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We all want to sharpen our focus, boost our memory, and keep our brain (arguably our most important organ) healthy. But how can we do that? Victoria Tipper, Nutrition coach and performance executive coach, will give you her science-proven tips to boost your brainpower.

How to increase brainpower?

When it comes to brainpower, there is a certain protein that is really beneficial for us to increase. It’s called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor or BDNF for short. BDNF acts as a fertilizer for the brain. It helps the brain create new brain cells. It also helps recover and replenish some of the old brain cells. So it’s really effective for our memory for conditions such as Alzheimer’s or just the process of aging in general because naturally, BDNF starts to reduce.

What are the ways to naturally increase BDNF?

1. Increasing Daily Sunlight Intake

Getting at least 10 to 20 minutes of sunlight a day helps to boost BDNF.

2. Increasing Exercise

Studies have shown that making sure you’re doing high intensity interval training (HIIT) really boosts your BDNF levels. If HIIT isn’t for you, you can do a Brisk Walk: it has to be 30 mins and it has to be brisk. That has been shown to increase BDNF.

3. Increasing Antioxidants & Polyphenols In Diet

Studies show that polyphenols can improve cognitive function and/or mood both acutely and chronically. Aim for dark chocolate, green tea, blueberries, all these foods with deep dark colors will be really high in antioxidants, thus very beneficial for your brainpower. Although not dark, Turmeric has been shown to boost BDNF significantly.

4. Increasing Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Fatty fish is an excellent choice for brain health. Fatty fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, a major building block of the brain. Omega-3s play a role in sharpening memory and improving mood, as well as protecting your brain against cognitive decline. If you do not eat fish, you can get your Omega 3 from non-animal sources such as chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts.

5. Increasing Social Interaction

A rich social network provides sources of support, reduces stress, combats depression and enhances intellectual stimulation. Studies have shown that those with the most social interaction within their community experience the slowest rate of memory decline.

6. Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is amazing for maintaining brain health. In addition to slowing the aging process, metabolic switching increases neuroplasticity in the brain. This helps optimize brain function and increases the brain's resistance to injury and disease. Eating increases the inflammatory markings in our brain which is completely natural. Eating just after waking up or just before going to bed increases the markers and decreases BDNF in our brain. Make sure you have a window of 12 hours without eating. You can have water or tea during that time which allows your digestive tract to rest, repair, and reduce inflammatory markers. This ensures that your body produces as much BDNF as possible.

Give these quick tips a go and hopefully, soon you’ll be thinking more clearly with a great memory! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

December 15, 2021 — Mint Basil Team

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