee, as well as transparent third-party testing results.

When your brain is getting proper nutrients, you’ll notice how focused and alert you feel. It feels good to feel good! Let’s take a look at five brain-boosting supplements.

Omega-3s

Omega-3s are one of the most popular over-the-counter supplements. They’re well-known for myriad skin and cardiovascular benefits and are touted for their positive effects on the brain. For example, in this study, subjects took 800 mg of Omega-3s daily for 24 weeks, and the results showed improved brain function.

You can get Omega-3s by eating fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna, or soybeans and nuts. But if you don’t eat fish or nuts daily, taking a high-quality Omega-3 supplement might be your best bet.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is sometimes referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” and has revealed promising results during clinical studies for its effect on the brain. Two notable studies performed at the University of Manchester concluded that older adults with significant vitamin D deficiency had slower information-processing times and poor performances on cognitive mental tests compared with older adults who had sufficient vitamin D.

Medical professionals generally recommend taking 1,000-2,000 IU of vitamin D daily for the average adult, which is roughly equivalent to soaking up the sun’s rays three times a week for 30 minutes. But before you start taking extra vitamin D, check with your physician to ensure you’re taking the right amount.

L-theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves and certain mushrooms. It has relaxation and stress-reduction properties and is commonly combined with melatonin in a variety of sleep supplements. Many people find L-theanine a powerful and effective supplement to help with sleep and anxiety. At the same time, some enjoy the combination of L-theanine and caffeine because they feel it increases focus and alertness.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Lion’s mane

Lion’s mane is a large mushroom that may help alleviate mild to moderate depression and anxiety. It’s commonly found in powder form, but some natural health food stores and holistic practitioners carry the whole, raw mushroom. Lion’s mane has also shown promise in recent scientific studies for protecting against the development of certain neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease.

Taurine

Taurine is an amino sulfonic acid found in many energy drinks due to its performance-enhancing properties. However, there have been studies linking taurine to improved cognitive function. Taurine comes in liquid, pill or powder form at many health food stores.

No matter how you decide to incorporate these supplements into your routine, always check with your medical provider before starting any new dietary supplements. Do your research, find what works for you, and you’ll be on your way to boosting your brain.

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