Today, I’m going to piggyback off of BrainSharp’s post on brain-boosting supplements and take a more in-depth look at the foods that enhance cognition and support mental well-being. Eating well is as good for your mental health as it is for your physical health, and your brain craves nutrients to keep it healthy and happy. Here are the “ABCs” of brain-boosting superfoods.
Avocados are a great source of Vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and potassium. This fruit has been clinically demonstrated to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 67%.
Blueberries are packed with fiber, vitamin C, and polyphenols. This superfood can improve memory by 30%.
Cherries are full of melatonin, which helps regulate your body’s internal clock and improve focus during the day. Their antioxidants, also support the aging brain, improving cognition.
Dark chocolate is full of polyphenols that support good blood circulation to the brain. Opt for chocolate with over 70% pure cacoa to help reduce degenerative brain disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Eggplant contains a powerful antioxidant, nasunin, that supports communication between brain cells. Eating eggplant may result in better memory and improved concentration.
Fish supplies the brain with omega-3 fatty acids that combat memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Green tea helps create new brain cells, enhancing various brain processes like memory, concentration and spatial processing.
Hummus is a great source of magnesium, which helps speed up the transmission of messages between brain cells. It also helps improve circulation of blood to the brain.
Ice water can do a lot for your brain! Staying well hydrated helps prevent brain “shrinkage” associated with age-related cognitive decline.
Jalapeños provide the brain with folate, which plays an important role in the regulation of specific amino acids the nervous system requires. Low levels of folate are associated with disorders like depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
Kale is highly nutritious, containing iron, folate, and Vitamin B6. It also contains brain-boosting phytonutrients that support brain function and neurotransmitters that control mood, like serotonin.
Lean beef provides you with much-needed protein and a hefty dose of iron. It helps the brain by transporting more oxygen to the brain cells.
Milk supplies the brain with magnesium, which has known benefits in supporting concentration, focus and mental aptitude.
Nuts have a high concentration of DHA, an essential omega-3 fatty acid for supporting cognition. DHA protects brain health in newborns and improves cognitive performance in adults. It also helps to prevent age-related mental decline.
Oranges contain Vitamin C, which helps to improve psychomotor speed, attention, focus, and mental aptitude. It also improves circulation, supporting healthy blood flow to the brain.
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Pumpkin seeds provide B vitamins and glutamate. Glutamate is necessary for the production of GABA, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in behavior, cognition and the body’s response to stress.
Quiche is a savory pastry made with eggs, providing the body with choline. Choline boosts cognitive performance as well as enhances memory.
Raspberries contain antioxidants that may provide protection against memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related cognitive disorders.
Spinach supplies the brain with essential nutrients, like Vitamin E, Vitamin K and folate. It greatly reduces cognitive decline in the elderly.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, which combats free radical damage in the brain. They lower the risk of brain degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Unpasteurized cheese is full of essential fatty acids that improve mental aptitude and cognitive performance.
Vinegar (especially apple cider vinegar) helps to lower cholesterol, reducing the risk of stoke and, potentially, the risk of dementia.
Walnuts are loaded with Vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants, all of which increase brainpower and support cognitive function.
Flaxseed oil has a high concentration of alpha-lipoic acid, an essential fatty acid that powers up the cerebral cortex. It supports improves thinking, perceiving, producing and understanding language. If you want to learn more about all the benefits of flaxseed oil, I love this article by Superfood Profiles.
Yogurt contains tyrosine, which contributes to better focus and mental alertness by stimulating production of important brain chemicals, including epinephrine and dopamine.
Zucchini contains folate, potassium and various antioxidants with known neurological benefits. Folate helps to reduce Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline in the elderly, and also reduces birth defects in pregnant women.
Want to learn more? Check out this awesome article by Kate Forsyth from Be Healthy Today. She uncovers the top 10 brain-boosting foods perfect for busy college students….and yes, chocolate is on the list! Kate is a writer for Be Healthy Today, who specializes in health and nutrition. Her passion is to help people get an overall transformation of health that lasts a lifetime. Take a minute to see what brain-boosting foods she keeps handy!