Building Better Brain Health Naturally

supplements for a healthy brain

Do you have some concerns about keeping your memory intact, your concentration and focus strong, and maintaining good brain health? You’re not alone! Fortunately, experts from around the world have been researching and testing natural products that can bring you much peace of mind.

Before you randomly choose a supplement that claims to help with cognition and brain health, it’s a good idea to better understand how your brain works and what some natural ingredients can do for your brain.

How the brain works

The human brain goes through incredible changes over time. Memory, perception, and emotions are being developed from birth to age six years, and wiring of neurons (brain cells) continues until the middle to late 20s, when brain maturity peaks. However, that doesn’t mean it’s all downhill from there!

Read about better brain health for students and seniors

Research in Cell Stem Cell has shown that new brain cells don’t decline with age and in fact continue to be produced with age. People can still learn new skills until the day they die. At the same time, changes occur in the brain as we age. For example:

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  • The brain generates fewer chemical messengers such as dopamine, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters as it ages. This can have a role in waning memory and cognition as well as a greater risk of depression.
  • Both the frontal lobe and hippocampus of the brain undergo shrinkage around age 60. These areas of the brain are involved in memory, emotions, and learning.
  • The white matter in the brain is composed of bundled nerve fibers that serve as a roadway for nerve signals between neurons. The protective covering (myelin) on nerve cells shrinks as we age, which in turn slows the processing of the signals and reduces cognitive function.
  • Synaptic connections (the direct electrical and chemical connections between nerve cells) decline, resulting in thinning of the brain along the outer ridged surface. This can contribute to slower cognitive processing.

Supplements for better brain health

Several substances have been shown to support and boost cognitive function and brain health. Each one has specific benefits, so when shopping for a brain health supplements, you can choose products that have the combination of benefits you want.

  • Ginkgo biloba is a large tree that is considered to be a living fossil because it is the oldest living tree. It has a long history of aiding memory and blood disorders and in improving circulation. A research team that reviewed lots of data on the benefits of ginkgo biloba reports that it “shows promise in patients with dementia, normal aging, and cerebrovascular-related disorders,” and help with memory and processing of information. Other research has shown that ginkgo biloba has an ability to improve recognition, short- and long-term recall, and spatial working memory. [Wakunaga Brain Focus Supplement is a great source of ginkgo biloba.]
  • Eleuthero ginseng extract is also sometimes referred to as Siberian ginseng. It was first used in China about two millennia ago and is valued as an antioxidant and immune system helper. Study result indicate that eleuthero ginseng may improve memory and provide neuroprotective effects. By increasing blood circulation, the extract may boost blood flow to the brain and thus enhance memory and cognition. [Try Brain Memory Supplement for Wakunaga for eleuthero ginseng.]
  • Aged garlic extract begins as ordinary garlic that is then aged using a special process that eliminates odor-causing compounds while also boosting the bioavailability of the garlic’s beneficial ingredients. According to a recent review in Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, aged garlic extract is beneficial against learning and cognitive memory deficits.

Read about aged garlic extract, AGE for a healthier you

  • Choline is a nutrient made in the liver and similar to B vitamins. It plays various roles in the nervous system and brain functioning. Eggs, nuts, beans, meat, fish, and vegetables all are sources of choline (as lecithin, the main source of choline in food). A 2023 report has shown that choline supplements are effective in enhancing cognitive function and memory.
  • Carnitine is a substance that is made in the brain, liver, and kidneys and helps the body turn fat into energy. Some research has indicated that this amino acid derivative may be useful in some individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia, although more research is needed.
  • Phosphyatidylserine is a fatty substance that protects brain cells and transports signals between them. Therefore, it plays a critical role in maintaining brain health and memory. Researchers have concluded that phosphatidylserine is necessary for healthy brain cell membranes and cognitive functioning, including short-term and long-term memory, the creation of new memories, the ability to retrieve memory, as well as the ability to focus, concentrate, pay attention, reason, solve problems, learn and recall information, and communicate.
  • Folic acid is a B vitamin often associated with helping prevent birth defects, but it also has a significant role in brain health and memory. Researchers involved in a 2022 systematic review and meta-analysis found that among individuals 70 years and older treated for six months or longer, folic acid supplementation had a significant favorable impact on memory when taking 6 to 11 milligrams daily and a significant decline when taking 17 to 20 milligrams daily. Experts also point out that folic acid (and the natural form, folate, found in food) must be metabolized into L-methylfolate so it can cross into the brain and help with production of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which contribute to mental function.

How to enhance brain health with lifestyle

In addition to supplementation, there are other things you can do to enhance your brain health.

  • Choose healthy foods. The Mediterranean and DASH diets are two examples of dietary approaches that have been shown to be wise choices for brain health and reducing cognitive decline. Both focus on fruits and vegetables, monounsaturated fats, whole grains, fish, nuts, and seeds while minimizing red meat and avoiding processed foods.
  • Get lots of Zzzzzx. Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep nightly. During sleep, the brain saves new information and also improves memory retention. Getting high-quality sleep supports problem-solving, creativity, emotional processing and judgment, attention, and concentration.
  • Move regularly. Daily exercise, especially aerobic activities such as walking, pickleball, dancing, and biking, can help improve memory in adults 55 and older.
  • Exercise your brain. Make it a point to learn new skills, whether it’s a language or an instrument, artistic project, or mind-challenging games. Cognitive games that can help you improve working memory, verbal memory, thinking speed, and problem-solving skills are available online. Search for brain training programs.
  • Be social. Stay in touch with family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. If you find yourself becoming isolated, join clubs or groups that share your interests or new hobbies. Many are also available virtually online if in-person meetings are challenging.
  • Take supplements. High-quality supplements that contain one or more of the brain-supporting substances discussed here are a way to enhance your brain health.

Bottom line

Brain health, memory retention, and overall cognitive function can be maintained and improved by adopting healthy lifestyle habits and supporting them with supplements.

[Wakunaga has many of these ingredients in their supplements including their Neuro-Logic and their Stress and Fatigue Formulas.]

Aghjayan SL. Aerobic exercise improves episodic memory in late adulthood: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Communications in Medicine 2022; 2(15).
Akhgarjand C et al. Does folic acid supplementation have a positive effect on improving memory? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 2022 Nov 28; 14:966933.
Boldrini M et al. Human hippocampal neurogenesis persists throughout aging. Cell Stem Cell 2018 Apr 5; 22(4): 589-99
Carnitine. National Institutes of Health. 2023 Apr 17
Columbia University. Changes that occur to the aging brain: what happens when we get older. 2021 Jun 10
Diamond BJ et al. Ginkgo biloba extract: mechanisms and clinical indications. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2000 May; 81(5):668-78.
Ginkgo biloba. Mount Sinai.
Glade MJ, Smith K. Phosphatidylserine and the human brain. Nutrition 2015 Jun; 31(6):781-86.
Huizen J. 12 potential health benefits of aleuthero. Medical News Today 2017 Aug 23
Kansakar U et al. Choline supplements: An update. Frontiers in Endocrinology (Lausanne). 2023 Mar 7; 14:1148166.
Leahy LG. Vitamin B Supplementation: What's the right choice for your patients? Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services 2017; 55:7–11.
Román GC et al. Mediterranean diet: The role of long-chain ω-3 fatty acids in fish; polyphenols in fruits, vegetables, cereals, coffee, tea, cacao and wine; probiotics and vitamins in prevention of stroke, age-related cognitive decline, and Alzheimer disease. Revue Neurologique (Paris) 2019 Dec; 175(10):724-41.
Sripanidkulchai B. Benefits of aged garlic extract on Alzheimer's disease: Possible mechanisms of action. Experimenal and Therapeutic Medicine 2020 Feb; 19(2):1560-64.
Tomova T. An experimental study on phytochemical composition and memory enhancing effect of Ginkgo biloba seed extract. Folia Medica 2021; 63(2):203–12.
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Lisa Roth Collins is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) and is the Marketing Manager at She is passionate about health and wellness and tries her best to make healthier choices every day for herself and her family. Her journey to natural health was driven by her own struggles with digestive discomfort, depression, and anxiety. Lisa returned to school in 2014 to study nutrition at the Canadian School for Natural Nutrition. She threw herself into her studies so she could learn as much as she could to help herself feel better and thrive. Upon completing the program and being certified as an RHN, Lisa began her work at Naturally Savvy where she has been able to help so many people learn to make healthier choices for themselves. Through her work, she has connected with so many incredible people in the industry whether other authors, influencers, or brands. Plus, she is affectionately known as "Techie Spice" because of her ability to wrap her head around technology. Every day she gets up with a renewed sense of energy and ready to make a difference. You can read all of Lisa's content here. In her spare time, Lisa loves to try new recipes, make delicious and nourishing meals, and she is an avid reader. For more information about Lisa, check out her profile on here.