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10 Superfoods That Increase Memory And Improve Mood

10 Superfoods That Increase Memory And Improve Mood

As the saying goes, you are what you eat. It turns out that this phrase is more true than most people think!

What you consume has a big effect on how your brain functions. As a matter of fact, a person’s memory, concentration, and even mood are affected by the various types of food they eat. Consider the fact that certain elements of a meal go directly into the synthesis of neurotransmitters that enable the brain to operate at peak performance. If deficiencies of these components exist, then the brain will suffer. Sluggishness and even a depressed mood can result. Below are some superfoods and recipes that have the right combination of nutrients to give your body much-needed brain food.

blueberry

    1. Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

    Blueberries are no stranger to “superfood” lists, but this recipe has extra ingredients to provide more bang for your buck. Research has shown that blueberries provide a cognitive boost in reasoning skills, decision making, and verbal comprehension. The whole wheat provides your body with carbohydrates, which is the preferred energy source for your brain, as well as a low glycemic index.

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    tuna

      2. Tuna Burgers

      This mood-improving recipe calls for a spin on the classic burger ingredients. Tuna is one of the best sources of Vitamin B3 (also known as niacin) and Vitamin B6 (or pyridoxine). If there is a deficiency of these nutrients, depression can result. Pyridoxine even helps in the synthesis of serotonin and norepinephrine, which are neurotransmitters targeted by antidepressant medications. Get the recipe here.

      pumkin

        3. Pumpkin Seeds

        There is one important reason why you should be eating pumpkin seeds right now: zinc. For starters, pumpkin seeds are packed with this stuff. Studies have shown that individuals with ADHD have lower levels of zinc. That may simply be a correlation, but zinc can also detoxify your brain from heavy metals!

        salsa

          4. Spiked Caribbean Salsa

          Who wouldn’t want a superfood that includes rum? The ingredients call for mangos, bell peppers, onions, cilantro, lime juice, orange juice, coconut, and papaya. That last one is what gives this recipe its brain-boosting qualities. Papaya is packed with folic acid which some researchers say is a great adjunct for managing depression. Not only that, but the whole dish is loaded with tons of Vitamin C; so it can help maintain immunity and promote neurotransmitter creation.

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          sunflowers

            5. Yogurt and Sunflower Seeds

            Having healthy amounts of iron in your body is important because low levels have been associated with ADD symptoms. Magnesium and zinc are also critical. This superfood combo is loaded with all three, making it a great recipe to promote dopamine regulation. Dopamine is your body’s “happy hormone,” so why wouldn’t you want to maximize it?

            gravy

              6. Country Sausage Gravy

              Looking for a hearty recipe that has the added bonus of improving memory? Try this one: the country sausage and gravy recipe calls for the super herb sage. A placebo controlled study actually found that this ingredient improved memory recall compared to participants who did not consume sage. Get this brain-boosting recipe here.

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              lentils

                7. Lentil Soup

                If you want a slightly healthier alternative to country sausage, maybe lentil soup will do the trick. As the recipe points out, this dish can help provide the necessary ingredients for your brain to utilize serotonin. In fact, research suggests that folic acid could help manage medication-resistant forms of mood disorders.

                shrimp

                  8. Shrimp and Cocktail Sauce

                  Did you know that shrimp contain an essential nutrient called selenium? If someone had low levels of this mineral, decreased cognition and depression could result. Shrimp also boast a healthy amount of astaxanthin, which may even have benefits in preventing diabetes. Check out the recipe for a quick tip for making your own cocktail sauce.

                  chocolate

                    9. Anything with chocolate in it

                    Don’t resist your sweet tooth! Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which is a psychoactive substance that makes people feel like they are in love. Snack on chocolate next time you are looking for a quick mood-boosting rush of endorphins.

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                    fish

                      10. Grilled Salmon

                      We have all heard about omega-3 and its numerous health benefits, but did you know that it has a proven effect in fighting depression? A recent study looked at its adjunctive effect at managing mood disorders. It turns out that omega-3, which is plentiful in salmon, can be beneficial for elevating mood and possibly even combating bipolar disorder.

                      [10 Superfood Recipes to Supercharge Your Brain | Neat Neuron]

                      Featured photo credit: sara marlowe via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                      • (1) Research
                      • (2) Deciding the topic
                      • (3) Creating the outline
                      • (4) Drafting the content
                      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                      • (6) Revision
                      • (7) etc.

                      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                      2. Change Your Environment

                      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                      6. Get a Buddy

                      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                      Reality check:

                      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                      More About Procrastination

                      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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