American ginseng

6 Naturally Occurring Nootropic Food Substances Known to Improve Cognition

Nootropics are supplements that enhance our mental performance. While there are medically recommended drug supplements, there are some food substances which have been proven to improve mental functions such as attention, motivation and cognition.

  1. Tumeric


For over 5000 years, Tumeric (curcumin) has been known and used in India for its natural healing qualities in a practice called Ayurvedic medicine. Tumeric is an exceptional brain tonic with the ability to enhance memory and concentration by accentuating flow of blood to the brain.

Additionally, Curcumin is an antioxidant and increases levels of ‘happy’ hormones such as dopamine and serotonin, as well as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein responsible for stimulating and producing brain cells.

  1. Bacopa


This is an adaptogenic herb that has been used for cognitive improvement for several years. Besides improving focus, memory and mental concentration, Bacopa helps reduce stress.

It does this by balancing out the brain chemicals and decreasing the quantity of cortisol (stress hormone) in the body. People with mental decline can benefit by taking Bacopa.

  1. American Ginseng

    American ginseng

Although it is more common and grown in Asia, the popularity of ginseng has pervaded the American continent, hence the name. In China, it is called the elixir of life for its well-known healing qualities.

However, the American grown ginseng is believed to be more medicinal than the Asian one. It has been shown to perform as a brain enhancer, improving mental clarity, memory retention, and quick attention span, minutes after ingestion.

  1. Arctic Root

Arctic root

Arctic root is known for its heightened adaptogenic qualities. Referred to as Rhodiola Rosea, by scientists, it has the ability to improve response to psychological and physiological stress.

It also increases the level of key body neurotransmitters; dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. Artic root can be given to clear brain fog, assist in concentration, drive up energy levels, as well as, eliminate stress.


  1. Rosemary

RosemaryWhile it is popular for its culinary enhancing properties, little is known about the memory retention and concentration qualities of rosemary.

The easiest way to use rosemary as a nootropic substance is to breathe in the essential oils. This heightens the person’s mood, and increases cognitive speed and accuracy.



  1. Gingko

GingkoGingko is a world popular herbal remedy. It is very effective in boosting cognitive qualities. And it does this by increase blood supply to the brain. There it balances, chemicals and protects it from harm by free radicals. Its other qualities include reducing anxiety, mental confusion, memory loss and fatigue.




These naturally occurring food substances provide natural brain enhancement by improving focus, moods and memory. The amino acid, L-Theanine is also responsible for increasing attention span and promoting calmness.

Nature has endowed us with these valuable food substances which we take for granted. Some of them can be taken directly or ground up as tea.

Dopamine is the same neurotransmitter activated by some illegal drugs and banned in certain countries. Perhaps, instead of going through difficult lengths to get the same experience, it might be more useful to take a whiff of scented Rosemary oils.

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