You think what you eat. It doesn’t have quite the same ring as the age-old slogan, you are what you eat, but its got potential. I can see the ad for it now – a child’s brain growing vastly larger as they delve into a huge piece of wild salmon… Or maybe I should stick to what I know best and stop channeling my inner Don Draper. I was never really much for advertising anyway. Here are 10 of the best essential-nutrient-rich foods that fuel the brain to make it stronger, more durable, quicker and healthier.
10 Super “Brain” Foods:
- Avocados: These healthy fats enhance blood flow to the brain. And healthy blood flow equals a healthy brain.
- Blueberries: An antioxidant rich food known to help protect the brain from oxidative stress, increase communication between brain cells, and reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- Broccoli: The vitamin K in broccoli is known to improve brain chemistry and increase brainpower.
- Caffeine: The caffeine found in coffee and dark chocolate protects against brain damage, can help to increase concentration and focus, and stimulates endorphins in the brain improving overall mood.
- Lentils: Lentils provide the body with the sugar glucose, which is vital for brain energy.
- Nuts and Seeds: Nuts are rich in the antioxidant Vitamin E, which boost brainpower and decrease cognitive decline, aka memory loss, as you age.
- Omega-3 Rich Foods: Wild salmon, flaxseeds, trout, mackerel, chia seeds, sardines and walnuts are loaded with the omega-3 fatty acid DHA that is crucial for maintaining and developing the nervous system.
- Tomatoes: The lycopene in tomatoes is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against free radical damage to brain cells.
- Whole Grains: Whole grains, such as oats, quinoa and brown rice improve blood circulation and provide the brain with a steady supply of glucose, which enhances cognitive performance.
- Water: Ok, not a food, but dehydration from too little water in the diet can lead to a shrinkage of brain tissue that affects our ability to concentrate and remember things. Not surprising since 85% of brain weight is water… Throw a green tea bag into your water and you’ll get an extra boost of protection against brain disorders, an increase in mood enhancing dopamine levels, and a decrease in cognitive impairments.