Over the past decade, there has been a lot of excitement over a new category of supplements called nootropics, which are marketed as compounds that can improve cognitive performance, memory, and focus while providing neuroprotective benefits (meaning, they protect your brain from damage and degeneration).
These days, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn't want to boost their brain power, so it's pretty clear why you can now find nootropics in the form of oils, shots, and snack foods. From college students struggling to pass exams to entrepreneurs looking to take their business to the next level, many people are experimenting with nootropics in some form.
But this is a tricky conversation, because there is a wide range of compounds that could technically be categorized as "nootropics"—including antioxidant-rich foods (like extra virgin olive oil and turmeric). In fact, many foods that you eat on a regular basis contain these compounds. For instance, coffee and green tea contain caffeine, which is a nootropic.
Having a complete and balanced diet is one of the best ways to get plenty of nootropics in their natural form. However, many people feel that supplementing with additional nootropics, either natural or synthetic, gives their brain the added boost they crave. Before we dive in, it's important to mention that if you're concerned about any cognitive symptoms you're having, be sure to consult your doctor (and while you're there, see if they have any recommendations for nootropics that you, in particular, might benefit from).