Can the diet improve the efficiency of the brain and preserve its health? The studies on nootropic foods and on the smart nutrients contained in them confirm these possibilities, in recent years increasingly sought after by science and evaluated by those who are attentive to health, as we have seen in our in-depth study on the relationship between nutrition and Alzheimer’s. But is it really possible to intervene on brain and neurological well-being thanks to what you eat? And what are the nutrients with these properties? Considering the scientific publications on the subject, with this in-depth study we will try to find out more.
NOOTROPIC FOODS: WHAT ARE THEY AND ON THE BASIS OF WHAT ARE THEY IDENTIFIED?
The potential of nutrition for health has been sought by human knowledge from time immemorial, and in more recent times they have become the subject of targeted scientific studies. The possibility of healing oneself with food, as we have seen in our article, remains a fascinating goal, even if sometimes – erroneously – it is pursued with too much confidence, attributing the prerogatives of drugs to food products. However, it is now widely established that the diet is able to contribute to health, defending the body from numerous diseases, from cardiovascular ones to tumors.
The brain is also an organ that must be preserved and maintained in efficiency, to limit the degeneration caused by age and stress due to the often frenetic rhythms of daily life, of which memory and clarity can pay the price. Therefore, in addition to good sleep and physical and brain training, worrying about what we eat is also important: some foods, in fact, are rich in precious substances, internationally called smart nutrients.
NOOTROPIC FOODS, SMART NUTRIENTS AND SMART DRUGS: THE DIFFERENCES
Following this route, with the so-called nootropics, however, an attempt is made to take a further step, which at least conceptually approaches the curative idea of nutrition. This name, in fact, is originally associated with psychoactive substances functional to cognitive improvement, and only recently has it been compared to food products.
It was the Romanian chemist Corneliu Giurgea, who first synthesized the drug piracetam, who formulated the concept of “nootropic substance” in 1972. This term, which refers to ancient Greek, means the possibility of positively altering cognitive abilities, improving memory, learning, motivation and creativity.
They should not be confused with so-called smart drugs, stimulant drugs used in the treatment of attention and learning disorders, which can be purchased under medical prescription and with possible side effects, not least that of addiction and addiction. Nootropics, on the other hand, in normal doses have no side effects, are non-toxic and do not cause “narcotic” effects.
Returning to the food sector, therefore, we talk about nootropic foods when they contain substances, called nootropics or smart nutrients, which research has shown effective for efficiency and brain health, recognizing diet as one of the modifiable risk variables. for the purposes of brain health.