Studies have shown that certain types of food can vastly enhance our cognitive powers and make our brains work harder and better. Obviously, we have to make such foods a part of our diet because having an active brain is important. Also, the more active you are mentally, there could be less chances of you developing Alzheimer’s, although of course, that hasn’t been proven yet.
Over the ages, people have believed in the power of certain foods over others in enhancing the health of our brain. Some of these claims have been corroborated by research while others have not stood the test of time. Here’s a look at some of the foods that you must include in your diet to ensure better functioning of your brain.
- Fish – Fish oil is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and today everyone has heard of the benefits that can be derived from this wonder supplement. If you’re going to eat fish and not just pop the pills, then try and get hold of wild salmon because it is a very rich source of brain food. It not only has Omega 3 but it is also a good source of high quality protein and low saturated fat and doesn’t contain as many contaminants such as mercury. Make wild salmon a regular part of your diet and see the difference.
- Nuts – Your mom was right when she told you to munch on nuts instead of unhealthy junk food that simply added the rust to your brain. Common nuts such as walnuts, cashews, almonds and hazelnuts are loaded with nutrients that can pack quite a punch. Among nuts, walnuts are known to contain a good amount of protein, Omega 3 and vitamins that can enrich your brain cells.
- Seeds – Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds are being hailed by health enthusiasts for the numerous benefits they have to offer. However, primary among these is that these seeds can also make your brain work better. They also contain minerals such as magnesium which is known to boost our brain power.
- Cacao Beans – No, you can’t go and eat all the candy you want because it contains chocolate and chocolate comes from cacao beans. Your mind won’t become any sharper but you will definitely find your hips to be heavier! Cacao beans have been found to contain many brain enhancing components such as antioxidants, flavonoids, catechins etc which are renowned to make your brain sharper. To derive all these benefits, it’s imperative that you choose 100% organic, non-alkalized cocoa powder which has been processed minimally or simply raw cacao beans. You could also try dark chocolate that contains at least 85% cocoa as compared to other chocolates which could have only 20 to 30 percent.
- Acai berries – This well-known superfood contains the highest ORAC antioxidant levels that have ever been found. With its rich haul of antioxidants, not only will it make your body healthier than before, it also hugely contributes towards making you mentally sharper and more perceptive.
- Blueberries – Blueberries are also excellent brain food and they’ve been known to enhance your mental prowess. The good thing about blueberries is that it’s easier to get them and use them in your food as compared to some other berries, even Acai, which lose their potency after processing.
- Eggs – Eggs are packed with plenty of nutrients such as selenium that can improve mood and choline, which increases the size of the neurons, helping them fire electrical signals more strongly, thereby boosting the memory center of the brain.
- Avocados – Avocados are right up there on the brain food list along with blueberries. They contain mono-unsaturated fats that increase the blood flow and thereby help in making the brain healthier.
- Coffee – Two cups a day can actually boost your memory power and make your brain work better. But it’s a pointless exercise if you load your coffee with sugar, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Research has shown it to be one of the best known brain foods that reduces the risks of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Green Tea – This amazing drink is not overrated as some people think. Green tea enhances memory and helps people in focusing better. It also prevents mental fatigue and the catechines (phytochemical compound) in it promote a sense of wellbeing.
- Tomatoes – This humble fruit that finds its place in our salads is a rich source of lycopene, which is very good for the brain. It prevents free radicals from wreaking damage to the brain cells and helps prevent the brain from aging.
- Broccoli – This nutrient rich food is a good source of Vitamin K which helps you think better and more clearly and improves brain power greatly.
- Olive oil – Long held as the bastion of overall good health, extra virgin or raw, unprocessed olive oil helps you in having clear thinking and good memory.
Brain foods often work in conjunction with each other so try and maximize the benefits for your brain by combining two or three of them into your meals and start noticing the difference.