Top 15 Foods for Brain Power
Are you struggling with your mental ability, focus, memory, problem solving and analytical skills? Food can greatly affect your brain functions by reducing inflammation and loading your brain with antioxidants and nutrients while promoting overall health and well-being.
Here are the top foods to boost your brain power!
- Fatty Fish
Fatty fish contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids which can help brain health and cognitive ability while improving mood, memory and stimulating brain cell growth. Omega-3 fatty acids can also help the prevention of cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and ADHD. Best fish sources include mackerel, trout, salmon and sardines.
This amazing spice can have key benefits for your brain. The major active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin can benefit your brain directly by crossing the blood-brain barrier where it can work to help your memory, mood, new brain cells grow and brain’s oxygen intake. You can add it to your food and smoothies!
- Green Tea
Green tea contains caffeine, L-theanine, polyphenols and antioxidants which can boost your brain function, performance, memory and focus.
The amino acid L-theanine can make you feel less anxious and more relaxed by crossing the blood-brain barrier and increasing the frequency of alpha waves and the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain.
Additionally, the polyphenols and antioxidants present in green tea may prevent mental decline, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Eggs can greatly benefit brain health by containing several key brain nutrients including vitamins B6, B9 (folate) and B12 and choline.
Choline is used by your body to produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which contributes to improved mood, memory and mental function. Choline is also key for foetal brain development in pregnant woman. Additionally, B vitamins can benefit brain health by delaying age related mental decline, helping to reduce depression symptoms and decrease the levels of homocysteine in the blood. High homocysteine levels have been related with bigger risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and cognitive impairment. Eggs are indeed an easy and non-expensive way to help your brain thrive!
- Citrus fruits
Oranges, lemons, pomelos grapefruits and limes are packed with
vitamin C which is key in mental health. Vitamin C can protect your brain cells from free radical’s damage while helping to reduce anxiety and stress symptoms. It can also contribute to the prevention of mental decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Other great sources of vitamin C include guava, bell peppers, kiwi, blackcurrants and tomatoes.
Blueberries are rich in vitamin C, K, fibre and anthocyanins with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. These can help to improve short term memory, delay short memory loss and brain aging. Their gallic acid can protect your brain from stress and neurodegeneration.
Blueberries are indeed a good addition for your brain health!
- Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains high levels flavonoids, antioxidants and caffeine which contribute to better mood and learning while preventing age-related mental decline. Now for better results avoid milk chocolate and choose instead close to 100% dark chocolate or cocoa nibs.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene which has strong antioxidant properties that can help to protect your brain against free radical damage. Lycopene has also been related with the possible prevention of dementia and Alzheimer disease. Tomatoes can be delicious in salads and stews.
- Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are packed with iron, zinc, magnesium, copper and antioxidants. Altogether they fight oxidative stress, brain fog and impaired brain function. They may also be related to the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, depression, migraines Parkinson’s disease. Pumpkin seeds can be an easy way to prevent deficiency in any of the minerals mentioned above and consequently benefiting your brain.
Nuts can be very helpful for your brain health specially walnuts and almonds. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, amino acids and minerals to improve your mood, cognitive health, memory and mental alertness while helping to slow mental decline. Nothing like having a handful of nuts to keep you going!
- Olive oil
This amazing oil is a good source of heathy fats and antioxidants which can greatly help your brain health.
Extra virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenols antioxidants, omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, vitamins E and K. It can improve learning and memory while preventing age related brain changes. Olive oil is a great addition to any salad dressing!
- Coconut oil
Coconut oil is a good source of healthy saturated fats which may help your brain function, memory and a healthy gut flora while protecting it from neurological disorders and inflammation. This oil is great choice for cooking!
- Whole grains
Whole grains are rich in fibre which can contribute to blood sugar levels balance and consequently steady brain energy supply, concentration and focus. ‘Brown’ wholegrain grains like rice, oats, barley, quinoa are a fabulous food for your brain!
- Green leafy vegetables
Leafy greens are rich in antioxidants and nutrients such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and vitamins A, C, K and folate. Leafy greens like spinach, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale and cauliflower can boost your brain by protecting and improving its function and oxygen intake. You can add then to any meal, from smoothies to soups and curries.
Beans are brain power foods which are rich in fiber, B vitamins and vegetarian protein. They will provide a steady source of energy to your brain while promoting brain function, memory, and concentration. Half a cup per day will do your brain wonders!