We cannot reject the idea that whatever foodstuff we put into our mouths will definitely make a major impact on our activities for the rest of the day. Food has an influence on our mood, looks, and mental focus, which means that the donut you had for breakfast will surely give you that instant sugar peak. But guess what, it is short lived and you will definitely crave for more carbohydrates in the middle of a busy morning! Imagine what a single donut can do to your eating and your mental focus on that day.
Feed Your Brain Properly
Our brain is the most energy-hungry organ in our body that consumes 20% of all caloric intakes. Being the center of thought, movement and feelings, this organ works even when we are asleep! Therefore, our brains deserve proper nutrition through the foods we eat and the supplements we take. Here are some of the common brain-boosting foods that we should make a point to include in our diet.
This fish is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). These healthy brain boosting fats help lower the risk for dementia, memory loss, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Salmon as a brain booster is loaded with DHA, which makes two-thirds of the brain’s fatty acid, hence making it the brain's’ favorite source of fatty acids.
It may be considered a superfood that is full of calcium, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, beta carotene, iron and Vitamin K. Broccoli is loaded with antioxidants that help protect the body (and brain) against free radicals that cause damaging effects to the cells.
It has been said that people who eat more cruciferous vegetables like broccoli show a lesser mental decline. So make broccoli one of your favorite vegetables and enjoy many dishes that you can make with it.
A delicious nut that is loaded with ALA (alpha linolenic acid) which is also an omega-3 fatty acid and a brain power booster. ALA helps in good blood circulation and oxygen supply to the brain. Walnuts are high in antioxidants like Vitamin E, that protects the cells from damage caused by free radicals. Studies show that low consumption of omega-3 may lead to depression and poor cognitive function. Whenever you feel like you are having a low down (emotionally and mentally), enjoy a snack of walnuts to boost your mood and IQ as well.
Unless you have celiac disease and gluten intolerance, “grain foods for the brain” are safe and healthy. There are non-gluten grain options for you if you do have a gluten intolerance like buckwheat, corn, millet and amaranth.
Whole grains are a healthy source of glucose. It provides a slow glucose release into the blood that makes the brain alert the whole day. Glucose provided by snacks, like donuts and cakes, only give “sugar rush” which will not last long and will keep you feeling sluggish and hungry afterwards.
Berries are great alternative snacks instead of chips that are loaded with salt and monosodium glutamate. Short-term memory has been found to improve with consumption of berries like raspberries, strawberries, and cherries. These berries are antioxidant powerhouses that protect the brain from oxidative damage.
What is with avocado fruit that makes it deserving to be part of the “brain food” groups? This delicious fruit is rich in MUFA (monounsaturated fats), omega -3 and omega 6 fatty acids. It is also packed with its own antioxidants like Vitamin E, which protects the brain from oxidative stress. Avocados are also rich in Vitamin K and Potassium that help protect the brain from stroke.
Our brains need LOTS of water. Dehydration poses a great risk for impaired cognitive functions like memory loss and lack of mental focus. Remember to drink lots of water especially when you are outdoors or after doing some activities that make you sweat a lot. Fruits like apples, watermelon and citrus also provide the nutrients and hydration for the whole body. Remember our body is composed of 60% water. Any less than that would cause organs to shrink, especially the brain.
There is a number of brain-boosting foods packed with nutrients and antioxidants. It might be difficult to decide when there are many choices around. Just go with the basics and avoid foods high in trans fat, sugar, saturated fats, and most processed foods. These are the foods that are readily available but are also the leading brain “hurting” foods in the market which you would like to avoid.
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Newman, H. (2016). Why is salmon good for your brain? » Scienceline. [online] Scienceline.org. Available at: http://scienceline.org/2014/03/why-is-salmon-good-for-your-brain/ [Accessed 29 Apr. 2016].
Patil, S. (2015). The Brain-boosting foods | GOQii. [online] Goqii.com. Available at: http://goqii.com/blog/the-brain-boosting-foods/ [Accessed 29 Apr. 2016].
Pulsipher, C. (2013). 15 Foods to Improve Your Memory Naturally and Boost Brain Power. [online] Sunwarrior.com. Available at: https://sunwarrior.com/healthhub/brain-foods [Accessed 29 Apr. 2016].
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