Today I want to share with you the top 15 foods you can eat for boost your brain power. Eating these foods will increase your energy, provide clarity of thought and help sustain a good memory. Add these ‘superfoods’ to your daily diet, and you will increase your odds of maintaining a healthy brain for the rest of your life.
Help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Studies have also shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills.
The brain uses glucose for fuel, which is made from carbohydrates in the diet. Complex carbohydrates, found in starchy foods like wholegrain bread, pasta and rice, are the best way to provide these. They release energy slowly, and help the brain to function in stable way.
Tip: For better concentration and mental performance, choose wholegrain foods (like wholemeal bread) instead of refined versions (like white bread). Avoid sweets and sugary foods.
Avocados are full of monounsaturated fats that improve vascular health and blood flow, making them another brain food.
#4. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables.
Broccoli is a powerhouse in the vegetable world. As well as being high in antioxidants that protect the brain cells, broccoli has vitamin K which has been shown to improve brainpower and cognitive function. Other cruciferus vegetables include cauliflower, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, bokchoy and other Asian greens. These are rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants as well as containing carotenoids, which are strong brain protectors. One Harvard Medical School study found that women who ate more of these vegetables actually lowered their brain age.
#5. Dark chocolate Chocolate.
Antioxidant-rich dark chocolate is healthy for your whole body, but its caffeine content is thought to play a role in maintaining mental acuity. What’s more, chocolate is rich in flavonoids, a class of antioxidant that helps to improve blood flow.
#6. Ginkgo biloba.
This herb has been used in traditional Asian medicine for centuries and has become a popular ‘memory’ herb for the 21st century. Gingko increases the blood flow to the brain, thus increasing the supply of oxygen. It also has antioxidant properties.
Spinach is rich in the antioxidant lutein, which is thought to help protect against cognitive decline, according to researchers from Tufts University.
Fatty fish like sardines and wild salmon are a well-known brain booster, thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which have been linked to lower risk of dementia, improved focus and memory.
Is a low-glycemic complex carbohydrate that is excellent for people sensitive to gluten who still want to maintain cardiovascular health. The better your circulation, the sharper your brain – it’s been claimed that brown rice can boost your memory.
Provide the essential nutrient choline, which is only produced in the body in small amounts. Choline, in one form or another, actually makes up a large portion of the mass of the brain, so eating eggs can make a very significant difference to your brain health.
Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E. Nuts contain protein, high amounts of fiber, and they are rich in beneficial fats. For getting an immediate energy boost that won’t turn into a spike later, you can’t do better than nuts. The complex carbs will perk you up while the fat and protein will sustain you. Nuts also contain plenty of vitamin E, which is essential to cognitive function. You don’t have to eat raw, plain, unsalted nuts, but do avoid the ones with a lot of sweetening or seasoning blends. Filberts, hazelnuts, cashews, and walnuts are great choices, with almonds being the king of nuts.
Are full of zinc, a mineral which has been shown to boost memory. There are many ways to enjoy them, and you only need around a handful a day to keep your brain in top shape.
Oysters are great for your brain, no matter your age. Because they are rich in zinc as well as iron, eating this under-the-sea-delight will help to keep your mind sharp and increase your ability to recall information easily. Zinc and iron have been linked to the brain’s ability to stay focused and remember information. A lack of zinc and iron can result in memory lapses, poor concentration, and of course other ailments throughout the body.
Caffeine, the mild stimulant found in coffee, improves mental acuity. Aside from caffeine’s brain boosting effects, coffee’s antioxidant richness helps maintain brain Tip: A single espresso will boost your alertness, but a double will just make you anxious and muddle your thinking.
Play an important role in preventing brain disease, as they contain the antioxidant lycopene, which destroys free radicals in the body. Eating tomatoes can therefore help protect against such brain diseases as Alzheimer’s Syndrome.
Food and drink that is particularly bad for our brains
- Salty foods like crisps, tinned soups and ready meals. We know that salt causes high blood pressure, which increases our risk of stroke. Government guidelines state that you should eat no more than 6 grams of salt per day.
- Sugary foods and drinks like sweets and cola. These may give us a temporary energy kick, but the energy is released so quickly that we soon “crash”, feeling low and lethargic. Too many sugary foods and drinks in the diet can also make us overweight, which increases our risk of health complications.
- Trans fats, which are often present in ready-made foods. Trans fats are particularly bad for us and may increase our risk of ischaemic stroke. They are also known as ‘hydrogenated fat’ or ‘hydrogenated oil’.
There are many more brain foods, but these have been shown to be some of the most effective. And with the wide variety of choice you have in this list alone, there’s no excuse to avoid eating them. So go on, improve your brain health and enjoy a nice varied diet, starting today.
So, what did you think of the list? Are there any of your favourites in there? Are you going to try increasing your brain power?