7 foods to help boost your brain power
The foods we eat can have a big impact on the structure and health of our brains. Eating a brain-boosting diet can support both short- and long-term brain function.
The brain is an energy-intensive organ, using around 20 percent of the body’s calories, so it needs plenty of good fuel to maintain concentration throughout the day.
The brain also requires certain nutrients to stay healthy. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, help build and repair brain cells, and antioxidants reduce cellular stress and inflammation, which are linked to brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Ensure you incorporate these seven foods into your diet for maximum brain power:
1. Oily fish
Salmon and tuna are rich in the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which is important for the normal functioning of neurons in the brain.
Studies have shown that increasing your DHA intake can boost the function of your memory by a whopping 15%!
Long-term studies have also shown that those who eat oily fish at least once a week have a significantly lower risk of developing dementia and other memory conditions as they age.
Berries, especially blueberries, are high in antioxidants that protect the brain and body from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related mental conditions like dementia.
Diets rich in blueberries also improve your learning capacity and motor skills. One study has even shown that blueberries have reversed nerve cell damage in rats, increasing their short-term memory and improve their balance and coordination.
Talk about a superfood.
Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats acids (MUFAs) that promote healthy blood flow and lower blood pressure, both fantastic for your brain, which relies on the oxygen in your blood.
MUFAs also help protect the nerve cells in your brain, safeguarding your memory and motor skills. Avocados are also high in vitamins E and C, which are associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Nuts and Seeds
Almonds and hazelnuts are high in vitamin E to boost memory, while walnuts have a high concentration of DHA to increase cognitive performance, and peanuts contain niacin, which has been associated with preventing cognitive decline.
Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are a source of tryptophan to keep your mind happy and help you sleep, while flaxseeds are a good source of omega-3 for memory and overall health.
5. Dark, Leafy greens
Dark green, leafy veggies like broccoli, spinach and kale are all great sources of vitamin E and folate. Vitamin E is great for memory function, while folate assists in the breakdown of homocysteine, an amino acid thought to contribute to the destruction of nerve cells in the brain. Broccoli in particular is also high in choline, which has been found to improve memory, and vitamin K, known to strengthen cognitive abilities.
Freshly brewed tea contains moderate amounts of caffeine that can improve your focus and concentration.
It’s also a good source of catechins, an antioxidant that promotes healthy blood flow. The water in tea will also help you keep hydrated, which boosts concentration.
7. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate has great antioxidant properties and caffeine for mental stimulation.
Cocoa has been shown to improve verbal fluency and cognitive function, as well as regulate blood flow to the brain. It also stimulates the production of endorphins to keep you positive.
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