Have you ever wondered what natural foods act like Adderall? Changing what we eat can be some of the most healthy and best natural over the counter Adderall alternatives we can find.
Without food our brain is in a deficit of the vital vitamins and nutrients it needs to function properly actually shrinking down in size and becoming less efficient in it’s abilities affecting our overall intelligence. Not surprisingly different types of foods have a varying affect on brain function and our overall intelligence. These foods aren’t exactly a natural form of Adderall, but they can help you and only have health benefits as opposed to being dangerous.
So Do Carbs Help Our Brain?
Glucose (a carbohydrate) is the main fuel source for our brain making its consumption beneficial to our brain functioning. Consuming carbs also helps shuttle vital nutrients like tryptophan into our brain helping it produce the powerful neurotransmitters that can help boost our cognitive abilities. The type of carbohydrates we consume though has an effect on our blood sugar levels and therefore impacts how efficiently our brain operates. Foods don’t work exactly like Adderall, but in some ways they do share some similarities in the way it improves our intelligence and overall productivity.
Fasting Acting Carbohydrates
Some foods people assume only help brain function like sugars may actually negatively effect how well our brain operates. Highly glycemic carbohydrates like simple sugars can cause spikes in our insulin levels which can have detrimental effects on our ability to focus and concentrate which are characteristics we often attribute to how smart someone is. These spikes in insulin caused by simple sugars also causes our energy levels to fluctuate which further negatively effects how well we perform at different tasks. To compound this issue these fast acting carbs negatively affect the region of our brain that controls cravings which induces a further consumption on these sugars spiking insulin levels even more. Some examples of fast acting carbohydrates are found in foods such as fruits, candy, and various processed foods.
Slow Acting Carbohydrates
We can combat these insulin spikes by eating a diet that includes low glycemic carbohydrate foods and supplements that are high in fiber. Insoluble fiber helps us keep stable blood sugar levels because it slows the digestion of the food in our stomach. By giving our bodies low glycemic carbs we maintain a steady blood sugar level which has been shown to help cognitive functioning. Examples of slow acting carbs are are found in natural foods such as brown rice, oatmeal, green vegetables, and nuts.
Do we have to eat carbs for our brain to function?
The answer to this may actually surprise you, because our body can maintain intelligence without carbohydrates. Because carbohydrates are not essential to life we actually don’t need them for survival as this has been shown in Inuit people (Eskimos) who survive almost totally by diets rich in protein and fat . The reason carbs are not essential nutrients is because of the fact that our brains can manufacture glucose from protein in a process known as gluconeogenesis. One warning I will make is that if you all of a sudden cut out carbohydrates it can indeed lead to a loss of focus and energy levels as going into a ketogenic state where our bodies change fuel sources from carbs to fats takes a few days until we are adjusted to our new energy source. For the average person a ketogenic diet is not realistic, they should instead eat carbohydrate from low glycemic sources.
We’re All a Bunch of Fatheads
Although fats don’t make up the actual signaling function in our brain cells they do make up 60% of the solid matter that makes up our brains total mass. It is important to mention though that not all fats have the same effect on our brains. Without fats in our diet there is no way we will be eating foods that work like Adderall to improve our brain functioning. Because fats play such an important function is possibly improving brain function and helping ADHD, it is one of the closest things to Adderall over the counter. They of course are not powerful stimulants or dopamine producers like that medication, but they may still be able to help our brain functioning.
Trans Fats are for Dumb People
There are numerous studies now showing that trans fat has negative effects on our brain and can impair our cognitive function. This is most directly shown in this study that says trans fats decrease the levels of docosahexaenoic acid which is an omega-3 fatty acid absolutely necessary for brain function. Studies also show that docosahexaenoic acid is directly linked to the development of a person’s IQ as DHA is considered the secret ingredient in a mother’s breast milk that makes it so powerful. This means that if you are eating foods such as microwave popcorn, fried foods, and commercially baked goods they could be making you less intelligent in the longterm. Most people are unaware that there is indeed a healthful form of trans fats in the omega-7’s fatty acids which can be found in more healthful foods like macadamia nuts.
Saturated Fats Can Have Either a Positive or Negative Effect
Most people know that there are dangers associated from from saturated fats, but most do not know that they can negatively effect brain function. Because we get our saturated fats from two different sources with some from animals and some found from plants, depending on the source of these saturated fats can possibly determine whether we have a positive or negative effect on our brain. There is disagreement in the scientific community as to the effects of saturated fats at times, but in general it is considered better to get saturated fats from plant sources than animals. Examples of saturated fats that may negatively effect our intelligence are most animal products, cheese, and hydrogenated cooking oils like cottonseed and palm oil.
But Other Saturated Fats Can Help Our Brain
There are different types of saturated fats with one in lauric acid only being found in food in large amounts from coconuts. Coconut oil fats have been shown to reduce the amount of a toxic peptide in our brain that can impair brain function by the name of Beta Amyloid. What is truly amazing about the lauric acid in coconut oil is that it was shown to improve brain functioning with just a single dose.
You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard about the powerful effects that essential fats can have as they positively effect our heart health, skin health, brain functioning, and much more. Are there benefits to both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in our diet? Remember that most people’s diets are deficit in omega-3’s as omega-6’s are readily found in various foods including unhealthy ones like the processed variety.
Intaking omega-3 fats found from ocean sources have been shown in studies to improve brain function in participants doing various tasks. Omega-3’s have also been shown to benefit cognitive functioning that is being negatively effected by sugars. This means if in general you have been overdoing it a bit with the amount of fruit you have been eating but have also been eating enough fish, shellfish, or even just have been taking an omega-3 supplement you may be reversing the dumbing down effect of sugar. This is because without these essential nutrients provided our neurons in our brain seem to function at a decreased level of productivity. Other sources of omega-3 fats are found in natural foods such as avocados and various nuts like macadamias, walnuts, and pecans.
Omega-6 fats are not directly involved in brain function in the way that omega-3’s fatty acids are, but that does not mean that they do not have an effect at all. In fact research shows that in the brain and in the entire body if we do not have the proper ratio between between omega-3’s and omega’s 6 fats our brain function is negatively affected. Most people in the American diet easily receive enough omega-6 fats unfortunately because they are contained in many processed foods and oils. The omega-6 fats by the name of GLA (Gamma-Lineolic Acid) are the only type of fat that has shown some type of real promise in terms of possibly helping cognitive function as it has been looked into for people with ADHD. Unfortunately getting this omega-6 fat from our diet is very difficult as it is found in very few food sources such as hemp oil. Because omega-6’s are more easily found in people’s diets and have less importance in boosting intelligence they should not be given the same level focus that omega-3 fats are given.
Protein Is Important For More Than Just Muscles
Protein is an essential nutrient meaning that if our bodies are deficient in it it negatively affects our body and specifically in this case our intelligence. The protein we eat that are made up of the aromatic and acidic amino acids are considered to have beneficial effects on intelligence levels. Without these amino acids we are not eating natural foods that work like Adderall to help us improve our cognitive functioning.
Tyrosine & Phenylalanine
Getting tyrosine and phenylalanine into our diet can improve how well our brain functions because tyrosine eventually breaks down into the neurotransmitters known as the catecholamines which include dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are thought to be directly related to how smart we are in terms of the grades we receive in school as well as being a reason why some people develop ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Tyrosine and phenylalanine are found in natural foods such as chicken, turkey, fish, peanuts, almonds, eggs, and soy.
Tryptophan is a valuable amino acid to have in our diet because without it our body cannot make serotonin. Serotonin has many functions in our body helping control various different functions including having an affect on our memory and ability to learn. Researchers are now finding that serotonin also appears to have an affect on people with ADHD. The different side effects of ADHD may be related to which neurotransmitter is not working efficiently for the person having issues. ADHD again stands for Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity-Disorder, and in the case of serotonin it is now thought by some to be the reason why certain people with ADHD specifically have issues with hyperactivity. Tryptophan is found in natural foods such as pork, soy, fish, and turkey.
Drink Water and Stay Hydrated if You Want to Be Smart!
Studies show that people who were dehydrated performed less successfully than hydrated people in tests that measured their cognition levels. One interesting discovery found in some studies is that even being dehydrated on a level can still negatively effect brain functioning. Many people look for natural foods that act like Adderall, and although these foods may not have the stimulating effects that drugs have they can still give us a healthful improvement in cognitive function. We hope these natural substitutes in this blog can help enhance your life so you can have the mental clarity you need to be successful.
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