When it comes to improving brain power, there is no single food that can warrant a sharp brain as you age. Nutrition experts emphasize the important role of healthy dietary patterns that have a lot of brain-friendly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Make sure that your daily meals are covered by these brain-boosting foods. This article lists 10 out of amazing foods that boost your brain power.
Blueberries have numerous health benefits, including brain boosting. According to a study carried out by scientists at Tufts University in the U.S, consuming blueberries might be helpful in improving or delaying the temporary memory loss.
Blueberries, as well as other deeply colored berries, have anthocyanins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants work against both inflammation and oxidative stress, which are cornerstones of nearly all brain degenerative problems. Some antioxidants in blueberries can help improve the communication between brain cells. Thus, you had better add them to your smoothies or sprinkle them on your breakfast meals.
Turmeric is a deep-yellow spice which has a lot of benefits for the human brain. Thank the key active ingredient named curcumin, turmeric has been shown to directly go into the brain and benefits brain cells.
Furthermore, curcumin has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which help benefit memory, relieve depression, and promote the growth of new brain cells. To harness the benefits of curcumin, you should add turmeric to you daily dishes or make turmeric tea.
Containing powerful antioxidants, pumpkin seeds have an ability to protect the brain and body from the damage of free radicals.
Also, they are a powerhouse of iron, zinc, copper or magnesium. These nutrients are very important for the brain health. Zinc and copper are essential for nerve signaling while magnesium is important for memory and learning.
Among best foods that boost your brain power, fatty fish may be appreciated the most. We all know that a large part of the human brain is made up of omega-3 fats; therefore, it is vital to take enough this substance for healthy brain function. Fortunately, fatty fish are abundant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and healthy unsaturated fats which have been linked to a reduction in beta-amyloid – the factor contributing to Alzheimer's disease.
Therefore, you should eat fatty fish at least twice per week. Opt for the fish that are low in mercury like cod, salmon, Pollack and canned light tuna. If you do not like fish, you can also alternate them with other sources of omega-3, including avocados, walnuts, and flaxseeds.
The green leafy vegetables like broccoli, collards, spinach or kale are high in nutrients, including vitamin K, folate, lutein, and beta-carotene. They are brain-healthy and known to improve brain power and enhance cognitive function. Among those veggies, broccoli is highly recommended due to its high content of glucosinolates – the compounds which can slow the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter, which is necessary for the central nervous system to function well. In fact, lower acetylcholine levels are associated with higher risks of Alzheimer’s.
Eggs are another brain food. They contain choline, a vitamin B-like nutrient. When eating eggs, the brain will use choline to make acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter important for maintaining the communication among brain cells.
Eggs also have a large number of other B vitamins, namely vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid. These vitamins are known to decrease levels of homocysteine compound in the blood. High levels of this compound are linked to higher risk of cognitive impairment, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, you should add B-rich foods such as chicken, fish, eggs, and green leafy vegetables to your diet to reap their benefits.
Whole grains are recommended by nutritionists thanks to their power of improving brain function and memory. Like any other body parts, the brain could not work well without energy. Our ability to focus and concentrate derives from a steady, adequate supply of good energy. Such energy is available in the form of glucose in the blood. You can naturally achieve this by eating whole grains which have a low GI. The glucose from these foods will be slowly released into the bloodstream, thereby keeping you alert during the day. You had better choose “brown” whole grain cereals, pasta, rice and granary bread for the best effects.
Taking adequate vitamin E will help prevent cognitive decline, especially in old people. Thankfully, nuts are rich in vitamin E, protein, and healthy fats. Among nuts, walnuts are the top nut for brain health. They are particularly beneficial in improving memory thanks to DHA, which is a type of omega-3 fatty acids. DHA has been shown to naturally protect the brain in newborns, improve cognitive performance in matures, and ameliorate or prevent age-related cognitive disorders. Walnuts are also high in alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) which helps protect arteries and lower blood pressure.
Other great nuts for brain health are almonds and hazelnuts. They are two of the most concentrated sources of vitamin E. Taking vitamin E is associated with less age-related cognitive impairment. Peanuts, in spite of not being extensively studied as other nuts, are also thought to offer brain benefits. They are rich in niacin and studies showed that lack of niacin was associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline.
Nuts are high in calories, so many people worry that eating nuts may increase their weight. However, in fact, studies have shown that people eating nuts regularly actually weigh less than those who do not eat nuts.
Similar to coffee, green tea also has caffeine which can boost brain function. Actually, green tea has been proven to improve performance, alertness, focus, and memory. It is used as a home remedy for a lot of cognitive disorders.
Apart from caffeine, the compound L-theanine (an amino acid), along with other compounds, also helps increase the neurotransmitter GABA’s activity. As a result, it reduces anxiety and increases relaxation. On the other hand, L-theanine also boosts alpha wave frequency in the human brain, which relaxes your mind without making you tired.
Green tea is also a powerhouse of antioxidants and polyphenols that might protect the brain from mental illnesses and lower the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Eating just a medium orange can give you the daily recommended value of vitamin C. Vitamin C is considered a key factor in preventing improper brain function and mental decline. Consuming sufficient vitamin C-rich foods will help you defend your brain against free radicals which may damage your brain cells. Besides, acting as a natural antioxidant, vitamin C can support brain health when you age. Other excellent sources of vitamin C are guava, bell peppers, tomatoes, kiwi, and strawberries.
To sum up, there are many foods that boost your brain power, but these 10 foods mentioned here are known the most. You could support your brain health and increase your alertness, mood, and memory by including these foods strategically into your daily diet.
John Hughes is a Health and Beauty expert who has more than 5 years of experience in Health Care industry. For more health care tips on healthy living, visit him at the website TrueRemedies.com. There, you will find posts on natural treatments, recipes, healthy foods, and so much more.
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