Do you remember that old saying in technology: garbage in…garbage out? Your body – especially your brain – works much the same way. Your physical body plays a big role in your cognitive thinking.
If you want your brain to function at its best, you have to give it the fuel it needs.
Eating healthy is going to give you food that pays off in your physical and mental health. Avoid junk food and fast food since it is pumped full of chemicals and offers nothing your body can use for actual fuel.
If your body isn’t able to use it – neither can your brain!
Cut out the foods that cause you to feel “foggy” and add these brain foods to your regular nutrition plan!
10 Brain Foods to Boost Cognitive Abilities
- Whole grains – with a lower glycemic index, whole grains are converted to energy slowly and gradually fuels your body longer. They also boost your ability to focus. Add oats, whole grain breads and pasta to your regular nutrition plan to improve cardiovascular health – resulting in improved blood flow to your brain.
- Fatty fish – you’ll find your best source of omega-3s in foods such as wild salmon, tuna and mackerel. Omega-3 deficiency has been linked to a higher risk of inflammation and dementia. One form of omega-3 called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) makes up 25% of your brain and you cannot produce it yourself. You have no choice but to get it in your diet. The older you get, the more DHA you need to add to your diet.
- Blueberries – to power up your short and long-term memory, opt for blueberries which aren’t expensive and can be found in most local grocery stores. They show great promise in minimizing age-related memory loss. You can even find them frozen (unsweetened) for a boost in the off-season.
- Tomatoes – lycopene is one of the most effective free radical fighters. Oxidation is considered one of the core risks of neuro-degenerative disease.
- Seeds and nuts – adding one ounce a day of almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds has been shown to slow cognitive decline. They also improve your vitamin E levels and raise your fiber intake.
- Avocados – the monounsaturated fats in avocados help improve blood flow and that is great news for your brain.
- Coconut oil – the primary fuel your brain uses is glucose. When you become insulin resistant, your brain can literally starve to death and begin to atrophy and die. Alzheimer’s patients are responding to an alternative brain food called ketones – produced from your fat instead of glucose – found in coconut oil. Many studies are being done with coconut oil – not only as a preventative measure for neuro-degenerative disease – but to reverse diagnosed cases!
- Dark chocolate – low in sugar and fat with a touch of caffeine, dark chocolate has many benefits and is a safe and natural stimulant that tastes delicious. Consuming one ounce per day can help your entire body including heart health and obesity. It boosts mood by releasing endorphins. Look for selections that contain at least 70% cacao for the most powerful antioxidants.
- Beans- there are few foods as inexpensive and beneficial as beans. They help regulate blood sugar levels (glucose) because they provide a slower, steadier form of energy that doesn’t burn out quickly.
- Green tea- with low caffeine and an incredible amount of antioxidants, consuming two cups of green tea each day has been connected to enhanced memory and focus, heart health, cancer prevention and weight loss.
Check out “brain game” websites for puzzles to improve brain health and sharpen cognizance. Just like running the circuit at the gym to improve your physical fitness – your brain needs a workout too!
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Category: Mental Health