Want to be smart? Follow your mother's advice and don't forget to take your vitamins -- because even the basics can deliver noticeable and almost immediate benefits.
No part of the body responds quicker to good nutrition than the brain, and a series of new studies show how quality supplements can give you the boost you've been looking for in a matter of weeks -- helping you to think sharper, quicker, and better than ever.
Start with the second letter of the alphabet -- B vitamins.
In one of the studies, men given a high-dose B complex for 33 days improved on tests measuring mood, stress, and cognitive performance, and reported being less "mentally tired" after taking those tests.
The study was on men, but I have no doubt the benefits would apply to women as well because B vitamins such as B6, B12, and folate have proven time and again to help protect the brain.
But they're also water soluble, which means your body doesn't store them. They literally go right through you -- in your mouth and out your urine, which is why it's not enough to get them only some of the time.
You need to make sure you get them every single day.
Along with those B vitamins, be sure to take a quality multi -- because another recent study found that women who took them for nine weeks had a boost in multitasking abilities.
More specifically, they had improved accuracy and faster responses while multitasking… and, as a bonus, they had lower levels of the inflammation marker homocysteine.
Again, there's no reason these benefits wouldn't apply to men and women alike. Just make sure your multivitamin comes from a maker you trust, and not the local dollar store.
And while you're at it, be sure to take some fish oil. The omega-3 fatty acids are great for the brain, especially DHA. In one recent study, adults who took between 1 and 2 grams of DHA a day saw improvements in blood flow in the brain while engaged in cognitive tasks.
Of course, none of these supplements are miracle pills. They're not going to magically undo the damage of an unhealthy lifestyle, but they're an important part of the big picture -- both in the short term and over the long haul.
Your own needs will depend on your diet, lifestyle, and even genetic factors that might make it more difficult for you to hold onto certain nutrients. A holistic doctor can run some tests to help you figure you which ones you need, how much you need, and the best way to get them.