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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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            Last Updated on August 8, 2019

            How to Improve Your Brain Memory Naturally: Foods to Eat And Skip

            How to Improve Your Brain Memory Naturally: Foods to Eat And Skip

            Staying focused and maintaining high performance in a hectic work rhythm leads to stress and mental exhaustion. So how to improve brain memory naturally?

            The good news is that the negative effects of increased cognitive efforts can be prevented: brain foods, combined with healthy sleep regime and exercise, improve memory, concentration, and intellect.

            What’s more, cutting many foods that we consider “generally harmful” out of the diet improves brain function and reduces brain health risks.

            How does food improve brain health? Research proves that specific elements contained in the food positively influence molecular systems and support cognitive function.[1] Here’s how:

            • Amino acids support neurotransmitters, endogenous chemicals that transmit signals between nerve cells. This helps keep the brain sharp.
            • Glucose is the main source of energy for human brain. Almost all energy that the brain consumes is derived from glucose.
            • Fatty acids strengthen nerve cells. They bring essential nutrients into brain cells and keep harmful toxins out.
            • Antioxidants protect brain cells by inhibiting oxidization, reducing its negative effects, and removing oxidizing agents from the body.

            Knowing what substances are good for brain health, it’s easier to choose a diet that improves memory, maintains brain health and protects it from damage factors. Many foods are known to have positive effects on cognitive health, so anyone can choose their favorite ones to include in their daily diet.

            10 Foods That Improve Your Brain

            1. Nuts and Seeds

            Nuts, such as walnuts and almonds, contain fatty Omega-3 acids that the brain needs for its healthy function, and antioxidant vitamin E that protects nerve cells and reduces brain health risks.

            Whole grain, beans, and seeds – sunflower, pumpkin and others – are also a great source of amino acids and zinc that improve memory and contribute mental clarity.

            Nutritionists recommend consuming nuts and seeds as a healthy snack – a handful of them is enough to satisfy midday hunger and to cover your daily requirement of brain-supporting substances.

            2. Salmon and Other Fatty Fish

            Salmon is another source of omega-3 fatty acids that maintain brain health. Essential fatty acids contained in fatty fish, such as tuna, herring and sardines, have a protective effect on brain in the aging process by reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

            In a shorter-term perspective, they show positive effects on cognitive-behavioral health: they significantly reduce the risk and the symptoms of depression, ADHD, and anxiety.

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            3. Dark Green Vegetables

            Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, green leafy vegetables are known for their positive effects on general well-being and sharpness of mind.

            Additionally, such veggies as broccoli, avocado, or kale are powerful cancer fighters. They contain vitamin K that fights lack of concentration, prevents Alzheimer’s disease, and works as an anti-aging substance.

            Spinach, kale, and chard also contain brain-boosting vitamins B and iron that helps transfer oxygen to the brain.

            4. Dark Chocolate

            We often assume that healthy food is not tasty and our favorite sweets are unhealthy, but that’s not quite true.

            Combining the useful with the pleasant is possible when it comes to chocolate – and the darker the better: the best choice is 70% cocoa and more. Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids that stimulate blood flow to the brain, and such elements as iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium that boost energy and support many body functions.

            Consuming cocoa improves cognitive function , reduces stress, and protects mental health.

            5. Tomatoes

            Tomatoes are packed with carotenoids that safeguard fat in the body. As brain is mainly made of fat, this function is especially important for it.

            Tomatoes are a great source of two carotenoid types: lycopene and beta-carotene. They are powerful antioxidants that protect brain cells from free-radical damage, regulate cell growth, have anti-aging effects, and improve memory.

            6. Eggs

            Many of us mostly consume eggs as a source of proteins, but they have much more value for our health. They contain choline that regulates enzymes essential for mental health.

            Eggs are a safe way to consume cholesterol that strengthens brain cells and structures. Apart from that, eggs are packed with antioxidants and healthy fats that nurture and protect the brain.

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            7. Berries

            Berries are a great source of vitamins that help our body function properly. They contain vitamins C and K, antioxidants, fiber, and many other important nutrients.

            Dark berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, and cherries, are a source of flavonoids that improve brain health and boost memory.

            And while fresh berries are usually a seasonal treat, dried and frozen ones are also rich in healthy nutrients and can be consumed throughout the entire year.

            8.Green tea

            Green tea has been being used as a medicine throughout the centuries.[2] The list of its benefits for health and well-being is very long – but we’ll focus here on its positive effects on brain. It is extremely rich in antioxidants that protect brain from harmful free radicals and reduce the risk of cancer.

            In 1494, Japanese scientists identified in green tea an amino acid called L-theanine. It promotes relaxation and facilitates sleep, helping maintain concentration, regulating emotions, and boosting cognitive abilities.

            9. Sage and rosemary

            Adding these herbs to your favorite dishes not only improves the taste, but also sharpen the mind, alleviate fatigue, and increase mental clarity.

            These herbs contain over 40 active compounds that benefit brain health and enhance cognitive activity. They promote focus, concentration, and calmness, which is essential for alertness and long-term memory.[3]

            10. Red wine

            While high levels of alcohol are destructive for overall well-being and for brain health in particular, small amounts of red wine are refreshing and vivifying for brain.

            Studies have shown that red wine, alongside with it relaxing effect, also improves the brain’s ability to remove harmful toxins by regulating the glymphatic system, reduces the risk of inflammation, and improves cognitive abilities and motor skills.[4]

            5 Foods That Harm the Brain

            We’ve figured out what food is healthy – but knowing what is to avoid is also essential for maintaining brain health, good memory and sharp focus. Here’s a list of the most harmful foods that impair memory, impact mood, and increase health risks:

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            1. Sugary Foods and Beverages

            Studies prove that higher sugar levels in the blood not only result in excessive body weight and increase the risk of diabetes – they also expose you to the risk of dementia.[5] That’s why rep lacing sugary drinks and foods with healthier products is essential.

            Consider consuming unsweetened tea, water, vegetable juice, and unsweetened dairy products instead.

            2. Trans Fats

            Trans fats, or unsaturated fatty acids, in small amounts occur in natural and healthy products, such as dairy and meat, where they’re are not a major concern. Much more harmful are industrially produced ones, which are used in snacks, packaged baked goods, and fast food.

            As there’s a relation between the intake of trans fats and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, World Health Organization introduced a guide to eliminate trans fats from the global food supply.

            3. Refined Carbohydrates

            Refined carbs include sugar and highly-processed grains – for example, white flour. Due to their high glycemic index (GI), they are considered harmful to brain: foods high in GI impair memory in both children and adults, increase inflammation risks and can cause degenerative diseases.

            A healthy alternative is whole-grain foods, vegetables, and fruits.

            4. Aspartame

            A thing that is considered “better than sugar”, but in fact is not better at all. It is efficient for losing weight because it has zero calories, but its components – phenylalanine, methanol, and aspartic acid – have negative effects on cognitive abilities, mood, and alertness.

            A healthy choice recommended by experts is reducing the amount of sugar and artificial sweeteners in your diet, or cutting them out altogether.

            5. Alcohol

            While experts mention positive effects of moderate amounts of red wine on brain health, the excessive consumption of alcohol can cause severe problems that everyone needs to be aware of.

            Reduction in brain volume, metabolic problems, disruption of neurotransmitters are the most frequent negative effects. They cause memory loss, behavior disorders, and long-term brain damage.

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            Keep alcohol consumption moderate, or avoid it at all, especially if you already have any health risks.

            Bonus Advice…

            Just eating healthy food sometimes is obviously not enough for improving cognitive performance in the long-term perspective. The key to achieving the best result is getting healthy nutrients consistently. That’s why carefully balancing your daily meal is essential for staying focused and productive.

            Here’s some advice on what foods you can choose for your daily diet to boost your memory, concentration, and brain health:

            Breakfast

            A full and healthy breakfast is an efficient way to start your day productively – so never skip it!

            Oatmeal, berry smoothies, and eggs are traditional breakfast meals, and they are a great source of memory-boosting nutrients.

            Lunch

            It’s sometimes tempting to opt for fast food or packaged baked goods, but stay away from them if you want to stay healthy and energized.

            Sandwiches and salads with fish, green leafy vegetables, whole grain and chicken are a great choice for a light and healthy lunch.

            Dinner

            Again, don’t turn fast food into a habit – such options as seafood and fish, salads with tomatoes and green vegetables, kale, and whole-grain products energize your body and are a better choice for brain health and overall well-being.

            Snacks and Desserts

            Cookies and candies are a popular (and not really healthy) option for a snack or a dessert. Instead, try choosing healthier meals for your snack. Walnuts or almonds, fresh fruit or berries (depending on the season), or fruit and nut mix give a powerful energy boost.

            And don’t forget that dark chocolate is also a healthy choice for a dessert!

            The Bottom Line

            Improving and maintaining memory, focus and cognitive abilities is crucial for a full and active life. Choosing healthy foods and avoiding unhealthy ones helps support brain health in both short-term and long-term perspective. Keep your diet consistent, and combine good food habits with exercise, healthy sleep regime and reasonable work-life balance to achieve best results.

            Featured photo credit: Thomas Evans via unsplash.com

            Reference

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