Healthy Eats: Brain Foods
Requiring two times the amount of energy than that of other cells in the body this vital organ is a hungry one – and no we’re not talking about your stomach! In order to stay sharp throughout the day you must nourish your brain so not to cause mental stress.
Here are 6 highly effective brain foods that will help you improve memory, mood, concentration, and overall clarity. So what are you waiting for? Eat up!
Of all the berries out there, blueberries might just be the best when it comes to improving mental function! Research in animals indicates that blueberries may help protect the brain from the damage caused by free radicals and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Throw a handful on your cereal in the morning, or pack them for an afternoon pick-me-up.
We’ve all heard that fish is “brain food,” and there is good reason for it. Fatty fish (think salmon, tuna, trout) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function and development. Making these good-for-you omega-3s part of your diet have been linked to lower dementia and stroke risks; slower mental decline; and as we get older, may play a vital role in enhancing memory. Boost your brain power by eating two servings of fish weekly.
This might just be the yummiest brain food of all – and maybe the one you feel the guiltiest about eating! If you are going to indulge the best way to go is dark-chocolate that has at least 75% cacao bean content. Full of antioxidants and beneficial mood-boosting amino acids, chocolate can be regarded as a go-to food for maintaining a happy and healthy brain. But remember, you can have too much of a good thing; refrain from eating more than an ounce a day.
Long deemed “too-fatty,” this fruit is full of nutrients and total brain food. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, which is considered a good-for-you fat that contributes to healthy blood flow. Healthy blood vessels allow proper blood flow, which reduces the risk of stroke. Try adding them to a salad or whipping up some guacamole!
Peanuts, pecans and other nuts contain properties that help with everything from fighting insomnia to promoting mental clarity and strong memory. Walnuts are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, while almonds contain natural mood-enhancing neurotransmitters. Nuts and seeds can also be good sources of the antioxidant vitamin E, which has been associated with less cognitive decline as you age.
Not only can you spice up your menu with this dish, but according to research it could also clear the plaques in the brain that are known to indicate Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric, the yellow spice found in many curries, contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits that may slow down age-related brain degradation.