Food isn’t just to stop our bodies from feeling hungry. It also gives us much-needed nutrients – even our brains. Although it may sound like a strange concept, eating to boost your brain power is highly encouraged. You may have heard how it is better to eat more fish if you have an important test coming up. Well, there is some truth behind that.
Our diets can have a huge effect on how our brain functions on a daily basis. Overloading our diets with sugar, refined carbohydrates, trans fats and processed foods can impact our mood and increase the risk of developing dementia.
However, foods that are packed full of antioxidants and fatty acids will protect and strengthen brain cells. Keeping brain nutrition front of mind when it comes to what we eat will help you to keep your brain power in check.
Brain-Boosting Foods: Practising Good Brain Nutrition
Practising good brain nutrition is a lot easier than you may think. It doesn’t mean that you have to completely overhaul your diet or stop indulging in delectable desserts. Rather, it is about being more mindful of what we consume on a daily basis.
If you feel that you need to boost your brain power, then consider adding the following to your weekly meal plan.
Coconut oil is one of many foods that has been classified as a “superfood” in recent years. You may remember the craze that many people went through to adopt it into their diet or beauty regime. Yet, did you know that it is also great for your brain health?
Coconut oil is full of both good cholesterol and healthy saturated fats which is essential for the integrity and function of your brain cell membranes. These saturated fats boost fat burning and give your brain a quick release of energy.
Studies also suggest that the fatty acids in coconut oil can help brain power in and reduce symptoms for Alzheimer’s patients.
When you mention brain food, fatty fish will the first thing to spring to many people’s minds. Fish such as wild salmon or trout are packed full of omega-3 fatty acids. The brain uses omega-3 fatty acids to build and strengthen the brain and nerve cells.
These omega-3 fats have also been claimed to help to slow down age-related mental decline. Many doctors recommend including fatty fish as part of a meal each week. When it comes to brain nutrition, adding some omega-3 rich fish to your diet is an option.
Vegan Alternatives to Fatty Fish for Omegas
Chia seed, flaxseed or even soybeans can be good additions for your diet. These are all great sources of omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids and will do wonders for your brain.
Blueberries actually provide our body with numerous health benefits and are a great food source to boost brain power. This is because they are full of antioxidant properties. Our brains rely on antioxidants to fight off oxidative stress and inflammation.
Oxidative stress accelerates the brain’s aging process, negatively impacting brain function. Blueberries can counteract this by protecting neurons in the brain and ultimately, improving our memory.
A handful of nuts a day is just what the doctor ordered. Especially if they are walnuts. Walnuts are rich in a variety of essential brain nutrients including vitamin E, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. While all nuts are good for you, walnuts definitely stand out amongst the rest.
Vitamin E’s core goal when it comes to brain nutrition is to protect brain cells and neurons from damage caused by oxidation and free radicals. Combined with the omega-3 fatty acids, which walnuts are also rich in, creates a powerful team for boosting your brain power and health.
Yes, even dark chocolate is good for your brain. The reason that dark chocolate is recommended is due to the fact that it includes the following brain-boosting elements:
Flavonoids are a plant-based compound that contains both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These flavonoids gather in the learning and memory part of the brain. Research suggests that when dark chocolate is included as part of our diets it can enhance memory and boost cognitive function. It also helps to improve your mood. A win-win scenario if you ask us.
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Give Your Brain Power: Try Out These Tasty Recipes
So, now that we know how to eat for brain power we just need to put it into practice. There are many great recipes out that you can try to improve your brain nutrition. This black bean and salmon tostada recipe is a great and tasty dinner option. Or, why not have a delicious oatmeal and blueberry smoothie to start off your morning right.
Being mindful of what we eat and how it affects our brain is something that we all can easily do. So, why not go and boost your brain power?