Why would you want to know all the best foods for your brain?
Being the control center for your and body, the brain is responsible for letting you feel, move, think and everything else involved with living. What you eat plays a big role in keeping your brain healthy. So if you can eat certain foods that’ll enhance your memory and cognitive ability, why wouldn’t you?
According to Dr. George Birkmayer, a well-known physician, and researcher, consuming the best foods for your brain can improve various mental functions. If you want to stay sharp for your next exam or work meeting, paying attention to your diet will indeed pay off.
It’s evident that your brain plays a significant role if you want to make the most out of your life. Pay attention to the foods below to get all the nutrients you need to maintain your cognitive health.
7 Best Foods For Your Brain
Nuts A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that the regular consumption of nuts rich in Vitamin E can prevent cognitive decline, especially among aging individuals.
Vitamin E helps protect cell membranes from damage brought on by free radicals. Nuts can also improve heart health which is likewise connected to having a healthy brain.
Other good sources of Vitamin E include:
- Whole grains
- Brown rice
- Green leafy vegetables
All nuts are good for your brain but if you want an extra edge, walnuts provide omega-3 fatty acids on top of Vitamin E.
2. Dark Chocolate
If you’re a chocolate lover, now you have another reason to indulge in it. Dark chocolate contains brain-boosting compounds such as flavonoids that help enhance memory.
According to the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal study, those who eat chocolate more perform better in various mental tasks. Many research studies also prove that chocolate is a great mood booster.
3. Fatty Fish
The body can't produce essential fatty acids or EFAs which means you have to get them through your diet. These fats are vital for a healthy heart, brain function and general wellbeing. And when you talk about the most effective omega-3 fats, fatty fish is at the top of the list.
What makes fatty fish so good is because of its ready-made form of fats which allows the body to synthesize it easily. Omega-3 is the brain’s major building block that helps sharpen memory, improves mood and protects the brain from cognitive decline.
Rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids are:
If you can’t go on with your day without taking your coffee in the morning, there’s a big reason for that. Antioxidants and caffeine which are coffee's components are actually good for your brain. Caffeine in coffee has various benefits, including the following:
- Improves mood – Caffeine can boost serotonin levels, a “feel good” neurotransmitter.
- Sharpens concentration – Caffeine is a stimulant that helps improve mood and energy levels.
- Increases alertness – Caffeine keeps your mind alert by blocking adenosine which is a chemical messenger that makes you feel drowsy.
A study from Tufts University suggests that blueberries are useful for addressing short-term memory loss. They contain anthocyanin which is a plant compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The antioxidants present in blueberries help improve memory and delay brain aging.
The good thing about blueberries is that they’re widely available. Try adding blueberries to your smoothie or breakfast cereal. You can also try other dark fruits and vegetables which contain similar protective compounds.
Turmeric is a deep yellow spice which you can find in dishes like curry. The active ingredient in turmeric called “curcumin” can directly enter the brain and benefit the cells there. It’s also a strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound which gives the following brain benefits:
- Develops new brain cells – Curcumin supports a brain-derived neurotrophic factor which is a growth hormone that helps brain cells develop.
- Improves memory – Curcumin can help improve memory in individuals with Alzheimer’s. It also clears out amyloid plaques which are a trait in an Alzheimer’s disease.
- Eases depression – Turmeric boosts dopamine and serotonin levels which are responsible for improving mood.
Last, but not the least, are brain power supplements. If you’re unable to have a regular, healthy balanced diet due to your busy schedule, you may want to consider taking Niagen supplements.
Niagen is definitely one of the best foods for the brain. Not only does it enhance brain function but can also improve your overall health. There are various health benefits of Niagen which include reducing the incidence of illness and slowing down the aging process.
There are a lot of food products that can keep your brain healthy, and you need not be limited to the list above. Boost and support your cognitive health by incorporating brain power foods or supplements in your diet. To unleash your brain’s full potential, make sure to eat foods which are good for the mind.
AUTHOR BIO Frank L. Jaksch Jr. is the Chief Executive Officer and a co-founder of ChromaDex. He oversees research, strategy and operations for the Company with a focus on scientific and novel products for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical markets. Mr. Jaksch earned a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from Valparaiso University