15 Foods that Boost Brainpower

By Lisa Franchi on October 25, 2012

We were made to believe that once a person reaches adulthood, he stops generating new brain cells. But a growing body of research shows that our brain constantly changes as we age and that it is possible to produce new healthy cells regardless of what age you are. But for this to happen, we should invest on improving and feeding our brain.

What you eat plays a major role in the health of your brain. Studies show that eating junk food doesn’t benefit you in any way. So instead of munching those salty crisps and sipping soft drinks, you may want to have the following foods part of your regular diet. They are not just delicious but brain-friendly as well!

1.  Seafood. Fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids – good fats that are linked to good heart and better mental health. They also contain DHA which is crucial to the health of your nervous system, and iodine which is known to improve mental clarity. Salmon and albacore tuna are among the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Not a fish lover? You may get these essential fats from canola oil, flaxseeds, walnuts, and eggs.

2.  Whole grains. Brown rice and bread, oats, and other whole grains are rich in fibre. Other than improving digestion and metabolism, fibre also helps boost brainpower. In what way? Fibre slows down the absorption of sugar so it doesn’t overload in your brain and affect your mental function. Other sources of fibre are fruits and vegetables.

3.  Sage. Sage is among the popular Mediterranean herbs that have long been known to improve memory. Aside from using its oil as food enhancer, you can also add fresh sage leaves in your dish.

4.  Mixed nuts. Movie marathon? Instead of munching crisps, why not go with nuts? In a study by the American Journal of Epidemiology, it was found that regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin E such as nuts reduces the risk of mental decline. When eating nuts, eat them in variety. Have some of pecans, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, etc.

5.  Blackcurrants.  For an improved memory, you need an extra dose of vitamin C. One of the best sources of this vitamin is blackcurrant, a temperate fruit crop native to central and northern Europe and northern Asia. Consuming blackcurrants also reduce your risk of heart disease.

6.  Broccoli. If you want to remain young and mentally sharp, eat a lot of broccoli. This highly nutritious vegetable has been known to slow down the aging process and improve brain function.

7.  Vegetables. Almost all types of vegetable are good for the brain. But if you’re going to rank them, cabbage and cauliflower (including broccoli) are among the few that stand out. Research found that people who ate these vegetables scored higher in memory tests than those who didn’t.

8.  Tomatoes. Cut your risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease by eating tomatoes. This delicious fruit is the best source of lycopene, an antioxidant that guards healthy cells from being damaged by free radicals.

9.  Fruits. You need to feed your brain with diverse nutrients and minerals to ensure it stays sharp, healthy and alert. The brain needs vitamin B6, B12, and C, as well as calcium and iron which you can get from fruits and vegetables.

10. Water. Sometimes, a glass of water is all you need to get through a stressful task. Just imagine your brain as a leaf denied of water for days. Even just a mild dehydration can affect your mental performance.

11. Blueberries. In a report published in the journal Neuroscience, researchers from the Tufts University in the US reveals that blueberry extract helps improve short-term memory loss.

12. Tyrosine proteins. The exchange of information in your brain is not just affected by neurons, but also by the neurotransmitters. But some parts of your neurotransmitters like tryptophan cannot be generated by the brain so you will need to get them from food. Tyrosine proteins obtained from eggs, dairy products, soy and seafood helps your brain produce sufficient neurotransmitters for healthy mental functioning.

13. Coffee. Can’t concentrate? Have a cup of warm coffee first. When consumed in moderation, caffeine is good for the brain because it contains antioxidants. Regular coffee drinking has been linked to a reduced risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s and other mental health problems.

14. Avocadoes. Don’t think that avocado is too fatty for your health. Well, it has a lot of fats, that true. But only good fats! Avocadoes help normalise blood pressure and improve blood circulation which could keep your mind functioning at its peak.

15. Chocolate. This perhaps the sweetest and yummiest food for the brain. Dark chocolates are known for their beneficial effects because of the high amount of antioxidants they contain. This all-time favourite treat is known to promote concentration and focus.


Sources of this article:

10 foods to boost your brainpower

The brain diet: Eating the right foods can improve your memory, lift your mood and help you concentrate for longer, Daily Mail

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