Let these brain foods boost your thinking power to the next level.
Feeling a little mentally dulled during your daily routine? Struggling to find that right choice of words to impress your boss? Can eating the right foods actually make you more intelligent? Maybe ingesting these brain foods won’t demonstrably increase your IQ, but you will be optimizing your body and brain by providing it with the nutrients it needs for success.
Your brain depends on glucose and oxygen to function optimally. Unfortunately, oxygen also damages cells and may be the cause of aging. Blueberries are full of antioxidants called polyphenols that help protect your brain cells from oxidation. Studies have shown that a diet high in blueberries prevents cognitive decline and improves memory capacity. Toss them into your morning oatmeal or use the frozen variety for your smoothies to give your brain a morning boost.
Excessive alcohol consumption will literally destroy your brain, but moderate usage with a glass of red wine with dinner can actually benefit your brain – which means that in small quantities red wine is definitely considered a brain food. It contains resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that has been shown to reverse brain atrophy in mice. It has also been demonstrated to improve the proportion of “good” cholesterol to “bad” and improve the function of your arteries, thereby reducing stroke risk. If you want the benefits of red wine without the alcohol or excess calories, consider resveratrol supplements.
We’ve talked about the myriad of benefits offered by Omega 3 fatty acids before. Fatty fish like salmon and sardines are full of Omega’s 3’s and also high in protein. These essential fatty acids have properties that may enhance mood and improve connections between neurons in the brain. Additionally, they are crucial for fetal brain development, making wild fatty fish an excellent choice for expecting mothers. Look out for high mercury content however.
Eggs are overall an awesome choice and are also considered great food for your brain. They yolks contain a chemical called choline, a precursor to a neurotransmitter that is essential for memory. Some research has suggested that regular egg consumption can improve overall brain function. Remember, the largest amount of choline is in the yolks, so eggs whites won’t contribute much here.
Another great brain food full of antioxidants, apples daily may truly keep those doctors away. Apples and apple juice have been shown to boost levels of neurotransmitters that are often low in people with a vitamin-poor diet. They may also ward off diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimers by improving neural connectivity.
The national drink of the Chinese, green tea has a host of benefits for both the brain and the cardiovascular system. It contains EGCG, or epigallocatechin-3 gallate, a chemical that assists the brain in neurogenesis. EGCG boosts production of neural progenitor cells which have the capacity to adapt into other types of cells. Green tea also contains moderate amounts of caffeine which will boost your energy and productivity, at least for a limited time.
We’ll finish with dessert. Though you shouldn’t overindulge, a moderate amount of dark chocolate provides you with brain-assisting antioxidants and can improve your mood. Chocolate also contains flavanol, a compound that prevents neural injury and can improve blood flow throughout the brain.