More on Parasites

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Did you know that there is actually a very good chance that you could have a yeast or parasite infestation?

The human body is literally crawling with hundreds of strains of yeasts and bacteria. The digestive track alone holds more than three pounds of bacteria. In the right balance, these bacteria are necessary for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria in the gut, are a form of bacteria, though they have a tremendous positive impact on our health.

When these beneficial bacteria in the digestive track get out of balance, problems begin. A large number of factors can facilitate the disruption of this balance of bacteria, including diet, certain medications, stress, contact with infected sources, and others.

The body is also host to yeast, which is naturally occurring and not specifically dangerous in proper amounts. Yeast overgrowth, on the other hand, which is rampant in today’s world, can have a tremendous negative impact on overall health and fertility. Many people are (unfortunately) familiar with vaginal yeast infections, but these infections are often symptomatic of a much larger body-wide infection.

The most disturbing invaders to our bodies, in my opinion, are parasites, though sadly, most people carry these guys around too. Studies have found that most people, especially those with chronic diseases and cancer, are host to at least one kind or parasite.

Parasites can range from tiny organisms, visible only by microscope to long tapeworms (several feet long).  They can enter the body through food, drink, contact with animals or infected person, or even just skin contact, and parasite infections can last for years.

How Do We Get Yeast and Parasites?

Yeast and parasites can enter the body a variety of ways, depending on the type. Candida Albicanis, the most common and difficult to remove type of yeast, occurs naturally in the body in small amounts.

When a person eats lots of glucose and fructose (remember the body turns all sugars, starches, grains, and even fruit into glucose for digestion), it feeds the normally occurring yeasts and parasites and allows them to multiply abundantly. Some pharmaceuticals, and especially hormonal birth control and antibiotics, can deplete the digestive track of the beneficial bacteria needed to keep yeast and parasites in check, and lead to an overgrowth or infestation.

Yeast especially, can multiply rapidly in the presence of any high carbon substances like sugar. Yeasts are also able to convert sugar into alcohol in the body, just as it does in the beer and wine fermentation process. This is one reason that people with severe yeast overgrowth experience symptoms like brain fog, lightheadedness, and nausea.

Treating yeasts, parasites, and other fungi in the body is a three step process. First, the invaders themselves must be killed, then they (and the toxins they created) must be flushed from the body, and finally, the body must be supported in healing and regenerating itself.

How to Tell If You Have Yeast or Parasites

There are many symptoms directly or indirectly associated with yeast and parasite overgrowth. If you have several of these symptoms, there is a really good chance that you have an infestation or overgrowth.

Symptoms of Yeast and Parasite Overgrowth:

  • Lowered immune system and constant illness
  • Rectal itching, especially at night
  • More than one vaginal yeast infection
  • Sores on the mouth or lips or white spots inside mouth
  • Constant tiredness
  • Difficulty sleeping and waking up
  • Toe fungus or athletes foot
  • Bloating and gas
  • Allergies
  • Sensitivity to food or chemicals
  • Sensitivity to the smell of strong perfumes or cigarette smoke
  • Rashes or itching around genitals in men or women
  • Recurrent bladder infections
  • Food cravings, especially for sweet or starchy foods
  • Intestinal cramps
  • Endometriosis
  • Psoriasis or eczema
  • History of antibiotic use
  • History of steroid use including inhalant or asthma medication
  • History of contraceptive use
  • Brain fog or mental fuzziness
  • Menstrual irregularities including irregular periods, heavy bleeding, cramps, PMS, or anovulation
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Floaters or spots in the eyes
  • Muscle or joint aches
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Previous or current cigarette smoking
  • Use of fluoride or consumption of fluoridated water
  • History of high sugar/carbohydrate consumption

If left untreated, Candida, yeast, and parasite overgrowth have been linked to a plethora of chronic conditions. Yeast and Parasites are often found in people with the following conditions:

  • Infertility or permanent fertility damage
  • Cancer
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Malnutrition
  • Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Leaky Gut Syndrome
  • Kidney Stones
  • Chron’s Disease
  • Skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis
  • Insomnia and sleep disturbances
  • Digestive problems of all kinds

Natural Remedies for Yeast and Parasite Infestation

The good news is that there are some natural treatments that are effective at helping the body kill and remove yeast and parasites. If you suspect that you have an overgrowth, you might consider some of the treatments below:

Dietary Adjustments- If you do have yeast or parasites, any sugars at all can feed an infestation and make removal very uncomfortable. If you are embarking on a natural treatment for Candida, fungi or parasites, remove all sources of natural sugar from you diet, including sources like honey and fruits. Some Stevia is ok once in a while, but avoid anything that gives the body a sugar source and feeds yeast or parasites. Consider also avoiding dairy for 1-2 weeks to give you body a boost.

Sweat- As your body kills off parasites and yeast, their by-products must be removed from the body, along with the toxins that they might have bound to. Some of these are best removed through the sweat glands, so let your body sweat by exercising, taking cayenne supplements and getting in hot tubs or saunas during the healing process.

Diatomaceous Earth- This is a naturally occurring substance that has amazing ability to kill parasites, yeast and parasite eggs. It is naturally high in silica, which is necessary for hair, nail and skin growth, and has other trace minerals as well. It can also help restore body tissue and improve digestion. If you decide to take this supplementally, start with 1 tsp per day in 8 ounces of water and work up to 1-2 TBSP a day until yeast symptoms disappear. Read info below on Herxheimers reaction! Also, make sure to use food grade Diatomaceous earth! More info here.

Apple Cider Vinegar- Another easy and effective remedy for Candida and parasites. Apple Cider Vinegar is high in B-vitamins and very nourishing to the body. It help the body’s pH neutralize and improves digestion. It is well known for killing yeast and improving skin condition. Some people are leery of vinegar, as a fermented product, when they have a yeast infection. While some fermented products like beer and wine can feed yeast, Apple Cider Vinegar undergoes a much different fermentation process and produces a completely different reaction in the body. It tastes awful, but after taking it for a while, you will become more tolerant of the taste, and your body will start to crave it. Start with 1 tsp up to 3 times a day about 30 minutes before each meal (some people can’t handle it before breakfast!). If you handle this well, this dosage can be increased to a tablespoon.

Probiotics- Probiotics restore the helpful gut bacteria that is wiped out by yeast or parasites (or antibiotic or oral contraceptive use). Probiotics are necessary to restore proper intestinal flora, even after yeast and parasites have been removed. A high quality probiotic supplement should be included, taken according to product instruction. Do not take probiotics within an hour of Apple Cider Vinegar or Diatomaceous Earth! You might also consider drinks like Kombucha and Water Kefir to help build up probiotic levels, or whole plain full-fat yogurt.

Cinnamon- Cinnamon is a natural remedy for parasites and fungus. Take ½ tsp of a high quality cinnamon powder in water up to three times a day.

Vitamin C- Besides being an excellent antioxidant and immune support, Vitamin C is helpful in yeast/parasite removal. If you have symptoms of yeast and parasites, take 5,000 mg (5 grams) per day spread out in 2-3 doses. Do not take vitamin C at the same time as calcium/magnesium as they will neutralize each other. High consumption of Vitamin C may cause loose bowel movements, especially when yeast and parasites are being removed. This is not necessarily worrisome, but if it bothers you, adjust the dose down until symptoms go away.

Coconut Oil- Coconut Oil is naturally anti fungal and very nourishing to the body. Hopefully, you are using it in your cooking by now, but consider taking several tablespoons a day additional as an antifungal support. This will also help support the hormones and reproductive system. To make it easier to take, dissolve a couple tablespoons in a hot tea of choice and drink. The first couple sips will be coconut oil, and then you will just taste the tea.

Garlic- To help remove yeast and parasites, finely mince 1-2 cloves and drink in a cup of water before meals.

Olive Oil- Also an antifungal that supports removal of parasite and yeast waste. Add 1-2 TBSP or more to salads or veggies, or take supplementally.

Other Herbs known to help with yeast and parasites: Oregano Oil, Thyme, Peppermint, Rosemary, Olive Leaf Extract and Grapefruit Seed Extract.  If you have a severe case of yeast or parasites, consider using on of these potent herbs, but do your research first!

Herxheimer’s Reaction

I mentioned above that removal of yeast and parasites can be uncomfortable at times. This reaction, named after the German dermatologist who discovered it, is basically the discomfort caused by the die off of yeast and parasites and the body’s attempt to remove them. The faster you attempt to treat symptoms and the more potent remedies you take, the higher your chance of experiencing this reaction.

It is best to be on an anti yeast/parasite diet for several weeks before starting supplements to help minimize this reaction.  Starting with small doses of Apple Cider Vinegar and Diatomaceous Earth and then working up will also help keep die off symptoms at bay.

You may even find that you “catch a cold” a week or so after starting to treat your yeast and parasite symptoms. This is actually a mild Herxheimer reaction, and backing down supplements and drinking more water should help it pass quickly.

Other Important Notes

Removing yeast and parasites is a difficult job for your body. During this process, it is highly important that you support your body as much as possible with regular exercise, good diet, adequate sleep, and limiting exposure to toxins.

Soaking in an Epsom salt bath (1/2 cup Epsom salts in hot bath water) will also help remove toxins through the skin. Drinking enough water will help flush die off toxins out faster, and adequate sleep will give the body enough time to regenerate.

During this time, it is also vitally important that you do not consume sugar or carbs, as this will make the process much slower and much more uncomfortable. Consuming enough raw vegetables during this time will also help keep your energy levels up and clean the body faster. If you can stomach it, this is a veggie smoothie I drink daily.

A grain-free and sugar-free diet is vital in removing yeast and parasites from the body.

http://wellnessmama.com/1969/bugs-in-your-belly/

Get More Done

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Follow these easy, effective tips for getting more done in the 24 we have.

Productivity Hero—Your Action Plan

1. Get enough sleep. Whoever coined the phrase “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” didn’t have all the facts straight. Not getting enough Zzz’s could hinder productivity at work, so try to get those recommended seven to nine hours of snooze time !

2. Create routines. Make a habit of, well, sticking to habits. Schedule actions like writing emails at a certain time or hitting the gym after work, and try to do them daily. Soon that routine will happen on autopilot.

3. Wake up earlier. As long as you’re still able to squeeze in enough sleep, try extending the day by getting up an hour earlier—when it’s still quiet and there are fewer distractions.

4. Step away from the inbox. Incoming emails can be a nuisance. Make a habit to only check the inbox at certain times of the day to avoid getting sidetracked with requests and responses.

5. Make a daily to-do list. Stay away from huge to-do lists. Instead, create a daily list of realistic jobs to tackle, like folding laundry, scheduling a doctor’s appointment, or paying the cable bill. Break up big goals into micro-tasks, like going to a yoga class over getting six-pack abs, or writing a page over completing a thesis. Soon, the small things will add up to big accomplishments.

6. Take a midday workout break. Got writers’ block? Can’t fathom cleaning the bathroom? Try hitting the pavement. Working out during the day could actually boost productivity, so the time spent exercising could actually help us get more done later .

7. Don’t multitask. Our brains aren’t wired to juggle too much at once, and we can work nearly twice as fast if we do only one thing at a time . (And nope, we’re not talking LOST time-travel.) . So remember those childhood manners and finish tasks one at a time.

8. Silence the phone. When it comes to getting stuff done, sometimes silence is key. Turn off email alerts and the cell phone ringer—that’s what voicemail is for!

9. Make a to-don’t list. Bad habits are just as significant as good ones. So make a list of things not to do because they make you unproductive (we’re staring at you, Netflix), and stick to it.

10. Brainstorm. Take some time to sit and get those creative juices flowing. Without distractions, brainstorming may be the way to come up with killer ideas in record time. Bonus: Creativity can make you happier.

11. Do those MITs. Nope, this isn’t college talk. MIT stands for most important tasks, and it’s a way to highlight the items that matter most on that to-do list. At the start of each day, write down a few things that must get done. Commit to tackling those tasks, and let the rest of the chips fall where they may.

12. Hit inbox zero. Sort every email once that inbox is open. Respond, file, draft, or delete. Keeping the inbox clean is key to staying organized and on point. (Just remember not to keep the inbox open when you aren’t organizing it.).

13. Stay healthy. Just like… don’t get sick. (It may be easier said than done.) But health and productivity go hand in hand, so be sure to maintain good health habits, like eating well and washing up after hitting the gym !

14. Keep a pen and pad on hand. Make like Richard Branson and carry pen and paper (or your smartphone) to catch any useful thought that may come to mind. Up the creativity ante and make your own moleskin DIY style.

15. Shut off social media. Sayonara, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Social media can be a huge time suck. Studies have found that it can take up a significant chunk of time at the office, and may even predict lower grades in school. Make it a habit to unplug whenever you need to get something done.

16. “Eat the frogs.” We swear it’s a real term. Each day, once you’ve figured out your Most Important Tasks, do the task you’re least looking forward to first. That way, you’ll get it out of the way early and feel super productive, to boot. (No guarantees Prince Charming will emerge.)

17. Slow down. Read. This. Slowly. Getting stuff done isn’t always a matter of making it to the finish line first. Take time to reflect, brainstorm, and recharge. The added energy will make you that much more productive when you put your nose back to the grindstone.

18. Track time. Take a day to record how much time is spent writing emails, reading blogs, texting, etc. You may be surprised at how much time certain activities (ahem, browsing Pinterest) take up every day. Once you’ve figured out how your time is being used up, make it a point to prioritize what really matters to you (and cut out what doesn’t).

19. Don’t bounce around. Box off a specific amount of time for every task on your to-do list each day. Assign a chunk of the day for one project, and stay focused on that project during its designated time. Once that time is up, move on to the next mission.

20. Tune out. Those headphones will help tune out any distractions. Plus, coworkers and friends may be less likely to interrupt if they see we’re tuned in.

21. Look back. Schedule some time toward the end of each week to reflect on what you accomplished and make any necessary schedule tweaks for the following week.22. Set triggers. Leave reminders around your workspace and home to help you remember what needs to get done. Place bills that need to be paid or books to be read out in the open, and stick post-it reminders on the fridge!

23. Eat well. What we scarf down for lunch may do more than satisfy hunger. Certain foods, like salmon, almonds, and carrots, can give us a much-needed boost of energy. So forgo the take-out and be picky at the cafeteria!

24. De-clutter. Get rid of anything that may cause distractions. Put away the dishes, fold clothes, and get rid of excess papers on the desk so you’re less likely to get sidetracked. Up the ante by implementing some Feng Shui principles in your workspace.

25. Say no. Don’t stretch yourself too thin. Learning to say no—to going out for drinks when you’re tired, to extra projects when you’re swamped—keeps us focused, prevents overwhelm, and may even ward off sickness.

26. Take a break. Carve out some quality “you” time each day to keep a balance between the busy world and your own inner life.

27. Download help. Still need to get sh!t done? Luckily there’s an app for that.

http://greatist.com/happiness/27-ways-get-more-sht-done?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_newsletter_2015-01-21_mails_daily_new_header


LINKS:

21 Online and App Resources to Help You Boost and Improve Productivity

Reduce & Manage Stress

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1. Have Fun

This is the most basic and easiest way to reduce your stress level.  It sounds simple, but many people don’t practice it enough.  To me, this means spending time with my kids, cooking, climbing mountains, talking with my wife, or even biohacking.  I’ll cover this more later in the series, but for new realize that it’s common for adults to forget to spend time having fun. Family and career considerations – and the ever-present email waiting for replies – can suck the fun out of life. It’s your job to schedule fun time the same way you schedule meetings.

2. Synchronize Your Heart & Brain with Heart Math

This is my “Honda daily driver” of brain upgrades. There are more expensive, sexier ways to hack your stress, but nothing comes close the the  Heart Math technology when it comes to reliably training your heart and brain to work together.  A healthy, relaxed person has high heart rate variability (HRV)  which means that amount of time between each heart beat is different with each beat.  Low heart rate variability is a sign of intense stress.  When your sympathetic nervous system is under stress, your body will release stress hormones, and your heart develops an inflexible unchanging beat. This state is correlated with a host of diseases and even overall mortality from all causes.

The emWave2 is a device smaller than an iPhone which uses infrared sensors to calculate your HRV.  When you have low HRV, a red light appears.  Your job is to do everything possible to make the light turn green while following the device’s guidance, which steers you to breathe in and out every five seconds.  You can also listen to music to help, meditate (See #3), or do anything else you can think of that doesn’t make you move around a lot.  Spending at least ten minutes every day working with your heart rate variability is transformative. Doing it before bed can fix sleep problems, and it can help with emotional eating, daily stress, and even physical performance. This technology changed my life and career. It is simple to do and everyone I’ve ever known who did it for a month had huge positive changes in the way they felt and the way they treated others simply because they learned to consciously control their fight or flight responses. This stuff belongs in every school.

3. Meditation

The goal of meditation is to become more mindful, be more directive and choiceful with your attention and responsive (not reactive) to your thoughts.  Meditation allows you to identify, observe, and master your emotions.  Instead of blindly reacting to outside stimuli, you can optimize your thought process and react as you see fit.

Several ways to practice mediation are counting, reciting mantras, breathing, practicing mindfulness and positive self talk.

You can reduce the amount of stress you experience through mindfulness of your thoughts and feelings.  At the same time, you become better able to cope with the stress you still face. When you learn to meditate right (hint: Heart Math is a head start), the stressful voices in your head start to silence themselves.

In fact, mine are gone. There is silence when I want it, available on demand, at any time. No songs stuck in my head, no critical voices from my past, no worrying. Just me.

4. Pranayama Yoga

“When the Breath wanders, the mind is unsteady, but when the Breath is still, so is the mind still.”

– Hatha Yoga Pradipika

You need to learn how to breathe.  Most people suck in air using the intercostal muscles of their chest.  The right way to breathe is with your diaphragm, also known as belly breathing.  This kind of breathing helps you relax and control your heart rate.

The best way to describe this type of breathing is to describe Pranayama Yoga.

Pranayama is the art of Yoga breathing.  One of the five aspects of yoga is breath control.  According to pranayama yoga, there are three kinds of breathing:

High Breathing.

This is also known as clavicular, or collarbone breathing.  This means you are breathing primarily with the upper chest and lungs.  High breathing is shallow and inefficient, since a large amount of oxygen fails to reach the lower lung. This is the worst form of breathing, and it is the one you revert to when stressed or angry.

Low Breathing

This is the best possible form of breathing.  It utilizes your lower abdomen and diaphragm to pull air in and out of your lungs.  To practice low breathing, breathe into your stomach as you suck air through your nose, and your stomach will compress first on your exhale, following the breath up.  Your chest and shoulder blades will not move much – only your stomach.

Middle Breathing

As you might expect, this is somewhere in between high and low breathing.  It’s “better” than the former, but not as good as the latter.

There are four phases of proper breathing.

1. Inhale (Puraka in yoga-speak)

This should be a continuous, long breath.

2. Pause & hold (Abhyantara Kumbhaka)

This is a pause before exhaling.  You should not move any muscle during this process.

3. Exhale (Rechaka)

This should be a controlled, relaxed, continuous exhale.

4. Pause After Exhaling (Bahya Kumbhaka)

This is just like the first pause and starts the cycle over again.

Controlled breathing is a great first step to mastering stress. Even a few minutes a day, done for 2 weeks, can have amazing effects. Add it to your morning routine and see what happens.

You can use this technique any time you experience discomfort or tension.  Instead of kicking a trash can or thinking dark thoughts about that screaming baby in the airport when your flight gets delayed, take a few slow deep breaths and put your focus only on what it is like to breathe.  You’ll feel better – I guarantee it.

You can learn more about Pranayama Yoga by clicking here.

My favorite two breathing techniques are:

The One Minute Breath

  • Breathe in to the diaphragm for 20 seconds.
  • Hold for 20 seconds
  • Exhale for 20 seconds

4-4-6-2 Breath

  • Breathe in to the diaphragm through the back of the throat for 4 seconds
  • Hold for 4 seconds
  • Breathe out slowly through the back of the throat for 6 seconds
  • Hold empty breath for 2 or more seconds

At first, it is common to feel like you’re going to die when you hold your lungs without air in them for even a second or two. Your brain rewires itself to be calmer when you practice slow breathing.

5. Art of Living

The Art of Living Foundation is a global resource for people trying to reduce stress.  Their key principle is that “Unless we have a stress-free mind and a violence-free society, we cannot achieve world peace.”  It was founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a spiritual leader who in 2010, was named the fifth most influential person in India by Forbes Magazine.

Their introductory course is focused on simple breathing exercises to give you “more energy to handle the stress of daily life.”  There are workshops all around in the world where Art of Living practitioners work with you to perfect your breathing.  If you are interested in trying the course, click here.

It’s a simple, repeatable method used by 25 million people worldwide to reduce stress, including severe stress like that found in war survivors. It works, and it is not a cult or a religion in any way, or I wouldn’t recommend it.

https://www.bulletproofexec.com/hack-stress/

Hack Your Hangover

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BulletproofAlcoholInfographic_R00141223_draft15 Steps To Hack Your Hangover

Step 1 (optional): Choose the alcohol that will cause the least hangover problems.

There are tons of types of alcohol but the most common ones are represented here. What you choose can make a huge difference in how you feel the next morning. Some alcohols have a lot more toxic byproducts from fermentation than others. They are, in order from best to worstVodka, gin, tequila, whiskey, other distilled spirits, dry cider, dry champagne, dry white wine, white wines, red wines, dessert wines, beer.

Tragically, beer has the most toxins of any common alcoholic beverage…

Step 2: Hydrate heavily by drinking a glass of water for every serving of alcohol you consume – ideally at the same time or right after.

Before you can eliminate toxins, your body dilutes them with water so they don’t harm you on the way out.  The water either comes from your tissues or water you drink – so drink water.

Step 3: (critical) Block the conversion of alcohol into aldehyde, the most hangover-causing metabolite that also causes very fast aging, wrinkles, etc.

Before each drink, take one Vitamin C capsule, along with a capsule of Unfair Advantage.

Step 4: Do more if you want.

Best:  The most powerful detoxer for the liver I know of is lipoceutical glutathione. That’s what I use if I drink.

Good: Add Vitamin B-1 and/or Alpha Lipoic Acid and/or  N-Acetyl Cysteine before each drink, or at least before your first and after your last drink.  Those links have the correct dosages and are low cost per drink (I recommend those ones for fastest absorption.)

Step 5: Mop Up What’s Left.

Take 4 capsules of Activated Charcoal after you’re done drinking (or if you chose beer or wine, take 1 capsule with each drink).

https://www.bulletproofexec.com/alcohol-without-the-hangover-bulletproof-partying-business-networking/

Optimize Your Supplements

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  1. Get the majority of your nutrients from food.
  2. Consume supplements in their highest performance form.
  3. When in doubt – go without.
  4. Recognize that some supplements can help your performance – and health – more than food.

Get the majority of your nutrients from food.

You don’t eat nutrients – you eat food.  Whole foods behave differently from their individual parts.  The nutrients from a piece of meat are more bioavailable than consuming the equivalent nutrients from a pill.  Studies have shown that grass-fed meat boosts plasma omega-3 levels far more than what could be explained by the actual omega-3 content of the meat.  Antioxidants from food are usually beneficial, but taking mega-doses of some synthetic antioxidants increases your risk of death.  The nutrients in food work together in a process known as food synergy.  In short, this means food is more powerful than the sum of its parts.  The good news is the Bulletproof Diet is the most nutrient packed diet in the world.  If you haven’t yet, take the time to read the first article in this series to learn more about the Bulletproof Diet.

Consume supplements in their highest performance form.

Artificial forms of nutrients are not as effective as the real thing.  When you do supplement, you should still try to get them from whole food sources.  Isolated nutrients often compete for the same absorption pathways.  For example, iron and calcium inhibit the absorption of one another, but  synthetic nutrients are often damaging.  For these reasons, nutrients should be consumed in their most natural form possible.

When in doubt – go without.

There is always a risk with supplements.  Even the most natural forms can contain high levels of heavy metals, contaminants, and byproducts from processing.  Food is not guaranteed to be free from these substances, but it’s far less likely to contain them.  In many cases, the biggest downside to taking supplements you don’t need is simply expensive urine, but in other cases it’s better to go without than to take something you shouldn’t have.


What Supplements You Should Take

These are the basic supplements that most everyone should be taking.

For each nutrient, you will get a:

  • Dosage recommendation.
  • The correct form it should be taken in.
  • The time it should be taken.
  • A recommended brand.

Here are the ten nutrients (almost) everyone should supplement with.

  1. Vitamin D
  2. Magnesium
  3. Vitamin K2
  4. Vitamin C
  5. Iodine
  6. Krill Oil
  7. Vitamin A
  8. Selenium
  9. Copper
  10. Folinic Acid with B12

Vitamin D

Vitamin D isn’t just the most important supplement – it is possibly the most important biohack.  Vitamin D acts on over 1000 different genes and serves as a substrate for sex hormones like testosterone, human growth hormone, and estrogen.  It moderates immune function and inflammation.  It assists in calcium metabolism and bone formation.  It’s no coincidence this is one of the few vitamins humans can make on their own.  Without it – we’d be dead.  It’s true that you can get adequate vitamin D from sun exposure, but for non-nudist non-equatorial dwellers it’s not enough.  If you’re getting adequate vitamin A, it’s almost impossible to overdose on D.

Dose: 1000 IU / 25 pounds of body weight.*

Form: D3

Time Taken: Morning

Recommended Brand: Purity Products vitamin D3

*People with brown/black skin don’t convert sunlight into vitamin D as quickly as lighter skinned people.  If you’re brown skinned, a safe bet is 1500 IU / 25 pounds of body weight, but you should always test your blood levels because individual response to dosage varies.

Magnesium

This is almost as important as vitamin D, and almost as under appreciated.  Magnesium is used in over 300 enzymatic processes, including all of those involved in ATP production.  It’s also vital for proper transcription of DNA and RNA.

Magnesium deficiency is a serious problem.  Symptoms include heart arrhythmias, tachycardia, headaches, muscle cramps, nausea, metabolic syndrome, migraines, and pretty much everything else you don’t want.  It’s also associated with cardiovascular disease diabetes, asthma, anxiety disorders, and PMS.

Almost all Americans are deficient in magnesium.  The majority of people don’t meet the RDA, which is already too low.  Due to soil depletion and poor farming practices, it’s almost impossible to get enough magnesium from your diet.  Without a doubt – everyone should supplement with magnesium.

Dose: 600-800mg / day

Forms: Citrate, malate, glycinate, threonate, or orotate

Time Taken: before bedtime.

Recommended Brand: Natural Calm or VRP

Vitamin K2

Unless you grew up eating only grass-fed meat and raw milk – you’re deficient in vitamin K2.  Vitamin K2 is a fat soluble vitamin involved in calcium metabolism.  Excess calcium is deposited in arteries, leading to calcification and decreased vascular function.  This is why vitamin K2 prevents atherosclerosis and heart attacks, and strengthens bones.

Vitamin K1 is the kind of vitamin K found in leafy vegetables, and vitamin K2 is the kind found in grass-fed animal products.  Humans don’t convert vitamin K1 into K2 efficiently.  Ruminant animals like cows and sheep convert K1 into K2 in their stomachs.  This is another reason you should eat grass-fed animals, because they can only get K1 from grass – not grains.

There are two subsets of vitamin K2: MK-4, and MK-7.  MK-4 is the kind shown to produce the most benefit, but MK-7 is still important.  You should consume a total of at least 2,000mcg per day of K2, at least 100mcg of which should be the MK-7 form.

Dose: 2,000mcg / day (100mcg MK-7 form)

Forms: MK-4, and MK-7

Time Taken: Doesn’t really matter, but it’s best to take this with vitamin D, so morning is best.

Recommended Brand: Life Extension

Vitamin C

This is one of the safest, most effect supplements you can take.  Vitamin C is needed for collagen and connective tissue formation.  It’s used to manufacture glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant in the body.  Vitamin C can enhance immune function and help quench free radical damage.  Studies have shown you can take up to 120 grams of vitamin C a day with no side effects(besides loose stool).

It’s hard to get enough vitamin C from food, which is why 30 percent of the population is deficient.

Some fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin C, but cooking and storage methods can deplete vitamin C content.  Supplementation with at least 500mg per day is optimal.  You should take a lot more if you are suffering from chronic infections or healing from injury.

Dose: 1-2 grams / day

Forms: Ascorbic acid crystals or time release capsules.

Time Taken: Morning and evening, but it’s best not to take it after a workout as isolated antioxidants can negate the insulin sensitivity gained from exercise.

Recommended Brand: Solaray

Iodine

Iodine is crucial for proper thyroid function and metabolism.  It also enhances immune function and prevents brain damage.  Iodine deficiency is widespread, so supplementation is wise.  You can get some iodine from seafood, but risk of deficiency is still high. Iodized salt won’t get you optimal levels. The toxic limit for iodine is also extremely high, meaning you can take a lot.  A good starting point is 1mg / day from kelp powder or as potassium iodide.

Dose: 1mg / day

Forms: Kelp powder or potassium iodide capsules

Time Taken: Doesn’t matter.

Recommended Brand: Pure Encapsulations potassium iodide

EPA/DHA (Krill oil)

This is a tricky one.  Small doses of high quality fish oil reduce inflammation, improve brain function, and even enhance muscle growth, but poor quality or high doses can cause more problems than they help to solve. Not all fish oil is created equal.  Most of the brands you are likely to buy at your local grocery are contaminated, oxidized, and low potency.  If you can’t find a good fish oil  – you’re much better off avoiding it all together.

That’s why I recommend krill oil over fish oil altogether. Krill is more stable and it is phosphorylated, meaning it’s easier for your brain to use. It also comes with astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant.

There are real benefits to taking EPA and DHA, but most of these are strongest if your diet is deficient in omega-’3s, or too high in omega-6’s.  If you’re eating a Bulletproof Diet, this won’t be a problem.  Humans only need 350mg of DHA and EPA a day to have optimal brain function.  If you’re eating grass-fed meat and wild caught fish, this is easily obtainable.  If you can’t find grass-fed meat or wild caught seafood, you should supplement with at least 1000mg of krill oil per day.

Dose: 1000mg / day

Forms: Krill Oil

Time Taken: With meals.

Recommended Brand: Jarrow Krill oil

In addition to these basic supplements, there are a few you should also consider taking.

Vitamin A

This is essential if you aren’t eating organ meats like beef liver, kidney, and heart (you should).  Vitamin A is an important cofactor for numerous metabolic reactions and bodily functions.  A quarter of Americans consume less than half the RDA, which is already too low.  An important thing to remember is that you can’t get vitamin A from plants.  Plants don’t have vitamin A, they have beta-carotene.  Beta carotene is poorly converted into vitamin a which is why some populations develop vitamin A deficiency despite consuming far more than they should have required.  Sorry vegetarians and vegans, carrots don’t count.

Dose: 10,000-15,000 IU / day.

Forms: Retinol (A good source of vitamin A is cod liver oil, which also has vitamin D)

Time Taken: With meals.

Recommended Brand: Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil (Arctic Mint flavor)

Selenium

Selenium is a heavy metal with numerous beneficial effects on the body.  It boosts immune function, prevents cancer, neurodegenerative disease, and protects against thyroid dysfunction.  It is possible to get enough selenium from wild caught fish and animal products, but most people don’t.  If you can’t find real meat, you should supplement with 200mcg per day.  Be careful, too much selenium can cause negative health consequences.  Take 200 micrograms, not milligrams.

Dose: 200mcg / day

Forms: Se Methyl Selenocysteine or selenomethionine

Time Taken: Doesn’t matter.

Recommended Brand: Life Extension

Copper

Copper is needed for proper vascular and heart function.  Most of the U.S. Is woefully deficient in copper, consuming only .8mg per day.  This is worrying since less than 1mg per day is enough to cause heart attacks.  Copper intake has fallen over the last century due to modern farming and dietary practices.  Modern fruits, vegetables, and conventional meats are low in copper, containing 75 percent less than they used to.

Luckily, beef and lamb liver have a massive amount of copper.  If you’re eating at least four ounces of beef liver per week, you can meet your copper needs.  Other good sources of copper include cocoa (dark chocolate – look for low toxin Bulletproof Chocolate Powder soon!), cashews, and lobster.  If you aren’t eating beef or lamb liver weekly, you should supplement with at least 1mg per day.

Dose: 1mg / day

Forms: Capsule

Time Taken: Doesn’t matter.

Recommended Brand: Life Extension

B-12 and folinic acid

Most people are deficient in B12.  B12 can protect against dementia, increase immune function, maintain nerves, and regenerate cells. B12 lowers homocysteine and protects against atherosclerosis. It’s necessary for maintaining methylation reactions that repair DNA and prevent cancer. One of the most crucial areas for B12 is the brain.

Folate deficiency can also cause mental symptoms, although B12 is more likely to be a problem. Folate and B12 are both required for mental function, and a deficiency in one produces a deficiency in the other, but folate will not correct a B12 deficiency in the brain. If you make the mistake of treating B12 deficiency with folate, you can get permanent brain damage. (hear that, vegans?)  Likewise, high amounts of folate without adequate B12 can cause neurological conditions. That’s why I take them together.

Dose: >5mg of methylcobalamin or hydroxycobalamin and >800mcg of folate (5-MTHF or folinic acid, NOT folic acid)

Forms: Capsule

Time Taken: Doesn’t matter.

Recommended Brand: varies

Supplementation is something everyone should do, but how much depends on your diet and other lifestyle factors.  Athletes need more of some supplements than other people.  In general, you should try to get as much nutrition from food as possible.  You should consume nutrients in their most natural form.  When you do supplement – you get what you pay for.  If you aren’t wiling to spend money on quality supplements – you’re compromising your health and it will cost more in the long term.

https://www.bulletproofexec.com/optimize-your-supplements/

Weston A. Price – Restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet

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Characteristics of Traditional Diets

  1. The diets of healthy primitive and nonindustrialized peoples contain no refined or denatured foods such as refined sugar or corn syrup; white flour; canned foods; pasteurized, homogenized, skim or low-fat milk; refined or hydrogenated vegetable oils; protein powders; artificial vitamins or toxic additives and colorings.
  2. All traditional cultures consume some sort of animal protein and fat from fish and other seafood; water and land fowl; land animals; eggs; milk and milk products; reptiles; and insects.
  3. Primitive diets contain at least four times the calcium and other minerals and TEN times the fat soluble vitamins from animal fats (vitamin A, vitamin D and the Price Factor–now believed to be vitamin K2) as the average American diet.
  4. In all traditional cultures, some animal products are eaten raw.
  5. Primitive and traditional diets have a high food-enzyme content from raw dairy products, raw meat and fish; raw honey; tropical fruits; cold-pressed oils; wine and unpasteurized beer; and naturally preserved, lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages, meats and condiments.
  6. Seeds, grains and nuts are soaked, sprouted, fermented or naturally leavened in order to neutralize naturally occuring antinutrients in these foods, such as phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors, tannins and complex carbohydrates.
  7. Total fat content of traditional diets varies from 30% to 80% but only about 4% of calories come from polyunsaturated oils naturally occurring in grains, pulses, nuts, fish, animal fats and vegetables. The balance of fat calories is in the form of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
  8. Traditional diets contain nearly equal amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids.
  9. All primitive diets contain some salt.
  10. Traditional cultures consume animal bones, usually in the form of gelatin-rich bone broths.
  11. Traditional cultures make provisions for the health of future generations by providing special nutrient-rich foods for parents-to-be, pregnant women and growing children; by proper spacing of children; and by teaching the principles of right diet to the young.

Dietary Guidelines

  1. Eat whole, natural foods.
  2. Eat only foods that will spoil, but eat them before they do.
  3. Eat naturally-raised meat including fish, seafood, poultry, beef, lamb, game, organ meats and eggs.
  4. Eat whole, naturally-produced milk products from pasture-fed cows, preferably raw and/or fermented, such as whole yogurt, cultured butter, whole cheeses and fresh and sour cream.
  5. Use only traditional fats and oils including butter and other animal fats, extra virgin olive oil, expeller expressed sesame and flax oil and the tropical oils—coconut and palm.
  6. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, in salads and soups, or lightly steamed.
  7. Use whole grains and nuts that have been prepared by soaking, sprouting or sour leavening to neutralize phytic acid and other anti-nutrients.
  8. Include enzyme-enhanced lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages and condiments in your diet on a regular basis.
  9. Prepare homemade meat stocks from the bones of chicken, beef, lamb or fish and use liberally in soups and sauces.
  10. Use herb teas and coffee substitutes in moderation.
  11. Use filtered water for cooking and drinking.
  12. Use unrefined Celtic sea salt and a variety of herbs and spices for food interest and appetite stimulation.
  13. Make your own salad dressing using raw vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and expeller expressed flax oil.
  14. Use natural sweeteners in moderation, such as raw honey, maple syrup, dehydrated cane sugar juice and stevia powder.
  15. Use only unpasteurized wine or beer in strict moderation with meals.
  16. Cook only in stainless steel, cast iron, glass or good quality enamel.
  17. Use only natural supplements.
  18. Get plenty of sleep, exercise and natural light.
  19. Think positive thoughts and minimize stress.
  20. Practice forgiveness.

Dietary Dangers

  1. Don’t eat commercially processed foods such as cookies, cakes, crackers, TV dinners, soft drinks, packaged sauce mixes, etc.
  2. Avoid all refined sweeteners such as sugar, dextrose, glucose and high fructose corn syrup.
  3. Avoid white flour, white flour products and white rice.
  4. Avoid all hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats and oils.
  5. Avoid all vegetable oils made from soy, corn, safflower, canola or cottonseed.
  6. Do not use polyunsaturated oils for cooking, sauteing or baking.
  7. Avoid fried foods.
  8. Do not practice veganism; animal products provide vital nutrients not found in plant foods.
  9. Avoid products containing protein powders.
  10. Avoid pasteurized milk; do not consume lowfat milk, skim milk, powdered milk or imitation milk products.
  11. Avoid battery-produced eggs and factory-farmed meats.
  12. Avoid highly processed luncheon meats and sausage containing MSG and other additives.
  13. Avoid rancid and improperly prepared seeds, nuts and grains found in granolas, quick rise breads and extruded breakfast cereals, as they block mineral absorption and cause intestinal distress.
  14. Avoid canned, sprayed, waxed, bioengineered or irradiated fruits and vegetables.
  15. Avoid artificial food additives, especially MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and aspartame, which are neurotoxins. Most soups, sauce and broth mixes and commercial condiments contain MSG, even if not so labeled.
  16. Avoid caffeine-containing beverages such as coffee, tea and soft drinks. Avoid chocolate.
  17. Avoid aluminum-containing foods such as commercial salt, baking powder and antacids. Do not use aluminum cookware or aluminum-containing deodorants.
  18. Do not drink fluoridated water.
  19. Avoid synthetic vitamins and foods containing them.
  20. Do not drink distilled liquors.
  21. Do not use a microwave oven.

http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/abcs-of-nutrition/dietary-guidelines/

Brain fog & how to upgrade your brain

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Here’s a quick rundown of possibilities:

  • You can temporarily suffer with a foggy head from lack of sleep, low blood sugar, seasonal allergies, food allergies, dehydration, or electrolyte imbalance following heavy exercise.
  • If you are a woman of  “a certain age,” brain fog is a common symptom of menopause.
  • Chemotherapy has a well-known side effect referred to as “chemo fog” or “chemo brain.”
  • Substance abuse of any kind can lead to feeling mentally frazzled.
  • Sometimes brain fog symptoms are due to a more serious condition such as mercury poisoning, hormonal imbalance, depression, fibromyalgia, thyroid conditions (both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism) or Lyme disease.
  • Losing mental clarity is often considered a “normal” side effect of aging, but that doesn’t mean it is an inevitable consequence of growing older.

Brain Fog Cause #1 — When Food Is the Problem

One major cause of brain fog could be the food you eat.

EAT REAL FOOD.

Those 3 words will take you a long way towards eating the best diet for your brain (and overall health).

If it comes in a  box or package it’s not “real” — it’s processed. Even if it’s from the “health food” store.

That includes products made from flour (even if it’s whole wheat) or that contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

Your brain needs all three macronutrient groups:  proteins for neurotransmitter production, complex carbohydrates for steady brain glucose levels, and healthy fats. 

You might not realize that your brain is largely made up of fat — about 60% by volume. That’s why low-fat diets have been such a disaster for our brains.

Skipping meals can leave you with a fuzzy brain. So can eating too large a meal. If you’ve ever felt like you need a nap after a big meal you know what I mean.

You may be eating foods you’re allergic to. The most common allergens that can contribute to your lack of focus include soy, dairy, and any food that contains gluten, especially wheat.

According to Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, the average American shockingly gets 67% of their calories from these 3 foods! (1)

If you suspect you are allergic to any foods, keep a log of what you eat and how you feel afterward.

You might be surprised to see clear patterns develop rather quickly. Cut out any questionable food for at least a week and notice if you start thinking more clearly.

Eating real food will keep you away from food additives that mess with your brain like MSG and artificial sweeteners.

Both artificial sweeteners and MSG are known neurotoxins that can cause brain fog and other brain-related symptom including headaches, mood swings, dizziness, anxiety, and depression.

Check out our discussion of brain foods and how they give your brain the nutrition it needs to function well.

Cause #2 — When Lack of Sleep Is the Problem

63 million Americans complain of sleeping difficulties. If you have brain fog, it’s likely you’re one of them.

Your brain needs sleep. Sleep is critical to the way your brain works in both the short and the long-term.

Lack of quality sleep will impair your memory, creativity, judgment, and attention.

While you sleep, cerebral fluid rushes in, “power washing” your brain, clearing it of debris.

You consolidate memories while you sleep. Lack of sleep affects your ability to remember what you learned the previous day.

Every day you lose brain cells, but every night you have the opportunity to create new brain cells … provided you are getting enough high-quality uninterrupted sleep.

If you have ongoing problems with sleep, just overcoming insomnia is a potential brain fog cure.

Cause #3 — When Stress Is the Problem

Stress puts you at greater risk for every major disease you hope you never get … including dreaded brain diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Prolonged stress leads to anxiety, depression, poor decision making, insomnia, and memory loss.

Stress can literally cause your brain to shrink and that’s as harmful as it sounds.

Getting the sleep you need and eating a brain-healthy diet will help diminish stress. Two more things you can do are exercise and meditate.

Exercise

Physical exercise increases endorphins and delivers more glucose and oxygen to the brain.

Recent research shows that physical exercise may be the single most important thing you can do for your brain.

You don’t need to exercise strenuously to give your brain small energy boosts throughout the day.

Walking is one of the best brain exercises to clear your mind.

Too much sitting is bad for your brain and your overall health.

But Dr. Joan Vernikos, a former NASA physician, discovered the simplest exercise ever. Apparently, the act of standing up is more effective than walking to counteract the ill effects of sitting.

Your brain needs new kinds of challenging stimulation regularly to work as it should.

Meditation

Over 20 million Americans meditate regularly.

The US Marines use meditation to help troops deal with stressful situations they face on the job. “It’s like doing pushups for the brain,” one general says.

Corporate executives at General Mills, Target, Google, Apple, Nike, HBO, Procter & Gamble, and Aetna Insurance use it to maximize their brain power.

Meditation can make you happier, smarter, and more resilient regarding life’s ups and downs.

Regular meditators experience improved focus and concentration, greater creativity, stress reduction, and better sleep.

Research shows it can actually decrease your biological age by 12 years!

If the drug companies could bottle the benefits of meditation they’d be ecstatic. It would be their new billion dollar pill.

However, meditation the traditional way can take years to yield its full health benefits.

What About Nutritional Supplements?

Maybe you are already doing what you can — eating and sleeping better, exercising, and meditating — but your thinking is still fuzzy.

Then you might want to take a look at what supplements could do to help.

Here are the top supplements to consider:

The Most Common Vitamin Deficiency — B12

If your memory is poor or you’re in a constant state of brain fog, you may have a vitamin B12 deficiency.

This is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies in the US with an estimated 40% of adults being deficient.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly since it can lead to a wide spectrum of mental disorders.

Two particularly high risk groups are seniors — who often have poor absorption — and vegetarians since B12 is found only in animal products.

The best quality forms of vitamin B12 are methylcobalamin or adenosylcobalamin.

Vitamin D — the Sunshine Vitamin

Vitamin D can lift your mood, banish brain fog and depression, improve memory, and increase problem-solving ability.

Anywhere from 40% to 90% of US adults are vitamin D deficient and over 1 billion people are deficient worldwide.

Sun exposure is the best source, but few people who live in North America and much of Europe can realistically get the sun they need year round.

Vitamin D is rarely found in food, so most people need to supplement.

Take a Multivitamin

The Harvard School of Public Health recommends that all adults take a multivitamin supplement as insurance to fill any nutritional gaps.

Studies have shown that taking a multivitamin alone can improve your memory and overall brain function.

Omega-3 EFA

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are found in high concentrations in the brain. They are crucial to memory and overall brain health and function, yet are widely lacking in our diet.

The best dietary sources are wild-caught salmon and grass-fed meat. If these aren’t a regular part of your diet, consider taking an omega-3 supplement.

Particularly when brain fog is a problem, choose one with a high concentration of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). This is a major component of brain cells that is most beneficial for your brain.

http://bebrainfit.com/lifestyle/drains/stop-brain-fog-know-the-causes-symptoms-and-solutions/


1. Challenge Your Brain

Before you get into the fancy techniques, focus on challenging your mind in new ways every day.  Take a new route to work, learn a new language, read a challenging book, or start a new project.  Most entrepreneurs don’t have a problem with this, but many people go through their day without any kind of mental stimulation.  Studies have shown that people who continually challenge their brains with even the smallest tasks live longer and retain their brain function until the very end. Keep your curiosity engaged and ask yourself, “why?” in exactly the way a 3 year old would.

2. Dual N-Back Training

Now we’re getting into the cool stuff.

This software program consists of 20 minute computer lessons designed to challenge every part of your brain necessary to boost your IQ.  Dual N-Back Training was the focus of our article titled “How To Add 2.75 IQ Points Per Hour of Training.”  A person I coach increased his IQ 18 points, and I increased mine 12 points with this method alone.  Considering all the other techniques I’ve used over the years prior to Dual N-Back training, that’s a massive increase.

Dual N-Back Training improves memory, problem solving, imagination, and REM sleep.  There are some open source versions of Dual N-Back Training such as Brain Workshop that you can download for free.

It takes about a month of daily exercise. Your brain won’t like it at first – you will get bored and frustrated and probably have strange dreams. But when you’re done, you won’t know how you functioned with only half the working memory you just gained. It’s that strong, like a RAM upgrade for your brain.

3. Nutraceuticals

These are nutrients that have a specific medicinal or pharmacological effect.  Nutraceuticals are usually compounds made by the body or plant based.  They’re more natural than other drugs and are good for beginners who are apprehensive at the thought of taking a “drug.”

These are all  effective brain enhancers that can be purchased for relatively cheap.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Acetyle-L-carnitine (ALC) crosses the blood-brain barrier where it acts as a powerful antioxidant.  It acts on both acetylcholine and dopamine function.  ALC is neuroprotective and works as a powerful cognitive enhancer.  While most studies have been done on rodents, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest it’s effectiveness in humans.  Some other interesting benefits are better sperm motility and as a treatment for heart dysfunction. It supercharges your mitochondria which helps your entire system, not just your body.

Krill Oil (EPA/DHA)

I discussed the omega-3’s back in Step 2, so I won’t go into great detail here.  These two omega-3 fatty acids are essential for proper brain function and development.  They can improve memory, executive thought processes, and are neuroprotective.  However, the need for these fats is low, about 350mg a day if you have an optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats from your diet.  It’s important to supplement especially if you eat omega-6 oils (nuts and seed oils). I prefer krill oil to fish oil.

Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil

MCT oil turns on your body’s fat burning mode and helps your brain to run more efficiently. It is one of my favorite ways to have more energy, both in my brain and my body. A physician, Dr. Mary Newport, recently used MCT from coconut oil to reverse her husband’s early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Listen to the podcast or read the transcript for free here. When you start using MCT oil, start slowly to allow your body to get used to this much energy this quickly.

Upgraded Coffee 

Coffee isn’t just caffeine, but caffeine by itself can give you a massive boost in brain power.  Caffeine can improve short term memory, alertness, and cognitive function.

A good dose is around 20mg per hour.  If you’re taking a big test, you can take one large hit.  Studies have shown caffeine can be almost as effective as Modafinil, another supplement I’m about to tell you about.  A cup of coffee supplies 95-200 mg of caffeine. Studies have shown caffeine mainly improves your ability to perform less demanding work like simple math problems and organization, may improve mood and has little effect on things like systems thinking and other complicated stuff.

However, if you brew them properly, Upgraded Coffee beans contains two potent brain anti-inflammatory agents, cafestrol and kawehol, which can boost cognitive performance differently than caffeine, especially if you have inflammation in your body. Most coffee has a chemical residue left over from the fermentation process, and this residue (called mycotoxin) has a negative impact on brain function.

Prepared with butter and MCT, Bulletproof Coffee is my favorite adaptogenic herb and my top rated smart “nutraceutical.” I literally have this every day.

4. Smart Drugs (nootropics)

Aniracetam

Nootropics from the “racetam” family are some of the most trusted and widely used. I rely on Aniracetam because it’s fat soluble, fastest acting, and has effects on memory I/O, creativity, and stress. The “racetam” family of nootropics is known for improving mitochondrial function and oxygen in the brain.

Most of the research has been done on people with neurological problems (with amazing results), but there is plenty of good evidence to support it’s use in healthy individuals.  A double blind placebo controlled trial showed the oldest racetam, piracetam, improved verbal memory in healthy college students.

I’ve used piracetam and aniracetam for years, but I like the next smart drug even more.

Modafinil (Provigil)

This is one of the smart drugs closest to my heart, err, brain.  I’ve used this for years for everything from studying at Wharton to working on a start-up that sold for $600 million dollars.  I’ve recommended it to countless friends with massive results, and you may have seen me on ABC Nightline or CNN talking about using it for executive performance. Modafinil improves memory and mood, reduces impulsive decision making, increases your resistance to fatigue, and even improves brain function during sleep debt.  I’m more inclined to believe people suffer from Modafinil deficiency, rather than it being a supplement. It doesn’t work for everyone, but if it works for you, you’ll love it.

Huperzine A

Huperzine A is an alkaloid found in the plant moss Huperzia serrota.  This plant has been used medicinally for headaches, swelling, fever, and blood disorders by the Chinese for centuries.   It enhances memory, increases nerve growth, and protects against Alzheimer’s.  It also increases REM sleep. But beware; it raises acetylcholine levels, which is helpful in 2/3 of people, but harmful in those who are choline dominant (like me). Watch out for a clenching jaw or headaches – if you get those, stop taking it, and double up on Aniracetam until the symptoms go away. (the racetams lower choline, which is a good thing if you have too much!)

Upgraded Aging

Upgraded Aging Formula contains stabilized oxaloacetate, which is a part of the kreb’s cycle that powers your cells’ energy production. It has hugely positive effects on blood sugar control and mimics caloric restriction, but the real win for your brain is that it protects brain cells from excess glutamate. High levels of glutamate are neurodestructive – and you get some every time you eat restaurant food, because restaurants hide MSG in lots of dishes (legally) because people who eat MSG almost always order more drinks and dessert to counteract the blood sugar plunge from the MSG. Sneaky but legal. Upgraded Aging has other metabolic effects around blood sugar too.

5. Sleep

Improving your sleep is one of the best ways to boost your brain power.  Without enough REM sleep, you increase neurodegeneration and decrease your ability to perform on a day to day basis.

I wrote about ways to improve your sleep in Step 5.

6. Creatine

Just when you thought the only similarity between body builders and nerds was their secret obsession with World of Warcraft – it turns out they also take some of the same supplements.  Creatine helps you lift more weight, both mentally and physically.  Your brain uses creatine to perform synapses, and studies have shown that it improves your brain function, especially in vegetarians who are almost guaranteed to be creatine deficient.  The study referenced above used 5 grams per day, which is a good starting place for improving brain function.

Increasing your brain power is not just something for executives and nerds – it’s for anyone with a brain.  Imagine if you almost never forgot things.  Imagine managing more tasks than you ever dreamed possible without feeling stressed or overwhelmed.  No more forgetting where you put your keys or leaving behind papers for work.

https://www.bulletproofexec.com/upgrade-your-brain/