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We all know the saying “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are” right?
Some people understand it very literally, and others exaggerate about it, but there are some truth and caution, at the same time, in this sentence. For instance, certain food we eat can influence our body’s energy and it can affect our mood due to the chemical reactions it produces in the brain.
Numerous scientific researches show that the way we think, feel, learn and live under the strong influence of the food we eat. The brain is no different from any other organ in the body; it needs food to “work properly”. Brain is our body’s captain of the ship. The question is what we should eat to enhance and improve the brainpower.
The most valuable antioxidant in tomatoes is lycopene that is important for the brain – it prevents dementia. You can consume tomatoes any way you wish: raw, cooked, or as juice, if possible homemade.
The best way to feel all the tea benefits is to brew fresh tea. Tea is rich in an antioxidant called catechines that are important booster for the brain. On the other hand, be very careful because tea can be contra-productive due to the amount of caffeine in it. Take no more than 3 cups a day.
High in and low on the glycemic, blueberries, and other berries, are good protectors of the brain – they reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, berries improve learning abilities and memory. When eaten fresh they are the best anti-stress food. Do not take dried berries because its benefits are lost.
Garlic is important because it has an antioxidant effect on the brain. You should know that peeled or chopped garlic has no nutrition value, so always go for the natural one.
For vitamin A, carrots are certainly beneficial for the eyes sight, but they are also very lucrative for the brain.
Carrots contain luteolin that can diminish the inflammation when the brain capacity is reduced. These vegetables are responsible for the preservation of cognitive function – carrots slow cognitive aging.
Dextrose and levulose in carrots remineralize the nerves and the brain.
Although eggs contain cholesterol, they are also very important for the brain’s energy. The protein in eggs forms necessary components of neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. The nutrient, such as choline helps brain cells communicate with each other and with other muscle cells.
Do not avoid eggs due to the cholesterol; limit other sources of it for the rest of the day.
Soy has an important role as a brain booster due to the lecithin that can improve cognitive function.
To stay healthy, the brain needs minerals such as magnesium and selenium, which you can find in oysters.
Fried or raw, oysters are an excellent source of omega -3 fatty acids that are brain boosters. Iron and zinc in oysters help concentration and memory strength.
Beans are the source of proteins, minerals, fiber, and vitamins. Slow-releasing carbohydrates in beans are very beneficial for the brain’s activity. Beans also have a significant amount of iron and B vitamins that will boost your energy quickly.
Just pick your greens and do not worry about the energy during the day. Green leafy vegetables such as romaine, arugula, chard, kale, and spinach are the source of iron and manganese.
Remember that when a brain is lacking iron, you can experience mood disorders and some cognition related problems.
Tuna has a high level of vitamin B6 and B12 and is a rich source of omega -3 fatty acids. These tuna characteristics are important for memory strength and brain health in general. Tuna also contains micronutrients that are beneficial for the central nervous system.
Another rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is good for the reduction of the risk of dementia, depression, anxiety, and hyperactivity. Salmon also improves memory and empower cognition abilities.
In one word, oatmeal is brain’s fuel. They provide glucose, and they are low on the glycemic index, therefore, a slow rise in blood sugar results in several hours of sustained power. There is also a small amount of Omega-3 fatty acid. The second important thing about oatmeal is the ability to lower the cholesterol.
The best way to use all the antioxidant characteristic of the pomegranates is to prepare a juice. Pomegranates have a significant amount of nutrients, especially glucose. Our brain, as well as body, needs this quick energy booster.
This memory booster grain is rich in B vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, and inositol. All these vitamins are necessary for optimal brain health because they produce energy for brain cells. Apart from vitamins, brown rice is high in fiber, and a rich source of manganese, magnesium, and selenium.
Salty or sweet (but not too sweet), walnuts, peanuts, cashews, almond, filberts and hazelnuts are fighters against tiredness and mood disorders.
All of the nuts contain a high amount of fiber, fats, proteins, and especially vitamin E. Do remember that peanuts are not rich with healthy fat, but still, they are powerful for the brain’s activity due to the niacin.
Walnuts, on the other hand, are the brain’s best friend due to the omega-3 fatty acids that improve cognitive performance and prevent cognitive decline.
Last, but certainly not least, is the chocolate! Chocolate has antioxidant characteristics and the perfect amount of caffeine. Moreover, chocolate increases endorphins and contains serotonin that is an anti-depressant.
If it is not much of the problem, opt for the dark chocolate over any other. Dark chocolate is very rich in fiber that improves and protects cardiovascular system thus protect your brain’s health as well.
Above all, chocolate boost blood flows in the brain that can help with short-term memory and problem-solving skills.
What should you avoid?
Alcohol is certainly the first enemy – it reduces brain functions and deprives you of the necessary energy. The second enemy is nicotine because it reduces brain function and constricts blood flow to the brain.
Do not fool yourself that once you fill your fridge with these groceries you can enjoy your life. Do not be one of those people who cannot see the forest for the trees. Healthy lifestyle implies regular exercising, positive thinking and creative activities.
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Last article update: 9/20/2019