Natural Nootropics in Food: Is It Real?

Nootropics improve cognitive function and can help healthy individuals reduce the chances of experiencing a cognitive decline that often sets in with age.

They are commonly available as drugs and dietary supplements, and for many years, people who need them have had to buy the tablets either online or from brick-and-mortar stores.

Today, there is a lot of debate about whether or not natural nootropics in food exist. If they are available in food, it means there will be no need to spend money to get them.

In this article, you will learn about natural nootropics and the best way to get them. Read on.

What Are Nootropics? Are They Going to Make You Smarter?

What Are Nootropics?

What Are Nootropics

Nootropics are substances that are designed to improve cognitive function in healthy individuals and ultimately help them increase productivity.

They are also called memory enhancers, cognitive enhancers, and “smart drugs.” Nootropics can be found in many different forms, such as pills, powders, and liquids.

There are two main types of nootropics: natural and synthetic [1]. Natural nootropics are those made from plants, their extracts, amino acids, and other ingredients sourced from nature.

Synthetic nootropics are those synthesised in a lab. They are further divided into two categories: dietary supplements like Alpha Brain and Mind Lab Pro and prescription drugs such as modafinil, armodafinil, and adrafinil, among others.

In ancient times, natural nootropics in food have been used to improve memory and learning and combat cognitive disorders that often set in with ageing.

On the other hand, the synthesised versions are often prescribed to treat excessive daytime sleepiness caused by some sleep disorders.

Healthy individuals use “smart drugs” off-label to enhance their cognitive abilities.

Thus, the pills are quite popular among top-level executives of Fortune 500 corporations, engineers, Hollywood stars, scientists, and analysts, among other professionals.

Many college students also take them to boost their mental processing speed, enhance their thought process, and improve their memory and learning ability.

It is worth noting that both natural nootropics and dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This means that they may not meet the same safety and effectiveness standards as drugs. Synthetic “smart drugs” have clinically established doses; this makes them much safer for use.

Be sure to consult your doctor before taking nootropics or any other drugs.

Why Do We Need Nootropics?

Why Do We Need Nootropics

Nootropics provide numerous important benefits, from enhancing memory, concentration, and creativity to promoting wakefulness in patients with sleep disorders. But there are more reasons why we need them.

Our brains use about 25% of our total body energy throughout the day to keep us awake, alert, and focused and run the various body functions that go on in the background.

Sometimes, the consumption levels may rise when we become more active, and the brain may burn through more of our energy stores.

This is why we often feel worn out and physically exhausted on days that we get or worry about getting so much done at work or in school.

Trying to pull through the rest of the day or the days that follow without eating healthily and resting often leads to burnout. This is precisely why we need nootropics.

Nootropics help us sustain our energy, feel positive and motivated, recall useful information we need to execute our tasks perfectly and solve problems faster and more efficiently. 

Cognitive enhancers can help us perform excellently in a variety of activities such as studying, work, and sports. However, they need to be used correctly.

Best Natural Nootropics in Food

Best Natural Nootropics in Food

Earlier we mentioned that modafinil, armodafinil, and adrafinil are some of the most common synthetic nootropics and that they are synthesized in a lab.

What we’ve failed to mention is some natural nootropics and the foods that can be obtained.

The most popular natural cognitive enhancers include caffeine, L-theanine, and choline. These three substances have been shown to improve memory and focus, and they can be found in the following foods [2]:

  • green/black tea;
  • coconut oil;
  • eggs;
  • dark chocolate;
  • dark leafy greens;
  • coffee;
  • turmeric;
  • spinach.

There is a direct link between eating a healthy, balanced diet, improved cognitive function, and overall health and wellbeing. This is a basis for the popular saying, “We are what we eat.”

We can boost our cognitive function over time by throwing these whole foods into our meals. We can increase the levels of the nootropic compounds in our bodies and ultimately keep our brains healthy and active [3].

At this point, it is worth noting that while nootropics can be obtained from foods, some individuals (especially those whose day-to-day activities require critical thinking or long hours of concentration) may need much more.

Excessive daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and frequent feelings of fatigue even after having a healthy sleep are some good indicators that you need nootropics from more than just food.

In that case, nootropic dietary supplements such as Alpha Brain or prescription medications such as modafinil or armodafinil may be required.

It is worth noting that they are serious drugs and require users to follow strict guidelines.


Natural nootropics are present in a variety of foods. Eating these foods regularly and over a long period can help replenish the nutrients the brain needs to function perfectly and keep us operating at an optimal level.

However, as we’ve stated earlier in this article, sometimes food sources might not suffice, especially if we engage in rigorous tasks that require serious concentration and brain work for hours at a stretch.

In such cases, we may need to lean towards prescription “smart drugs” or dietary supplements that come packed with all the much-needed nutrients.

There are various kinds of nootropic products that you can take, and you can find them in a brick-and-mortar store or online. The options are endless, so do your research well before choosing any product.


  1. Establishing Natural Nootropics: Recent Molecular Enhancement Influenced by Natural Nootropic. By Noor Azuin Suliman, Che Norma Mat Taib, et al. Published: August 2016. Retrieved: August 21, 2022.
  2. What are Nootropics and what foods do they appear in? Retrieved: August 21, 2022. Bunzl
  3. Nootropics: How to Eat for a Better Brain. By Hayley N. Philip. Retrieved: August 21, 2022.