6 Ayurvedic Tips to Boost Brain Health

by Lissa Coffey

According to Ayurveda, there are three equally important aspects to mental performance.

The first is 'dhi', learning and comprehension, governed by Vata dosha, the second is 'dhriti', processing and retention of knowledge, the realm of Pitta dosha and 'smriti', memory or recall controlled by Kapha dosha.

For the best mental performance and realization each of these factors needs to be at its peak and more importantly, the coordination among the three factors needs to be optimal.

Ayurveda recommends we pay attention to the fundamental pillars of good health, diet, sleep and lifestyle to achieve this state of mental wholeness and balance.

Tips to help boost brainpower

1. Eat pure, 'intelligent' foods Ayurveda says it is very important to eat foods that are natural and pure for the full benefit to be absorbed.

When foods are as close to their natural state as possible, they deliver the most potent nutrition. Foods that have been genetically altered, processed or refined have much of their natural intelligence stripped from them.

2. Maintain a supply of balanced nutrition The recommended ayurvedic diet is vegetarian. Grains, beans and legumes provide nutrients for the brain. Be sure to include plenty of cooked leafy greens. Several helpings of fruit and vegetables are recommended.

Sweet, juicy fruits are excellent cleansers, as they help flush toxins from body and freshly squeezed fruit juices deliver nutrients quickly to the mind and body. Don't count fat out entirely as fat performs some essential functions in the body, including the brain and recommended on moderation

3. Harness the power of antioxidants Antioxidants are crucial for effective functioning of the brain. Recent research has shown that blueberries are powerful brain food, primarily because of their antioxidant value.

Amrit, the powerful broad-spectrum antioxidant from Maharishi Ayurveda, contains Amalaki, the Indian gooseberry considered the richest natural source of vitamin C and a rich balance of other herbs.

In published research, Amrit has been shown to be 1,000 times more potent free radical scavenger than vitamin C or vitamin E.

4. Use herbs and aromas to enhance mental potential Maharishi Ayurveda offers a wide range of mind supplements. Intelligence Plus (formerly Study Power) has been shown to increase intelligence and can helpful to students, especially those with ADD.

Mind Plus enhances problem solving and is available in syrup form for faster assimilation. Youthful Mind helps maintain mental clarity and memory no matter what your age.

5. Manage stress levels We live in difficult times. Stress and anxiety, whether caused by time pressures, difficult work relationships or worry can have a significantly negative impact on mental performance.

A calm mind, serene and centered is unquestionably superior in terms of focus, attention span, knowledge retention and problem solving. Stress has been known to damage or destroy brain cells and many prescriptions for anxiety can cause side effects that further erode mental performance.

6. Get adequate quality sleep The lack of deep, restful sleep is often related to stress. Along with diet and lifestyle, sleep is a fundamental pillar of ayurveda. Optimal performance is impossible if these factors are not addressed.

The Better Sleep Council sleep tips Aromatherapy recommends a blend of lavender, chamomile, jasmine and sweet orange, or just lavender. Slumber Time herbal tea and aroma for more restful sleep.

Use it or lose it!No matter what your age or occupation, your brain needs to be constantly challenged to be at its peak. Whether doing logic puzzles, memorizing lines from Shakespeare, or learning a new skill, exercise your brain to keep it in good shape.

Lissa Coffey is an ayurvedic expert and author of "What's Your Dharma? Discover the Vedic Way to Your Life's Purpose." Take the dharma quiz

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