Learning is something often attributed to children and young adults, but it is something that should be a lifelong goal. Information is priceless and can be obtained through school, reading books, reading online, or even talking to other people or attending seminars. But did you know what you eat can have a direct impact on your ability to learn? Eating healthy, nutritious foods is the best way to make sure your brain can process and retain information you want or need to learn.

Lucky for you, Ultra-Shake has many good-for-your-brain ingredients that will have you feeling great, looking lean, and even help make you smarter!

Berries come in many different varieties, colors, and flavors. Along with those differences come different health benefits. While all berries have something to offer, but a few of these stand out and that’s why we’ve included them in our Ultra-Shake Protein varieties. Each of the Ultra-Shake flavors contains gojii berries, a unique berry that is often overlooked. To top that off,  our Strawberry variety contain a full serving of quality strawberries and our Mocha protein shake contains a full serving of blueberries!

Gojii Berries

These berries contain many vital nutrients and vitamins. They have long been used to help promote a good night’s sleep, which is essential if you want your brain to be able to function properly[1]. If you don’t get enough sleep, your mind becomes sluggish and your thoughts become foggy, meaning you’re not going to remember things you’re trying to learn and you may struggle to recall things you already know. They also help promote a feeling of calmness, happiness, and a general feeling of well-being.

This happens because gojii berries help stimulate neurons in your brain that control those specific feelings[2]. These mind-boosting properties can make you feel better in all aspects of your life and encourage you to learn new things to better yourself intellectually as well as physically through healthy eating and exercise.

Strawberries

Strawberries are known as a sweet treat but they are incredibly good for you as well. They also help boost short term memory [3] making them a great choice to consume when studying for an exam or preparing for a presentation at work. Don’t forget there’s a full serving found in the Strawberry-Banana Ultra-Shake!

Blueberries

These little berries offer many anti-aging benefits, including for your brain! They help prevent neurons from being damaged and aging[4], meaning you can keep a younger, sharper mind as the years pass. Blueberries contain flavonoids, which help boost the immune system and reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases that can affect cognitive function[5].

 Chocolate may seem too delectable to be a health food, but this is one time science sides with our taste buds! They key is to choose dark chocolate, especially in the form of raw organic cacao, which has many antioxidants and brain boosting benefits. It helps increase blood flow, helping nutrients and oxygen reach the brain[6]. Dark chocolate has also been proven to boost cognitive function in the elderly while at the same time reducing the risks of many diseases[7]. It also contains a small amount of caffeine, which temporarily boosts brain function after consumption.[8] This ingredient is found in our Peanut Butter and Mocha Protein Shake.

 

 These powerful fruits are well known for immune boosting benefits and being a healthy snack. Studies now show that apples contain nutrients that help reduce aging and the effects it has on the brain, specifically it reduces the risks of Alzheimer's disease, which is affecting a growing number of people as they age[9]. These nutrients are referred to as phytonutrients. One of the phytonutrients found in high concentrations in apples are flavonals.  

 

One of the reasons cognitive function tends to decline as people age is because free radicals build up in the brain. Although it is impossible to completely prevent exposure to free radicals, it is possible to fight them and spinach is the best way to do this. Spinach is fully loaded with antioxidants and folate, which is a power-house when it comes to protecting the brain. Folate is what helps the brain send messages between neurons. Diets that are low in this nutrient have been linked to Alzheimer, Parkinson's, and general problems with memory.

Spinach also contains the amino acid L-tyrosine, which affects the ability to focus. Getting enough of this amino acid on a regular basis helps improve memory and brain function. It can actually help reduce the stress of multitasking!

 

Flax is one of the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to brain function. Having a deficiency of omega-3 acids has been directly linked to mood problems such as depression and mood swings, as well as a feeling of fatigue, which is often linked to depression as well. People who regularly consume flax or other supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids are less likely to develop dementia as they age.

Beets typically don't get the credit they deserve. Although they're bright red in color and many people may feel intimidated by them, they should be part of a healthy diet. Beets contain a high concentration of nitrates, which the body converts into nitrites. 

Nitrites help expand blood vessels, increasing blood flow and reducing the risk of diseases such as heart disease[10]. The frontal lobe of the brain experiences a strong improvement when beets are consumed compared to when they are not--and that is the part of the brain associated with memory problems and diseases linked to aging.

The brain is protected by a cushion in the form of a membrane, this membrane helps protect the brain from dangerous things that may be in the blood.  The best way to protect this membrane? The green goodness known as broccoli, which helps the membrane remain a strong filter for harmful free radicals while allowing nutrients through.[11] The nutrients found in broccoli are also linked to reasoning and the ability to imagine things. Whether you like this vegetable or not, the ultra-shake is a great way to get the benefits it has to offer.

One of the healthiest nuts available are peanuts, they are also one of the most popular nuts to consume either in the whole nut form or other forms such as peanut butter. These nuts are an excellent source of fuel for the human brain. Niacin, one of the B Vitamins is abundant in peanuts. Niacin helps deficiency has been linked to memory loss and reduced cognitive function[12], so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough. Peanuts are found in the Peanut butter flavor of our protein shake, offering a convenient way to feed your body vital nutrients, including niacin!

Cinnamon helps awaken the senses and quickly increases blood flow while stimulating nerves. The scent of cinnamon can even help boost memory, which is why cinnamon candles and flavored candies can offer a quick pick-me-up feeling. It also helps prevent oxidation, which causes aging and cognitive decline[13]. Another important benefit of cinnamon is its anti-inflammatory properties. It can help reduce swelling and has been shown to help relieve the pain of headaches for some people.

No matter what your goals may be, whether you’re after improved health and nutrition or a lean physique, the Ultra-Shake is an excellent way to get many beneficial nutrients to help your body and your mind be as strong as possible.

 

[1] Dorr, S. (2014). Lycium Fruit. [online] Itmonline.org. Available at: http://www.itmonline.org/arts/lycium.htm [Accessed 11 Oct. 2014].

[2] Potterat, O. (2009). Goji ( Lycium barbarum and L. chinense ): Phytochemistry, Pharmacology and Safety in the Perspective of Traditional Uses and Recent Popularity. Planta Med, [online] 76(01), pp.7-19. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0029-1186218 [Accessed 11 Oct. 2014].

[3]  Healthcare.utah.edu, (2014). 4 Foods That Can Help Make You Smarter. [online] Available at: http://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/postings/2014/03/032114_4-foods-that-make-you-smarter.php [Accessed 11 Oct. 2014].

[4] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, (2014). Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory ... [J Agric Food Chem. 2014] - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24446769 [Accessed 14 Oct. 2014].

[5] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, (2014). Dietary intakes of berries and flavonoids in rela... [Ann Neurol. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22535616 [Accessed 11 Oct. 2014].

[6] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, (2014). The effect of flavanol-rich cocoa on ... [J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2006] - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16794461 [Accessed 11 Oct. 2014].

[7] Desideri, G., Kwik-Uribe, C., Grassi, D., Necozione, S., Ghiadoni, L., Mastroiacovo, D., Raffaele, A., Ferri, L., Bocale, R., Lechiara, M., Marini, C. and Ferri, C. (2012). Benefits in Cognitive Function, Blood Pressure, and Insulin Resistance Through Cocoa Flavanol Consumption in Elderly Subjects With Mild Cognitive Impairment: The Cocoa, Cognition, and Aging (CoCoA) Study. Hypertension, [online] 60(3), pp.794-801. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/hypertensionaha.112.193060

[8] Smit, H., Gaffan, E. and Rogers, P. (2004). Methylxanthines are the psycho-pharmacologically active constituents of chocolate. Psychopharmacology, [online] 176(3-4), pp.412-419. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-004-1898-3

[9] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, (2014). The acute effect of flavonoid-rich apples and nit... [Food Funct. 2014] - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24676365

[10] Mercola.com, (2014). Six Amazing Health Benefits of Eating Beets. [online] Available at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/25/beets-health-benefits.aspx [Accessed 14 Oct. 2014].

[11] : NutraIngredients.com, (2014). Broccoli could help the brain heal. [online] Available at: http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Broccoli-could-help-the-brain-heal 

[12] Williams, J., Plassman, B., Burke, J., Holsinger, T. and Benjamin, S. (2010). Preventing Alzheimer's Disease and Cognitive Decline. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US). [online] Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0008821/

[13] Rao, P. and Gan, S. (2014). Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, [online] 2014, pp.1-12. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/642942 [Accessed 15 Oct. 2014].