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06/Feb/2024

As we navigate the daily barrage of tasks, notifications, and requests for our attention, one thing becomes glaringly clear: focus is a precious commodity. The ability to concentrate and maintain attention on a task without the buzz of distraction can significantly boost productivity and overall performance. However, in today’s fast-paced world, achieving and sustaining focus seems like an increasingly challenging feat.

Beyond traditional strategies like time management and structured work environments, supplements have gained popularity for their potential to enhance cognitive functions, particularly focus. This post delves into five science-backed supplements that can be incorporated into your daily routine to sharpen your concentration and stay on track.

Supplement 1: Caffeine

The Workhorse for Alertness

Caffeine, the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive substance, is a staple for many looking to jump-start their day. It works by blocking the action of the neurotransmitter adenosine, which promotes relaxation and drowsiness, thereby increasing alertness.

How Much is Too Much?

For optimal focus, doses of 40-300 mg have been shown to be effective. However, caffeine can have side effects, such as jitters and disrupted sleep, and its efficacy can be diminished over time due to tolerance.

Supplement 2: L-Theanine

A Calm Focus

L-Theanine, found in green tea, complements caffeine’s effects by promoting relaxation without sedation. It increases alpha brain waves, which are associated with alert relaxation. When combined with caffeine, the two create a synergistic effect that can improve focus and prevent the caffeine crash.

The Synergy Dose

A typical dose is 200-400 mg, but individual tolerance varies. L-Theanine usually doesn’t have any significant side effects when taken in this range.

Supplement 3: Rhodiola Rosea

Nature’s Stress Buster

Rhodiola Rosea, an adaptogen, has traditionally been used to increase resilience to stress. It fosters a balanced state in the body, which can aid in maintaining focus during challenging or high-pressure tasks.

Adaptogenic Dosage

To see focus-related benefits, a dose of 200-600 mg standardized to 3% rosavins and 1% salidroside is recommended. It’s generally well-tolerated, but high doses may lead to agitation in some individuals.

Supplement 4: Bacopa Monnieri

The Memory Booster

Bacopa Monnieri, an herb used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, is known for its ability to enhance memory and reduce anxiety. Studies suggest it does so by modulating brain chemicals involved in learning and memory processes, indirectly improving focus.

Ayurvedic Wisdom for Modern Focus

A dose of 300-450 mg of standard extract containing 55% bacosides can improve focus. As with many supplements, it may cause mild digestive issues in some people.

Supplement 5: Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Brain Fuel

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, are crucial for brain health. They play a key role in the structure and function of the brain, supporting optimal cognitive function, which translates to improved focus.

The Fish Oil Focus

To support focus, a dosage of 1000 mg combined EPA and DHA is recommended. Consuming Omega-3 from dietary sources is also vital for overall health and cognitive function.

Summary

Focus is an attribute highly sought after in our multitasking world. While there’s no magic pill to solve the focus conundrum, supplements can play a role in supporting our ability to concentrate. Caffeine, L-Theanine, Rhodiola Rosea, Bacopa Monnieri, and Omega-3 fatty acids are just a few of the options available, each with its unique way of fostering attention.

When considering supplements for focus, it’s important to remember that they are just one piece of the puzzle. A well-rounded approach, including a healthy diet, regular exercise, good sleep, and effective stress management, is essential. Further, before adding any supplements, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure they’re appropriate for you and won’t interact with any existing conditions or medications.

Incorporating these focus-enhancing supplements wisely in conjunction with a balanced lifestyle might just be the edge you need to stay sharp and on-task, especially when the demands on your attention are at their peak. Remember, focus is not about doing more, but about doing the right things with precision and clarity. Choose your supplements with caution, embark on this journey to laser-like focus, and don’t forget to enjoy the enhanced productivity and peace of mind that follows.

Want more? Check out this article on how to Boost Brain Health 

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16/May/2023

Iron is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in the body. It’s an essential component in the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to various parts of the body. Iron deficiency is a common nutritional deficiency that affects millions of people worldwide, particularly women. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss everything to know about iron deficiency, including its signs, symptoms, causes, and treatment.

Signs and Symptoms

Some of the signs and symptoms of iron deficiency include:
1. Fatigue
2. Dizziness and lightheadedness
3. Shortness of breath
4. Cold hands and feet
5. Pale skin color
6. Fast or irregular heartbeat
7. Brittle nails
8. Cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as dirt or ice (pica)
9. Headache, leg cramps, restless legs or tingling in the legs
10. Poor appetite

Causes

Iron deficiency is a common nutritional disorder that can occur due to various factors, including inadequate dietary intake, increased iron losses, malabsorption, and increased iron demand. Here are some real-world examples of how lifestyle factors and disease states can lead to iron deficiency:
  1. Inadequate dietary intake: A diet lacking in iron-rich foods can often lead to iron deficiency. This is particularly true for vegetarians and vegans who may not consume enough iron-rich plant-based foods. Also, infants and young children who are not receiving adequate iron through their diet may develop iron deficiency.
  2. Increased iron losses due to bleeding: Women are more susceptible to iron deficiency due to menstrual blood loss, which can result in a loss of 30-40 milliliters of blood per cycle, leading to iron depletion and anemia if not compensated by adequate iron intake.
  3. Malabsorption: Certain medical conditions such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and gastric bypass surgery can interfere with the absorption of iron from food, leading to iron deficiency.
  4. Increased iron demand during pregnancy: Pregnant women require higher levels of iron to support the growth and development of the fetus. Failure to meet these demands can lead to iron deficiency and anemia in pregnant women.
  5. Blood loss due to injury or surgery: Blood loss due to injury or surgery can lead to iron deficiency anemia, especially if the individual has inadequate iron stores.

Treatment

Treatment for iron deficiency includes dietary changes and iron supplements. Iron-rich foods include lean meat, seafood, fortified cereals, and leafy green vegetables. Iron supplements can help increase iron levels in the body. However, it is important to consult a healthcare provider, as excessive iron intake can be harmful. Occasionally, sever iron deficiency may require an intravenous infusion.
There are many different iron supplements to choose from. Guidance under a Naturopathic Doctor or Nutritionist can help direct an informed decision. In my experience a heme iron polypeptide is best tolerated.
Recommendation: NFH Heme Iron SAP

Prevention

The best way to prevent iron deficiency is by consuming an adequate amount of iron-rich foods. Some iron-rich foods include lean meats, fish, eggs, fortified cereals, beans, lentils, tofu, and nuts. It is important to include these foods in one’s diet to maintain healthy iron levels in the body.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the recommended daily allowance of iron for women aged 19-50 is 18 milligrams per day. During pregnancy, the recommended daily allowance increases to 27 milligrams. It is important to note that too much iron can also be harmful, so it is essential to consult a healthcare provider before taking any iron supplements.
Another way to increase the absorption of iron in the body is by consuming vitamin-C rich foods, such as citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, and tomatoes. Vitamin C enhances the absorption of non-heme iron, which is the type of iron found in plant-based foods and no heme based iron supplements.
It is also a good idea to have iron levels checked regularly by your physician or naturopath. This is especially important for women during their menstrual years.

Conclusion

Iron deficiency can be a serious condition, but it’s preventable and treatable. Have your iron level checked regularly and If you experience any signs of iron deficiency, it is important to seek medical attention. You can increase your iron levels through dietary changes and iron supplements. Understanding the importance of iron in our body is vital, particularly for women who are more susceptible to iron deficiency. By raising awareness about iron deficiency, we can safeguard our health and improve our quality of life.

References:


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