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5 Foods You Must Eat for Maximum Brain Power

5 Foods You Must Eat for Maximum Brain Power

Human intelligence is a beautiful thing. It’s the reason we’re all still here today, and why we continue to do so, so successfully.

However, it doesn’t only help us as a whole – but also individually. How smart you are, and how you choose to apply it can change your situation dramatically for the better.

So what’s the secret to being the sharpest tool in the box? How do you get the most out of your brain?

There are so many answers to this question—mainly suggesting that you solve daily brain-teasers, get plenty of sleep and exercise regularly.

But what about the food you eat? Sure, a healthy diet plays a big part in how your brain performs – but are there any foods in particular that you could be added to your plate that could give you that extra edge?

In this article, we look closely at the top 5 foods that you could be eating to improve your brain and it’s performance.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Almonds

    Credit: Flickr.com, HealthAliciousNess

    Almonds are arguably the best type of nut you could be eating for brain power – and this is why you need more of them.

    Reason #1 – It’s a lean protein

    Protein is a part of the core foundation of your diet. It helps to promote energy levels and helps to rebuild muscle mass after a workout.

    But did you know that it can also help rebuild brain cells?

    The protein that almonds provide also helps to improve and repair brain cells,[1] which can help with both your overall cognition, and memory.

    Reason #2 – It’s full of Zinc

    Zinc is a great mineral for your body and your mind. The main reason it’s so good is that it helps to strengthen your immune system.

    By keeping the illnesses at bay, you’ll have less chance of suffering the cloudy mind that comes with a cold or flu.

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    Not only that, it’s a potent antioxidant. This means its good at stopping free radicals in your blood stream.

    These are essentially weak molecular bonds in your body that split. The problem is they’re unbalanced, which can lead to them breaking down brain cells.

    To counter this, zinc can inhibit these free radicals and stop them from doing further damage, allowing you to retain more brain power.

    Reason #3 – It contains both Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E

    You don’t need me to tell you how good vitamins are for your overall health – but how do they help your brain?

    Vitamin B6 has been seen to help promote overall brain health. Whereas Vitamin E has been seen to lessen cognitive decline and the aging of brain cells.

    Reason #4 – Fatty Acids

    Almonds are packed with fatty acids – which is serious fuel for your brain.

    Fatty acids have been seen to not only help with overall brain health, but to also strengthen nerves in the brain.

    It’s a powerful addition.

    2. Dark Chocolate

      Credit: Flickr.com, Urban Wired

      Despite what you may hear about chocolate being bad – dark chocolate has numerous health benefits.

      It’s lower in sugar, higher in cocoa and can help your brain for numerous reasons.

      Reason #1: Tryptophan

      Dark chocolate is rich in Tryptophan, an amino acid that is linked to both releasing serotonin (the ‘feel-good’ hormone) and endorphins in your body.

      This can help to greatly influence your mood and give you that extra motivation and confidence in yourself to complete tasks more thoroughly.

      Reason #2: Flavonoids

      Flavonoids are components found in dark chocolate that help to increase overall blood flow to the brain.

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      With more blood rushing to your brain, the better it can operate. One of the main advantages to better brain circulation is improved short term memory and focus.

      Reason #3: Antioxidants

      Like we’ve already mentioned when we talked about almonds, antioxidants are great for your brainpower.

      By controlling unattached oxygen molecules, known as free radicals, the antioxidants in dark chocolate can help to neutralize them.

      This reduces the damage it can cause to your brain cells.

      Reason #4: Magnesium

      Rich in the mineral magnesium, dark chocolate is great for reducing stress.

      Magnesium has been linked to helping lower cortisol in your body – the stress hormone.

      The more stressed you are, the higher your cortisol levels will be. High cortisol can stop your focus and concentration and make you feel distracted and pressured.

      With less cortisol, you feel calmer and better throughout the day.

      3. Broccoli

        Credit: Flickr.com, Steven Lilley

        Now there’s a new reason you should always eat your greens. Broccoli isn’t just good for overall health, but it’s great for your cognition too.

        Reason #1: Choline

        This is a great nutrient. Choline is a molecule that does wonders for your cognition.

        After being ingested, choline is converted in CDP-choline, a neurotransmitter that promotes both learning and focus.

        It’s a solid choice for brain development, and something you want to be getting a lot of in your diet.

        Reason #2: Anti-inflammatory Properties

        Another benefit of broccoli is its ability to reduce inflammation.

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        Typically when you hear inflammation, it’s easy to think of swollen joints or bloating – but it can also help your brain as well.

        By reducing inflammation, broccoli can help support sensitive areas of your brain and prevent against cognitive decline.

        4. Rhodiola Rosea

          Credit: Flickr.com, Tero Laakso

          Rhodiola Rosea is a Scandinavian herb. There are numerous health websites out there like Muxcle.com that recommend Rhodiola Rosea as a nootropic.

          This isn’t a food you’ll typically find in your diet – but if you want to go the extra mile and supplement it, your brain is going to thank you.

          Reason #1: Mood

          One of the main benefits of Rhodiola Rosea is the effect it can have on your mood.

          Numerous studies have shown that this herb has been seen to raise feelings of ‘well-being’ in subjects while also reducing stress levels and depression.[2]

          This allows you to have a more positive outlook on your day, and get more done.

          Reason #2: Mind

          Another reason why Rhodiola Rosea is so popular is that it can also help reduce fatigue and improve memory.[3]

          This makes your mind a lot sharper and allows you to continue being productive for longer.

          How much Rhodiola Rosea should you use?

          As this isn’t a typical food, it can be hard to know where to start with Rhodiola Rosea – and you don’t need much.

          Some recommend taking 288 – 680mg per day of the herb; this is more than enough to have an effective impact. When it comes to herbs and supplements, you should always consult your physician to determine what dosage you should take (or if you should take it at all).

          5. Blueberries

            Credit: Flickr.com, mellow-stuff mie

            Finally we have blueberries. This fruit isn’t just great as a snack or in a smoothie – it’s also great brain food.

            Here’s how something as delcious and as simple as blueberries can take your cognition to the next level.

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            Reason #1: Antioxidants

            As with almonds and dark chocolate, blueberries are another food that contains antioxidants.

            This can help to control any free radicals in your bloodstream and can help reduce damage to your brain cells.

            Reason #2: Anti-Inflammatory Properties

            Like broccoli, blueberries are a great anti-inflammatory. Much like broccoli, this can help with inflammation in certain areas of your brain.

            This can help with memory formation and in making your brain more effective as a whole.

            Reason #3: Anthocyanin

            Blueberries also contain Anthocyanin. This is great for long-term cognitive benefits.

            Anthocyanin has been seen in several studies to help as a natural aid for reducing the chances of Alzheimers in later life.[4]

            It’s a good nutrient to have on board.

            5 Foods You Must Eat for Maximum Brain Power Review Conclusion

            As you can see, if you’re looking to sharpen your mind, there are several foods you can start eating today to further your mental agility.

            One of the main things you need to remember is that antioxidants are your friend.

            Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables that are packed with these nutrients and let your brain do the rest.

            As a safety reminder, please consult your physician before taking any herbs or supplements.

            Featured photo credit: Flickr.com via flickr.com

            Reference

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            Saul McArthur

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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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