It is that time in the year when it has become daunting for all the young students (and older students) with looming exams. The ability to memorise large volumes of course material and then recall it back in the exam creates nerves and anxiety for most students.

The human brain has an amazing capacity to hold and recall information.

However, just like all the other parts of the body, the brain has to be exercised and provided with the correct nutrients to help it to function optimally. As a psychologist and nutritional therapist, I fully appreciate the need to feed the brain to prevent age related degenerative diseases as well as being able to cope the stressful demands of everyday life.

Recently, the BBC ran a programme addressing the issue of how to stay younger  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0770cpf .(Check the guide on http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zgxq6fr  for your tips on staying younger). Most of the highlighted recommendations have been implemented  over the past years by many naturopathic practitioners worldwide. However, it is great to see that there was insight and coverage for the wider population, in light of the fact that Alzheimers Disease is on the rise. I would recommend that you watch this programme, it is very interesting and very useful for helping manage your cognitive function for the years ahead.

Try these recommendations (ref: *BBC How to Stay Younger & additional noted from our naturopathic approach which we have used with clients over the years)

  1. Eat a healthy diet and  take regular exercise. In the BBC programme , *dancing was considered to be one of the beneficial forms of exercise, as it incorporated physical skill, mental skill and it was sociable.
  2. Keep the brain active. *Learning a new skill is certainly helpful, so choose something which is interesting to you, especially if you are older. Learning is the key word.
  3. Foods and drinks which an contribute to boost your brain:
  • Oily Fish which are rich in omega 3, such as salmon; sardines and mackerel.
  • Olive oil is currently being researched to lowering Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment. It is also thought that daily use of cold olive oil prevents the onset of cardiovascular disease.
  • Brightly coloured berries and fruits or vegetables which have very deep colours, such as blueberries; strawberries; blackberries; beetroot are all high in anti-oxidants which help with preventing damage to the body (including the brain) from free radicals. *Foods containing anthocyanins (as recommended by the BBC show) are a type of flavanoids and show up as reds, blues, magentas and purples in the food. Flavanoids are phyto-nutrients which simply means “plant nutrients.” Research is still being carried out on the true value of phyto-nutrients which give the colour and smell to foods. The general consensus around the health benefits of flavanoids range from natural anti-biotics; anti-inflammatory; cancer preventative; tissue supportive; tissue protective and as anti-oxidants. 
  • Nuts and seeds which are high in omega oils are beneficial for the brain and may help with the prevention of dementia and depression.
  • Green tea as a drink is a rich source of anti-oxidants.
  • Foods rich in B-vitamins help with the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • *TheBBC mentioned the Okinawa Diet which is particular to a group of people living in Okinawa (Japan). A 25 year study of the population has outlined the findings of the Okinawa Cetenarian Study. Read “The Okinawa Way,” B. Wilcox MD; C Wilcox MD & M. Suzuki MD, 2001. The book lays out a programme which can be followed if you want to implement it into your daily regime. 
  1. Being sociable helps prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia  (Check out yumzee.co.uk to set up some social meals in your local area).
  2. *Reduce stress in your life. Stress is the silent killer. Incorporate activity in your life that helps to bring down the blood pressure and reduce the adrenal secretions, which ultimately cause internal damage to the body.
  3. Incorporating a food supplement in your daily diet may be helpful to provide overall support for the ageing brain as well as the brain which is preparing  for exams.

Mastermind by Revive Active is a new formulation which offers a completely comprehensive approach to providing the correct nutrients to enable synapse formation, memory development and brain function. The food supplement has been formulated in collaboration with the Brain Performance Nutrition Centre (Northumbria University). I have selected this particular food supplement because it has been clinically trialled by the University. It is easy to take in the morning both for older and younger people, by simply dissolving in a small glass of water or juice.

INGREDIENTS REFERENCE LIST FOR REVIVE ACTIVE MASTERMIND

Omega 3 DHA (Algae Source) : 1 of 3 essential substrates in the promotion  of synapses in the brain for memory  development, brain and cognitive function.
Uridine: 1 of 3 essential substrates in the promotion of synapses in the brain for memory development, brain and cognitive function.
Choline Bitartrate: 1 of 3 essential substrates in the promotion of synapses in the brain for memory development, brain and cognitive function.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Promotes wound healing, growth and development of essential neurological cells.
Vitamin E (D Alpha Tocopheral): An important antioxidant and promotes clarity and focus for mental performance.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid): Contributes to mental performance by helping to supply energy and oxygen to the brain.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine HCL): Promotes energy metabolism within neurological cells and aids in the production of neurotransmitters
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid): Promotes energy generation, growth and development of essential neurological cells.
Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol): Helps to reduce brain fog and improve mental focus and cognition
Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin): Contributes to nervous system function by promoting healthy development of neurological cells
Zinc (Zinc Gluconate): Contributes to cognitive function and the healthy function of neurons within the hippo-campus.

 

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Important contraindications:If you are taking any medication please consult your GP.Mastermind is a vegetarian food supplement as the DHA source is from marine algae rather than fish. As with all food supplements, it can take some time to see and feel the effects. If you are preparing for exams, it is beneficial to take the food supplement at least one month before examination time. If you feel any adverse reactions to the food supplement, then immediately stop using. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.