Over the past two months, so many of you have discovered the benefits of our nootropics, Power Up and Unplug. We are getting the most incredible feedback on both. Users are feeling more alert, getting more done in the day – then finally getting some deep restorative sleep through the night.
This is great news. But with so many new users of nootropics, we ask ourselves: how can you make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck? Can you tweak your diet to make sure your brain is using all the incredible amino acids, vitamins, minerals and adaptogens present in Power Up and Unplug?
The answer yes, and here’s how.
How to boost your diet to maximise the benefits of nootropics
Let’s take an isolated example: the brain-boosting vitamin B12, as found in Power Up.
First for some background.
A study was done on over five hundred elderly folks who were given varying levels of B12. Those who met the dietary guidelines for the vitamin had a lower chance of developing Alzheimer’s than those who did not. More to the point, those who were given ten times the daily recommendation (slightly less than the amount found in Power Up) had a whopping 25% lower chance of developing Alzheimer’s as they grew older, compared to those who barely met dietary guidelines.
Now back to how you can maximise these benefits.
Interestingly, the success rate of vitamin B supplementation for brain health is highly dependent on the presence of Omega-3 Poly Unsaturated Fats (PUFAs) in the diet. Those with high levels of omega-3s respond extremely well to supplementation. This is because omega-3s are essential in keeping brain cell membranes flexible and functional.
To make the most of your nootropics, you need Omega-3s.
There are three types of Omega-3 PUFAs: ALA, found in plant sources; DHA and EPA, found in animal sources. PUFAs are essential fatty acids: the only kinds of fat the brain needs but cannot make on its own.
In particular, the brain strives on DHA, which is most abundant in animal sources such as salmon roe. But if you are vegetarian or vegan, there is good news. The brain can make DHA from ALA – although 75% of it is lost in the process, so you’ll need a lot more of it.
Our top 5 food sources of Omega-3 to boost your nootropics
Ranked by convenience, here are our 5 favourite foods to eat to make the most of your nootropics.
- Wild salmon. Aside from providing a healthy 20g of protein, a single 100g serving of wild salmon will cover your entire daily requirements in DHA omega-3. Wild salmon comes first in our list, because it is so easy and so tasty.
- Flaxseed oil. Cold pressed, organic flaxseed oil is the single best plant-based food source of ALA omega-3, at over 50g per 100g of oil. It’s a little less convenient than salmon, though. By discounting for the 75% loss in processing the ALA to DHA, you’ll need about 9g of flaxseed oil per day to match the salmon’s DHA serving. About 2 tablespoons then, not bad! Flaxseed oil degrades very fast, so be sure to consume immediately after drizzling.
- Mackerel. We love mackerel for several reasons, and not least thanks to its high DHA and EPA content (almost 1.9g per 100g of fish). On top of this, mackerel reproduce very quickly, making them one of the most sustainable fish on the planet. In addition, they are small in size meaning they are low down the food chain: this ensures low levels of heavy metals in comparison with bigger fish such as tuna. Plus, mackerel is both cheap and tasty. A real no-brainer ;-).
- Salmon eggs and caviar. These are the two highest sources of DHA. A 30g serving will yield the same amount as the 100g of salmon. But we’ve downgraded these to 4thplace because, well, who eats caviar for breakfast? Actually, brain health expert Dr Rhonda Patrick did every day during her pregnancy.
- Chia seeds. If salmon eggs seem like an acquired taste to you, fear not. You can always fall back on the trusty chia seed. At 3.9g of ALA per 100g of product, chia seed has nothing on flaxseed oil. But it’s a brainy addition to your overnight oats.
Omega-3 rich breakfast recipe to boost your nootropics
Created by our nutritional therapist Phoebe Liebling, this chia porridge recipe will do just the trick for Powering Up to the next level. Chia, combined with ALA-packed oats, walnuts and hemp seeds will feed your brain the fatty acids it needs to make the most of your day time nootropics.
Ingredients for 1:
- ⅓ cup jumbo oats
- 1 cup organic milk
- 1 serving Motion Nutrition Peanut Butter Vegan Protein
- ¼ cup grated sweet potato
- To serve: 1 tablespoon walnut pieces, 1 teaspoon chia seeds, 1 teaspoon hulled hemp seeds
Add the oats to a small pan, pour over ½ cup of boiling water, cover and leave for 5 minutes. Add the sweet potato and milk then bring to gentle simmer. Cover and turn the heat down low. Stir occasionally until the majority of the liquid has been absorbed, approximately 5 minutes. Mix in the Protein Powder.
Serve topped with the walnuts, chia and hemp seeds.