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:
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, 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
|||^||Psychology Today: Brain Power: Why Proteins Are Smart|
|||^||NCBI: Clinical trial of Rhodiola rosea L. extract SHR-5 in the treatment of mild to moderate depression.|
|||^||Springer Link: Effects of Rhodiola rose extract on passive avoidance tests in rats|
|||^||Flipper Diff: The role of anthocyanins in improving memory and Alzheimer’s disease|