What is the best food for your brain? Can you each tasty food without feeling guilty about it? Usually, I approach the subject as a balanced diet. I even have a section about it in my course. Yet my focus is on productivity rather than a diet. So I asked a fellow blogger Shristi Patni, whose expertise is food, to share her views. The amazing part: everything she mentioned I love to eat and consume in great quantities! I guess brainy food is tasty food… I hope you will enjoy this post as much as I did.
Your brain is a kinda big deal. It controls your body, keeps your lungs breathing and heart beating, and allows you to think, feel and move.
What you eat plays a crucial role in keeping your brain fit and healthy. It’s also responsible for your concentration and memory.
This is why we bring you 7 foods that boost brainpower.
It’s good news if you love grabbing a cup of coffee every morning.
It contains two components i.e. antioxidants and caffeine both of which immensely help your brain.
Coffee has several positive effects on your brain. Here are some examples of what the coffee does:
Drinking one large coffee in the morning or consuming several smaller amounts of coffee throughout the day helps you be more effective at tasks that require concentration.
Ever wondered why you always feel good after the first sip fo caffeine hits you? It contains serotonin that can also be referred to as the “feel-good” neurotransmitters.
Caffeine blocks adenosine, the messenger that makes you sleepy and therefore, helps you stay alert.
Caffeine is known to increase the metabolic rate of your body by 3-11%.
Improves physical performance
Caffeine increases adrenaline levels and prepares your body for physical exertion. It also breaks down your body fat, making these fatty acids available as fuel.
Protects the liver
Coffee is known to protect against cirrhosis a condition where your liver is replaced by scar tissue.
Depression is one of the most serious mental disorders. It has the power to significantly reduce the quality of your life. You’ll be surprised to know that 4.1% of people living in the US currently suffer from clinical depression. A study conducted on 208,424 individuals found that people who drank 4 or more cups of coffee each day were 53% less likely to commit suicide.
Helps you live longer
Since coffee helps reduce several diseases and keeps you fit, it only makes sense that coffee should help you live longer. Studies have shown that people who drink coffee have a lower risk of premature death and therefore, live longer.
Reduces the risk of neurological diseases
People who drink coffee for a longer period of time are found to have a reduced risk of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
#2. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish is on top of the list of foods that boost brainpower.
It includes sardines, trouts, and salmon, all of which contain high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids.
Our brain requires omega 3 to build nerve and brain cells. These fats are also responsible for memory and learning.
Apart from helping you boost brain power, consuming fish has the following health benefits:
Contains important nutrients
Fish contains minerals, vitamins, iodine, and protein, most of which people generally lack in.
Reduces the risk of strokes
Fish is one of the heart-friendly foods to eat. People who regularly consume fish are known to have a reduced risk of death from heart diseases such as strokes and attacks.
Promotes eye and brain development
Omega 3 fatty acids are crucial for development and growth. It contains docosahexaenoic acid that’s vital for both eye and brain development.
Boosts brain health
Consuming fish is a healthy way to ensure that your brain function doesn’t decline with aging. People who eat fish have a reduced rate of mental decline than those who don’t.
Depression is characterized by loss of interest in activities and life, decreased energy, sadness, and low mood. Studies have shown that people who eat fish are less likely to feel depressed. Omega 3 fatty acids and fish also aid other mental conditions like bipolar disorder.
Provides rich source of Vitamin D
Fish such as herring and salmon are some of the best dietary sources of vitamin D.
Improves sleep quality
Due to the pandemic, sleep disorders have become incredibly common throughout the globe. Evidence indicates that eating fish like salmon improves your quality of sleep.
This deep-yellow colored spice is generally used in preparing curry powders. It has numerous benefits for the brain.
It’s one of the best foods that boost brainpower.
An anti-inflammatory compound and potent antioxidant, it’s linked to several brain benefits such as:
Curcumin is an active ingredient that’s present in turmeric. Not only does it help in improving the memory of the people suffering from Alzheimer’s but also helps clear the amyloid plaques that are a part of this disease.
Turmeric boosts dopamine and serotonin both of which help improve mood. Evidence indicates that curcumin improves depression symptoms as much as antidepressants.
The best ways to include turmeric in your diet is to consume turmeric tea or cooking dishes that require curry powder.
Deeply colored berries such as blueberries are packed with antioxidants.
These antioxidants help combat both inflammation and oxidative stress both of which are related to neurodegenerative diseases and brain aging.
Blueberries contain antioxidants that help improve communication between brain cells.
It also delays short-term memory loss and improves memory.
Other than that, it has the following benefits for your body:
Packed with nutrients
It’s high in fiber but low in calories. It‘s also an excellent source of vitamins such as C and K.
Reduces DNA Damage
Evidence indicates that blueberry juice and blueberries reduce DNA damage which is a leading cause of both cancer and aging.
Protects against cholesterol
It protects bad LDL cholesterol from being oxidized thereby reducing the chance of heart diseases to a significant extent.
Lowers blood pressure
According to numerous studies, consuming blueberries on a regular basis is linked to lower blood pressure.
#5. Dark Chocolate
Cocoa powder and dark chocolate are full of brain-boosting compounds such as antioxidants, caffeine, and flavonoids.
Flavonoids help improve memory and slow down mental decline.
Chocolate is an amazing mood booster and promotes positive feelings.
Other than being one of the best foods that brainpower, dark chocolate has the following benefits for your body:
Dark chocolate is packed with fiber, manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, and other minerals.
Improves blood flow
Bioactive compounds present in cocoa improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure.
Excellent for your skin
Bioactive compounds present in dark chocolate work wonders for your skin. Flavanols present in cocoa improve blood flow to the skin and also protect it from sun damage.
Improves brain function
Dark chocolate and cocoa contain stimulants such as theobromine and caffeine that improve brain function by increasing blood flow.
Broccoli is loaded with powerful plant compounds as well as antioxidants.
Rich in vitamin K, it’s essential to form sphingolipids, the type of fat that’s packed into brain cells.
Evidence indicates that individuals that have a higher intake of vitamin K have a better memory.
Apart from this, broccoli has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects both of which help protect your brain against damage.
Here are 5 more health benefits of broccoli:
Loaded with bioactive compounds, minerals, and vitamins
Broccoli is an excellent source of fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
Protects against certain types of cancer
Studies have shown that broccoli has cancer-preventative properties.
It helps in regular bowel movements and improves digestive health.
Slows the aging process
Evidence indicates that sulforaphane present in broccoli reduces the aging process.
Supports oral and dental health
Nutrients present in broccoli help reduce the risk of oral and dental diseases.
#7. Pumpkin Seeds
Packed with powerful antioxidants, pumpkin seeds are another popular foods that boost brain power.
They contain high amounts of copper, zinc, iron and magnesium.
It is required by your brain to control nerve signals.
Used for nerve signaling.
The deficiency of iron causes impaired brain function and brain fog.
It’s vital for memory and learning.
Apart from boosting brainpower, here are a few more reasons to add pumpkin seeds to your diet:
Improves bladder and prostate health
Evidence indicates that regular consumption of pumpkin seeds reduces the symptoms of benign prostate enlargement as well as an overactive bladder.
Improves heart health
It reduces blood pressure and increases good cholesterol both of which help improve heart health.
Packed with fiber
Consuming a fiber-rich diet reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
There are plenty of foods that keep your brain healthy.
In addition to everything we just mentioned, for determining a specific diet, experts sometimes use software to calculate macros (macronutrients) and micronutrients.
Some fruits, vegetables, coffee, and tea contain antioxidants that protect the brain from damage.
Eggs and nuts, on the other hand, support brain and memory development.
Include these foods in your diet to boost brain power, boost alertness, mood, and memory.
What did you think of these foods that boost brain power? How many have you tried and which ones do you wish to try? Tell us in the comments section below!
Author Bio: Shristi Patni
Shristi is a content writer and owner of F and B Recipes. She enjoys writing about Soul Healing and Transitions Counseling. Formerly the Chief Content Officer at Raletta, she is currently working on her second cookbook.