Heart AND Head? Why Amla Green Is One of the Best Brain Supplements
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
It's a well-known fact that there is a very clear link between your cardiovascular health and your brain health.
What’s the best way to ensure the best both of these things are taken care of?
Amla, or Indian gooseberry, as it is more commonly known. With its incredible cardiovascular benefits, plus several other key brain-boosting factors, amla has been shown to be not only one of the best brain supplements available today but also one of the best body supplements available on the market.
In this article, we'll go over why this fruit can work wonders for you!
Table of Contents
The Many Facets of Brain Health
Your brain is a complicated organ, so it makes sense that there would be multiple different ways to go about measuring its healthiness.
For example, scientists can measure your brain health by looking at neurogenesis rates, levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, the ability to recall memories with greater ease than before, and even by measuring how well you're able to understand textures.
However, for the sake of simplicity, we're going to be focusing on the three biggest, overarching areas of brain health: cognitive function, memory, and long-term health.
Cognitive Function of Your Brain
Cognitive function is how well your mind is able to focus, pay attention, and solve mental problems.
For example, cognitive function can be measured by how well you're able to read a newspaper article, solve math problems, or watch an engaging TV show.
In essence, cognitive function is a measure of how quickly and accurately your brain is working.
Measuring Memory, Learning and Memory Loss
Another measure of brain health is memory, or more specifically, how well you can learn and remember certain events or facts.
For example, your memory could be measured by the ability to recall what happened last Tuesday night at dinner with friends, find a particular word during a conversation, and even if you're able to remember where this article is headed!
On a biological level, memory is a good indicator of the health of your brain's cells and connections. If you're able to take in lots of information, retain it, and pull it up quickly, that's a good sign for your body.
Long Term Health
The final measure of your brain health is how well your brain is set to function in the long term.
For example, the best way to measure this is by looking at how well your brain deals with age-related cognitive decline.
As you get older, it's normal for your mind to slow down a bit and have trouble recalling certain memories or forming new thoughts quickly.
So if you can slow this decline and function effectively throughout all stages of your life, that's a good thing.
On the other hand, apart from certain conditions that can speed up the decline of your mind, like Alzheimer's disease, there are also some lifestyle habits that can lead to cognitive decline.
For example, smoking, obesity, and a poor diet can both put you at significant risk for developing cognitive decline.
The Schools of Thought for Brain Supplements
There are many brain supplements out there, but which ones are best for you?
This is a question that scientists have been trying to answer ever since the first brain supplements hit the market.
Since then, there's been no shortage of thought about whether or not these supplements actually work and if they're safe to take regularly.
As far as safety goes, many studies show promising results. So far, there have been a few supplements that show great results for improving overall thinking and memory abilities.
In general, though, there are a few major mechanisms that the best brain supplements use to try to improve your brain health.
Provide Key Nutrients
The first way is by providing key nutrients to your brain. In addition to being the most demanding organ in your body for energy, your brain needs vitamins and minerals like B12, B-vitamins, vitamin C, DHA, and omega-3 fatty acids to function best.
For example, if your brain is constantly running out of glucose or feeling deprived of certain vitamins that keep it sharp throughout the day then you're going to have trouble focusing when you need to.
So some brain health supplements focus on making sure you get the best mix of vitamins and minerals to keep your brain satisfied.
Reduce Oxidative Stress
Another way that brain supplements try to improve your brain health is by reducing oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is the damage that free radicals (byproducts of your immune system and outside stresses on your body) can cause, which is linked to lots of ailments like cancer and other aging-related diseases.
So as a result, some supplements try to balance out the amount of free radicals in your body by releasing antioxidants that can neutralize them.
For example, there's been some good evidence that taking antioxidant ingredients like quercetin helps reduce oxidative stress in your brain.
Improve Performance and Boost Neurotransmitters
Some supplements try to improve your brain health by boosting neurotransmitters like dopamine or serotonin which are key ingredients for both memory and learning.
For example, some research shows that the best way to improve short-term memory is by boosting levels of acetylcholine (a type of neurotransmitter).
These 'brain power' boosters target the specific mechanisms of your brain cells to boost memory, cognitive performance, and cognitive functions directly, though they can sometimes ignore larger overall problems with your body's health.
Improve Cardiovascular Health
One of the lesser-known, but best ways to improve brain health is by improving your cardiovascular health.
That's because there's a very clear link between the two-your heart and head are not separate entities, they're part of one whole system that runs throughout your entire body.
So if you have problems with one organ in this system, it will impact everything else.
For example, if you have heart disease, like high cholesterol and blood pressure, it can cause problems for your brain health by making it difficult for blood to flow into your brain.
That can lead to cognitive decline, which is one of the best examples of how cardiovascular health impacts your mental abilities.
On the other hand, if you improve cardiovascular health and reduce stress on your heart, then your brain constantly receives healthy blood and nutrients, which can help protect brain cells and boost brain function.
Some Commonly Known Brain Supplements
There are countless brain supplements on the market, but which ones do what? We'll explore below
Multivitamins for Your Brain
One of the most popular brain health supplements (and also one of the most common) is a good multivitamin.
That's because your brain runs on many vitamins and minerals, so if you're deficient in certain key nutrients then it can cause problems for both your heart and head health.
For example, some studies show that people who take multivitamins have a lower risk of heart disease, which is correlated with better brain health.
Some of the most well known brains of multivitamins are Centrum and One A Day.
Another way to boost those brain cells and improve your cognitive functions is through natural supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, b vitamins, and antioxidants.
Some research shows that omega-three fatty acids can help improve memory in healthy adults (though studies are still relatively limited).
On the other hand, amino acid supplements like L-theanine have helped reduce anxiety levels in people with ADHD.
Finally, antioxidant spices like turmeric or piperine (or amla!) can help reduce inflammation throughout your body, including in the brain.
As we mentioned above, some supplements are developed for an extra 'boost' to your brain power, which can help give you the best mental performance possible in any situation.
This category is especially popular with students or people who have demanding work that requires a lot of focus throughout the day, but it can also help anyone who has a goal that they need to accomplish.
While these supplements are traditionally marketed as smart drugs that promise better mental clarity, improved focus, reduced mental fatigue and brain fog, along with a number of other claims, the jury is still out on some of these supplements.
Some of the best cognitive enhancers on this list include Modafinil, caffeine, and Adderall (though these aren't as healthy as some supplements).
In general, it's best to consult your doctor before you start taking any smart drugs or memory supplements, especially if you have existing health problems.
There's also a wide range of traditional medicines that claim to boost cognitive performance.
For example, traditional Chinese medicine recommends ginkgo Biloba to support brain health and mental health, while some Ayurvedic medicine practitioners recommend herbs like Bacopa Monnieri.
However, most supplements in this category require more research before we can really say whether or not they improve brain function, mental skills, and human memory.
So while there is no shortage of brain supplements on the market today, we again, always recommend going to see a doctor.
One area that we can confidently say an herbal supplement improves your cognitive abilities is with green tea, which has been consistently proven in clinical trials to improve cognitive function without nasty side effects.
Where Most Mainstream Supplements Can Go Wrong
One of the problems that most brain supplements run into is that they look at one isolated area of brain health.
For example, each of the supplements listed above tends to only focus on specific brain functions, or brain energy, or key nutrients without looking at the overall health not only of your brain, but the body surrounding it.
However, by only focusing on one area of cognitive function you're missing out on many other benefits that are vital to your mental performance and long-term health.
The Relationship Between Cardiovascular (Heart) Health and Brain Function
Maybe the Most Important Factor
As we discussed above, one of the main challenges to brain health actually has to do with your cardiovascular health.
Even though your brain only makes up about two percent of the weight in your body, it uses around 20-25% of all available oxygen and nutrients that are delivered to the body by blood flow. This is because neurons need a constant supply of fuel to operate correctly.
By contrast, if you have cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, the amount of oxygen and nutrients that are delivered throughout your body decreases.
This can cause a number of issues in your brain function since neurons need to have an adequate supply in order to work properly.
The Challenge Faced by the World
Then enter the fact that cardiovascular health is one of the main challenges facing the world today!
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 17.9 million people worldwide die from cardiovascular disease every single year, making it the number one cause of death in many countries across Europe and North America.
In addition to this, WHO also calculates that over 40% of all adults living today have some form of heart or vascular condition, be that high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. The number is even higher in the US.
It's not just the physical self that's being affected here. Brain performance and brain health are also challenged, and this can affect your memory or ability to learn new things.
Diabetes, A Global Epidemic
A good example of the direct link between cardiovascular disease and brain function can be seen by looking at diabetes.
Studies have shown that people with Type II Diabetes tend to experience a decline in cognitive abilities, including reduced memory skills and executive functions like planning and reasoning.
This happens because people with Type II Diabetes have a much higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which in turn reduces the amount of blood flow and oxygen that can reach their brains.
High Blood Pressure
Another example of how heart disease hurts your head can be seen by looking at high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease, and it can cause damage to your heart that reduces its ability to pump out enough oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.
This means that less nutrients are getting delivered around your brain, and reduced performance.
In the long term, constant high blood pressure can cause damage to the blood vessels in your brain, resulting in a reduced memory or an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
High cholesterol completes this brain-risk trifecta, because it's another risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease that ALSO affects your brain function.
In fact, studies have shown that people with high cholesterol have up to twice as much risk of getting dementia later in life compared to those without any issues with their blood lipid levels.
What Should Your Ideal Brain Supplement Do?
So while it's important to target your brain directly, a conversation about brain health should also include the fact that you need to ensure your cardiovascular health is taken care of.
Luckily, one of the best brain supplements available does exactly this!
Amla has been shown in several studies to have a direct positive effect on both heart and cognitive functions because it helps reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and fight diabetes. This means that when you take amla, you're giving your brain the best chance of performing at its best.
In addition to this, there are several other reasons why Amla is a top choice for anyone looking for a natural and effective solution in their battle against heart disease or cognitive decline.
Why Amla Green Is Our Recommendation
Packed with Antioxidants
Amla is the most powerful natural source of antioxidants found in nature. In fact, amla contains more antioxidants per mass than blueberries, turmeric, or green tea!
This means that when you take amla, you're giving your cardiovascular system and brain the best protection possible against free radical damage. This helps protect both organs from developing conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure as well as protecting them against cognitive decline associated with old age (which is something we'll be discussing in a future post).
Incredible Source of Vitamin C
In fact, Amla contains the second-highest concentration of naturally occurring vitamin C on Earth! This is one reason why it's so effective at fighting cancer, viruses, and bacteria. But this also means that when you take amla every day as a brain supplement or part of your cardiovascular supplement regimen, you're ensuring that your body is getting the best possible source of vitamin C.
Vitamin C has several positive effects on brain health and function because it helps prevent oxidative damage to neurons as well as protect them from developing conditions like Alzheimer's disease or dementia later in life. This protection even extends to Parkinson's Disease!
Has Key Nutrients
In addition to its two heavy hitters of vitamin c and antioxidants, amla has key nutrients for your brain like iron and phosphorus.
Iron is important for a healthy brain because it's a key part of hemoglobin that transports oxygen to your cells that need it most – including those in the brain!
And phosphorous is important because it helps build strong bones, connective tissues, and cell membranes, which keep those brain cells and blood vessels functioning well.
Most Importantly Improves Cardiovascular Health
And perhaps most important about amla as a brain supplement is that it drastically improves your cardiovascular health.
Lowers Your Blood Sugar
Amla has been shown to lower blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes by as much as 26 percent, which is on par with some of the best prescription drugs on the market.
Lowers Blood Pressure Levels
Amla also has been shown to lower blood pressure, which is one of the best ways to prevent cardiovascular disease from developing in your body.
In fact, one study showed that amla performed at a similar level to some of the best-known hypertension drugs, and it does this without any negative side effects that other statins can cause.
Fights High Cholesterol
Another area where amla has shown to be particularly effective is in the fight against high cholesterol.
Amla was shown to reduce LDL levels and increase HDL (the "good" cholesterol) levels, all without negative side effects. This is once again on par with best-selling cholesterol medications.
Also Works As a Proven Weight Loss Supplement
And finally, as if amla couldn't get any better, it's also been shown to be effective as a proven weight loss supplement.
Amla is a great source of fiber, which helps you feel full even when your caloric intake is lower than normal! This makes it easier for people who are trying to lose weight or maintain their current healthy body mass index without having to suffer through hunger pangs.
Combined with its digestive benefits, amla is a heavy hitter that can supplement any healthy diet to assist in weight loss.
In fact, in one study, patients who took amla were shown to have an average decrease in body weight of nine pounds over the course of the length of the trial.
Is It Missing Anything for My Brain?
Well, no brain pill is perfect, and even amla doesn't cover all of your bases for every single one of the many possible brain chemicals.
But, it is a proven, potent brain booster that helps improve cognitive health and thinking skills, and can be an excellent one-two punch with other dietary supplements.
How Can I Fix That?
Well, a healthy lifestyle eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables,s seeds, and nuts (with the occasional fatty fish), along with frequent exercise is a great start.
But if you'd like to take your brain health to the next level, we can definitely recommend a number of options alongside amla.
Multivitamins with vitamin e, vitamin D, B vitamins, and other brain-boosting ingredients can be a great start if you're looking for dietary supplements.
Omega 3 fatty acids are another great place to go, especially if you're eating plant-based.
Other than that, well-tested and natural nootropic supplements can help target specific areas of cognitive health, like brain fog or enhanced memory if you're dealing with memory loss, though we always make sure to recommend that you check for natural ingredients here.
And finally, lifestyle decisions like drinking enough water, reducing stress, and avoiding excessive drinking and alcohol can be as powerful as any brain pill or dietary supplement at improving brain capacity and overall brain function, and even supporting the growth of new brain cells.
Try Amla Green with Zero Risk
When it comes to dietary supplements for your brain, it's no secret that we think highly of Amla Green, and for good reason.
Not only does it help provide your brain with several key nutrients it needs to function, but it also helps with your cardiovascular health, which is a MAJOR part of how your brain works.
It's true though: none of the natural ingredients we've recommended here is perfect on its own, which is why we always recommend Amla Green and any other supplement in tandem with a heavily plant-based diet with a wide variety of natural ingredients as well as daily movement.
After all, your body will thank you.
But if you're looking to take your head AND heart health to the next level, it's hard to beat Amla Green, which is why we're offering this fantastic supplement risk-free.
If you're not satisfied with Amla Green, we'll send you your money back, no questions asked.
But we think you'll enjoy it a whole lot.
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Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. Using an evidence-based approach to nutrition and fitness, he first reduced his own insulin usage by more than 40%, and has educated thousands of people with all forms of diabetes how to reverse insulin resistance using food as medicine. Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Conference, Plant Stock, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, NPR, PBS, KQED, Fast Company, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes.
- Cyrus Khambatta