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Want Better Focus And Memory? 10 Foods To Boost Your Brainpower

Want Better Focus And Memory? 10 Foods To Boost Your Brainpower

Your food choices have a huge influence on your health and vitality. Some foods can help to protect your organs, whereas other types of food will damage and weaken your organs – including your brain.

Your brain is one your most important organs, yet damage to the brain can be impossible to repair. Thankfully certain foods can help to protect and strengthen the brain, reducing the chances of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

If you want to boost your brain power, try to include these 10 foods in your diet:

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1. Avocado
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    Some people avoid avocados due to their high fat content, but they are great for the brain. Avocados are filled with both folate and vitamin K, which help to improve cognitive function and prevent blood clots in the brain.

    2. Coconut oil
    coconut

      Coconut oil is known for its numerous benefits, including helping to boost brain power. This is because coconut oil can enhance the ability of neurons in the brain while slowing the production of free radicals that can damage the brain. They also contain saturated fat and antioxidants, which is an essential nutrient for brain function.[1]

      3. Beets
      beetz

        Beets contain natural nitrates that help to boost blood flow to the brain, improving mental performance. They also reduce inflammation in the body and they are filled with antioxidants that help to rid your blood of toxins.

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        4. Blueberries
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          Blueberries are known as a super food, so it may come as no surprise that they can benefit your brain. Blueberries are one of the most antioxidant-rich foods, containing vitamin K, vitamin C, fiber and gallic acid, which protects the brain from degeneration and stress, helping to improve memory.[2]

          5. Dark Chocolate
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            Dark chocolate is good for the body and brain in small quantities. This is because it is filled with flavonols which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Dark chocolate can also lower blood pressure and improve the flow of blood to the brain.

            However it is import to make sure that you buy dark chocolate; both milk and white chocolate are highly processed and they won’t benefit your brain. Look out for chocolate that is at least 70% if you want to boost brain power!

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            6. Leafy Greens
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              Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, romaine lettuce and Swiss chard are great for your brain; recent research has found that they can even help to reduce the chances of dementia.

              The research looked at the eating habits and mental abilities of nearly 1,000 adults over a period of five years. The researchers found that adults who ate leafy green vegetables at least once a day experienced slower mental deterioration that the adults who ate no vegetables.[3] This was still true even when the researchers factored in age and family history of dementia.

              7. Wild salmon
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                Wild salmon is a great source of omega-3 oil DHA, which helps to boost brain power. DHA is an important oil that helps to maintain the health of your brain cells – it even helps to increase the growth of brain cells. This can help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.[4]

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                8. Almonds
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                  Almonds, much like wild salmon, contain lots of omega-3 fatty acids that benefit the brain and boost brain power. Almonds also contain vitamin E which helps to further protect the brain.

                  9. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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                    Extra virgin oil can help to boost brain power as it contains antioxidants known as polyphenols. Polyphenols can help to improve both learning and memory, and they can even reverse the effects of age and disease. Extra virgin olive oil also fights against the proteins that induce Alzheimer’s.

                    10. Turmeric
                    spices-flavorings-seasoning-food

                      Turmeric can help to reduce inflammation in the brain, and recent studies have even suggested that it can be used to treat Alzheimer’s [5]. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in the fight against brain degeneration; researchers have found Vedic texts that date back over 3,000 reporting that turmeric can boost brain power!

                      Reference

                      [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4247320/
                      [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2850944/
                      [3] https://consumer.healthday.com/senior-citizen-information-31/misc-aging-news-10/lots-of-leafy-greens-might-shield-aging-brains-study-finds-697909.html
                      [4] http://www.drperlmutter.com/study/fish-consumption-and-the-risk-of-alzheimer-disease/
                      [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781139/

                      More by this author

                      Amy Johnson

                      Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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                      1 How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly 2 11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind 3 4 Ways to Develop a Flexible Mindset 4 What Is a Fixed Mindset And Can You Change It? 5 How to Tap into Your Right Brain’s Potential

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                      Published on November 23, 2020

                      How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly

                      How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly

                      Your neighbors downstairs are playing loud music. Again. How do they not get tired of partying? And why do they choose songs with such a heavy downbeat that the glass in your cupboard is vibrating every two seconds? What can you do to get some peace that you deserve? What should you?

                      Human mind tends to go in circles whenever faced with a problem without a clear solution. It becomes easy to forget the big picture and get lost in anger and self-pity, wasting our precious time, energy and enthusiasm.

                      Would it not be nice if we always remembered to put things in perspective?

                      Would it not be more efficient to face all kinds of problems, from tiny annoyances to life-changing emergencies, with a calm demeanor, sharp focus and fearless determination to promptly take the most efficient action possible?

                      Alas, humans are not like that. All too often we let anxiety or greed get the best of us and make a rushed or shortsighted decision that we quickly come to regret. Other times, we spend weeks or months at an impasse, rehashing the exact same arguments, unable to accept the compromise required to move forward with any of the available options.

                      Buddhists talk about getting lost in the “small self.” In this state of mind, we literally forget the big picture and focus on the small one. We start taking our daily problems too personally and, paradoxically, becomes less capable of solving them in an efficient manner. And this is the opposite of big picture thinking.

                      Let me share with you a story related to big picture thinking…

                      In 1812, the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Russia.[1] After a decisive Battle of Borodino, the capture of Moscow and therefore Napoleon’s victory in the war seemed inevitable.

                      Unexpectedly, the Russian Commander-in-Chief Mikhail Kutuzov made a highly controversial decision of retreating and allowing the French to capture Moscow. Much of the population had been evacuated taking supplies with them. The city itself was set on fire and large parts of it burned into the ground.

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                      After waiting in vain for Russia to capitulate, Napoleon had to retreat in the middle of a bitterly cold winter. He won the battle but lost the war. The campaign ended in a disaster and the near destruction of the French army.

                      What can we learn from this historical lesson?

                      1. Focus on the Consequences

                      Napoleon focused on the important part: capturing Moscow. Nobody could accuse him of thinking small. Yet he overlooked that the Russian army could still fight even after giving up the country’s most important city.

                      So was Moscow not an important target after all?

                      Success expert Brian Tracy has a litmus test: things are important to the extent that they have important consequences. Things are unimportant to the extent that they have no important consequences.[2]

                      When faced with a choice, ask yourself, what would be the consequences of each option?

                      • Want to spend an hour studying or watching the new series on Netflix? What would be the consequences of each option? Netflix can sometimes be a better choice, but it helps to put things in perspective.
                      • Want to maintain your apartment by yourself or to pay a cleaning service? Would would be the consequences of each option?
                      • Want to meet up for coffee with this acquaintance of yours or catch up on your work instead? What would be the consequences of each option?

                      The choice can be different for different people. An aspiring filmmaker may have a legitimate reason for choosing Netflix. Personally, cleaning your own apartment can be relaxing and nourishing even if the economics of hiring a cleaner looks compelling because you are earning a high hourly rate.

                      This is where you will need a basic idea of who you are — what are your goals, values and aspirations.

                      2. Flip Defeat Into Victory

                      Kutuzov managed to turn Russia’s defeat into a historic victory by recasting the problem in a wider context: losing Moscow need not mean losing the war.

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                      Despite the symbolic meaning attached to the Kremlin, the churches, the priceless treasures that had been stored in the city for centuries, the outcome of the campaign was ultimately determined by the strength of the remaining armies.

                      If you can adopt this result-oriented perspective, many of your personal defeats may be flipped into victories as well. Few events in a human life are absolutely good or absolutely bad, and it usually takes many years to recognize in retrospect, what role a particular encounter did play in your story.

                      Therefore we have every reason to look for the good in the things that happen to us.

                      This is a very practical attitude, far from baseless “positive thinking.” After all, if something unfortunate has happened to you and you find good sides in this circumstance, you will then be better positioned to take advantage of those good sides.

                      Say your noisy neighbors are affecting your productivity. What if it is a blessing in disguise? How can you turn this defeat into a victory?

                      • Perhaps you are too serious about life and could learn how to have more fun. Join your neighbors or go out for a walk instead of working;
                      • Perhaps you only wanted to be productive while instead procrastinated on social media. Now that your procrastination has been interrupted, stop and acknowledge this much greater obstacle to your productivity;
                      • Perhaps you are too sensitive to interference. Take this opportunity to practice ignoring the noise and doing your best anyway;
                      • Perhaps you have a victim mentality and the feeling of unfairness drains you more than any actual nuisance your neighbors might have caused. Try accepting this lapse in your productivity the way you would accept bad weather.

                      Get used to finding opportunities in your problems. This is the quintessential big picture thinking.

                      3. Ask for Advice

                      Both Napoleon and Kutuzov had trusted advisers to discuss their affairs with. In general, getting a different perspective — or several — can only help inform your understanding and lead to better decisions. Just ensure that the people giving you advice are competent in the particular area where experience is needed.

                      Paying money for advice can also be a wise investment. Lawyers, tax accountants, medical doctors spend years learning how to assist people like yourself in living more successful, more fulfilling lives.

                      A quick legal consultation can save you a fortune down the line or even keep you out of big trouble. A medical check-up can uncover potential issues and help keep you healthy and active for years to come.

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                      Even big, complex dilemmas at your job or in your romantic relationship can be tackled more effectively by partnering up with a coach or a therapist or, of course, with the help of a wise friend.

                      4. Beware of Biased Advice

                      Many imperfect decisions occur in response to an imperfect piece of advice that you choose to act on. This advice often comes from a biased party.

                      For example, we are often encouraged to buy something that we supposedly need:

                      • Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by using a special lotion.
                      • Fortify your health by taking multivitamins.
                      • Connect with your friends by sending them elaborate gifts.
                      • Brighten your weekend by consuming a delicious pastry.
                      • Become more productive by getting a faster computer.

                      However, most purchases are unnecessary.

                      Some, such as the sunscreen, do have legitimate benefits when used properly.[3] Others, such as multivitamins, only make a difference for a small group of people.[4]

                      Advertisers of those benefits inevitably want to narrow your focus in order to overstate the importance of their product. They frequently present it as the only solution to your problem, whether real or imaginary.

                      After all,

                      • Skin can also be protected from the sun by wearing appropriate clothing.
                      • Health can be better fortified by consuming a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.
                      • Spending time or talking on the phone with your friends is the foremost way of connecting with them, and it is virtually free.
                      • Your weekend can be brightened by doing something that you love.
                      • You can become more productive by focusing on the tasks that have the most important consequences. A faster computer can, in fact, decrease productivity by making it easier to multitask and by enabling your favorite distractions.

                      There are other sources of imperfect advice. Politicians also frequently want us to focus on a particular “big picture,” to the exclusion of the alternatives.

                      Even loving parents can be guilty of the same. They can advise their children to pick a career path that is safe and respectable, based on their “big picture” that in life one has to make a living. A child may disagree, however, based on another “big picture” that one’s life has to have meaning and fulfillment.

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                      Bottom Line

                      It is human nature to make rushed, emotional decisions based on incomplete information, then regret those decisions later on.

                      You can protect yourself from poor judgment by striving to attain the big picture when careful consideration is called for.

                      Focus on the consequences of your decision before considering how you feel about it.

                      Play with the cards you’ve been dealt, but look for opportunities in each situation and you will find them.

                      Ask knowledgeable mentors for advice, but beware of biased people who have an opinion, but do not necessarily have your best interest in mind.

                      Yet remember, true big picture thinking comes from hard-won experience. Legendary military commanders Napoleon Bonaparte and Mikhail Kutuzov were both injured on the battlefield.

                      Clear thinking comes from putting your big picture to the test of reality.

                      More Tips on Thinking Clearly

                      Featured photo credit: Haneen Krimly via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Wikipedia: French invasion of Russia
                      [2] Brian Tracy: No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline
                      [3] American Academy of Dermatology: Say Yes to Sun Protection
                      [4] Harvard Medical School: Do multivitamins make you healthier?

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