Eating well is good for your mental as well as your physical health. The brain requires nutrients just like your heart, lungs or muscles do. But which foods are particularly important to keep our grey matter happy and healthy?
Foods Can Harm Brain Health – Avoid These Intelligence Killing Foods
– Diet sodas
– Fried foods
– Commercial muffins
– Soy sauce
– Microwave Popcorn
– Cured meats
– Frozen pizza
– Rib eye steak
– Frozen pie
– Ice cream
– Very salty foods
– Processed proteins
– Artificial Sweeteners
It is important to remember to avoid these foods that are bad for the brain and also may result in other diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity as well as other chronic diseases. Focus instead on the following foods that improve brain function and boost your memory.
1. Blueberries – Evidence accumulated at Tufts University in the United States suggests that the consumption of blueberries may be effective in improving or delaying short term memory loss. They’re widely available, but you can also look out for dark red and purple fruits and veg which contain the same protective compounds called anthocyanins.
2. Spinach – You could have crunchy, nutritious kale as a salad for lunch, but if you’re looking to change things up, consider trying another dark leafy green whenever the mood strikes. Spinach is known as brain food and there’s a reason why.
3. Avocado – They are a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, together with vitamin K and potassium, makes avocado as an excellent food to boost brain function and memory.
4. Tomatoes – Lycopene in tomatoes is a powerful antioxidant, that may protect the cells from the damage of free radicals. People who eat tomatoes often have a lower risk of getting Alzheimer’s.
5. Walnuts – A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that a good intake of vitamin E might help to prevent cognitive decline, particularly in the elderly. Nuts are a great source of vitamin E along with leafy green vegetables, asparagus, olives, seeds, eggs, brown rice and wholegrains.
6. Broccoli – Broccoli is great source of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function and improve brainpower. Researchers have reported that because broccoli is high in compounds called glucosinolates, it can slow the breakdown of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which we need for the central nervous system to perform properly and to keep our brains and our memories sharp. Low levels of acetylcholine are associated with Alzheimer’s.
7. Rosemary – As an antioxidant, rosemary has many great medicinal properties to benefit your overall health. It improves blood flow to the brain and also helps people with depression.
8. Whole Grains – Like everything else in your body, the brain cannot work without energy. The ability to concentrate and focus comes from an adequate, steady supply of energy – in the form of glucose in our blood to the brain. Achieve this by choosing wholegrains with a low-GI, which release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, keeping you mentally alert throughout the day. Opt for ‘brown’ wholegrain cereals, granary bread, rice and pasta.
9. Capers – They are rich in quercetin, which works well to stimulate memory by improving the blood flow to your brain.
10. Dark Chocolate – Not all chocolate is created equal; in fact, dark chocolate can actually be good for you! Chocolate is chockfull of flavonols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They can also help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to both the brain and heart.
But don’t go wild munching on Hershey’s Kisses just yet. Most of the chocolate you see on supermarket shelves is highly processed with few benefits. The rule of thumb is the darker the chocolate, the more health benefits.
Skip milk and white chocolates and opt for a minimally processed dark chocolate with at least 70 percent of cocoa. This ensures you’ll get your choco fix and its brain benefits!