We all know that feeling: it’s 2:30 in the afternoon, and you just got back to the office or home after a huge lunch with friends. You sit down to work, but your brain just won’t quite cooperate. You think, “What is the most brainless thing I can do right now and still be productive?”
Why is it that we feel that way? Is there anything we can do to stay sharp all day and not just after our morning coffee? The answer is yes! It turns out that the food we eat has a very important relationship with how well our brain functions. Foods high in vitamins and Omega fatty acids for instance, can help combat brain fog and fuzzy thinking. Other foods can guard against cognitive changes and protect our brains from stress and inflammation. If you’re looking for an edge when it comes to mental performance, look no further! This is a super list of 10 brain-healthy foods that improve memory and focus.
10 Brain-Healthy Foods that Will Keep You Sharp
1.) If you find yourself wanting to snack on something, skip the potato chips and pick up a bag of walnuts. Walnuts are power-packed with omega-3 fatty acids and are officially one of the best brain foods available. They can help sharpen your focus, and they also contain Vitamin E, which has been shown to slow cognitive changes. To get the most benefit, get walnuts that are raw (unroasted) and unsalted.
2.) Millennials will be happy to know that their favorite snack is also a brain-healthy food. Yes, avocados not only lower blood pressure, but also can help increase blood flow to the brain. This is because they are high in monounsaturated fat (the good fat!). So have another slice of avocado toast; your brain will thank you!
3.) Did you know that your brain is fat? We mean that literally. Your brain is actually 60% fat, and half of that is made out of Omega-3 fatty acids. One of the very best sources of Omega 3’s is in fatty fish such as salmon, trout, and sardines. A study revealed that people who regularly eat baked or broiled fish actually have more gray matter! Gray matter contains most of the nerve cells that control decision making, memory and emotion. In light of that fact, salmon definitely qualifies as a brain food.
4.) People are going wild for turmeric right now and with good reason. This ancient Indian spice has been shown to have massive health benefits and acts as a powerful antioxidant. The main ingredient in Turmeric (curcumin) can actually cross the blood-brain barrier. What that means is that it is able to directly enter the brain and benefit the cells there. One of the other benefits of turmeric is that it boosts serotonin and dopamine–the brain’s natural feel-good chemicals. Adding turmeric to your diet can promote a sense of well-being and have a number of other cognitive benefits. It is one of the most brain-healthy foods!
5.) Now for the news you’ve been wanting to hear: yes, chocolate is good for you. More specifically, it is good for the brain. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder contain certain compounds called flavanoids that can go a long way in boosting your cognitive ability. Flavanoids gather in the learning and memory centers of the brain, and have been shown to combat age-related mental changes. Remember, to get the most out of this memory-boosting food, buy dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa. The higher the cocoa, the better the benefits!
6.) Not only are eggs packed with B-vitamins, they also contain an important micronutrient called choline. Multiple studies have found that higher consumption of choline is related to better memory and mental function. B vitamins can also play a vital role in the protecting the brain. Studies have shown that they may help slow cognitive decline as we age. So, get creative! Find ways to add this brain-healthy food (and memory food) to your menu!
7.) Coconut oil is being used for everything from skincare to teeth whitening these days, but it also has many brain benefits. A natural anti-inflammatory, studies show that coconut oil may help with age-related memory loss. There are many ways to add coconut oil to your diet, and a million recipes call for it. Google “Coconut Oil Recipes,” and you will discover tons of ideas for incorporating this memory-boosting food.
8.) They’re tasty, they’re colorful, and they have an extremely high concentration of antioxidants. But there are more reasons why blueberries are one of the best brain foods. They have a high concentration of gallic acid, which makes them extremely potent at protecting our brain from stress. They also can combat cognitive changes. Blueberries are one of, if not the best brain fruit you can buy, and they’re packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber.
9.) A source of natural caffeine, green tea is a brain food (or drink, rather) that helps improve mental function. It heightens memory, focus and alertness. But that’s not all! Green tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which increases an anxiety-reducing neurotransmitter called GABA. This memory-boosting food also increases the frequency of alpha waves in the brain, which helps you relax without feeling tired. So, instead of drinking soda, try substituting green tea some time. You may like how it makes you feel!
10.) In light of the Halloween season, pumpkin seeds should definitely be listed as one of the best brain foods. Pumpkins seeds are packed with nutrients that are especially valuable to the brain. Zinc, Magnesium, Copper and Iron work together to keep the brain healthy and running well. This includes functions like memory and learning. So if you’re looking for a light brain food snack, pumpkin seeds are a great way to go.
Adding healthy brain foods is a great way to not only boost your memory and focus, but also safeguard against cognitive changes as you age. Even if you are a young person, paying attention to your brain health is a wise move. Researchers have discovered that cognitive change may begin as early as the 30’s, and becomes more pronounced and evident after the age of 50. From that point, it continues to change with each passing year.
The more you give your brain the fuel it requires, the greater chance you stand of having a healthy, alert brain even into old age. Adding brain foods to your diet is a great step, but you may also need to add a brain health supplement to your daily regimen. To get the nutritional foundation you need, we recommend Procera Memory Support. It contains a patented, memory blend formulated from Ginkgo Biloba and Panax Ginseng. These two ingredients work together to widen the blood vessels and improve the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Procera Memory Support is an excellent supplement to take in combination with a brain-healthy diet. You can order it at procerahealth.com.