For those who feel cognitively sluggish or emotionally lethargic, it’s certainly admirable to turn to natural remedies before prescription drugs. But many of the foods and dietary supplements presented as “brain boosting” haven’t been thoroughly studied. New research on diet’s impact on mental energy finds that there is some truth to some of the hype: “The strongest evidence suggests” that omega-3 fatty acids may truly reduce the risk of cognitive decline, and that Gingko biloba does positively impact mood and attention. This research also highlights the need for further researchers before stronger claims are made. If your mood is low and you’re having problems focusing, it doesn’t hurt to incorporate a variety of vitamins and nutrients. If exercise, adequate sleep, and a varied, balanced diet still leave you feeling off, there might be something else going on: talk to your doctor or therapist. But if you’re pinning all of your hope on a single supplement, you may want to reassess.
© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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