The demands of modern life drag daily on the brain’s ability to focus and function. A lack of sleep and exercise, stress, age, and the foods we eat (or don’t eat) all contribute to the brain drain. But there’s something you can do — and I don’t mean artificial, temporary fixes, which can exacerbate health problems down the line. You can do something proactive now with natural, lifestyle changes concerning the foods you and your family eat.
Nature has provided everything we need to not only stay healthy but thrive! Here’s our list of top 10 brain-boosting foods.
1. Get your whole-grain goodness!
Whole-grains with a low-GI supply the blood with slow-release glucose, which converts into much-needed energy for the brain to focus and function at an optimal level throughout the day. Low-GI whole grains include brown rice, buckwheat, oats, quinoa, bulgur, rye, and whole wheat.
2. Keep the vitamin K coming!
Foods rich in vitamin K — like kale, collard greens, and spinach — are natural brain-boosters. Make these superfoods delicious by getting creative with them! Prepare them in various, sumptuous ways to keep them interesting and regular items on the family menu.
3. You’ll want to remember these memory-boosting foods!
Sage, curry, krill oil, coconut oil, walnuts, celery, cauliflower, and broccoli are all excellent for healthy cognitive function and memory improvement. Write it down before you forget!
4. Go bananas for blueberries!
Great for improving your short-term memory and for your child’s rapidly developing brain, add blueberries to your daily diet!
5. Eat more tomatoes!
They contain lycopene, an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage that can lead to Alzheimer’s.
6. Magnesium, The Brain Messenger
Magnesium speeds up the transmission of messages in the brain by aiding neural cell receptors and facilitating neurovascular blood flow. That’s an important job! The top four foods rich in magnesium are: pumpkin seeds (48%), spinach (39%), Swiss chard (38%), and soybeans (37%).
7. Z is for zinc!
Eating foods rich in this super-nutrient can help with cognitive development and memory stabilization. The top four foods richest in zinc are beef (37%), lamb (35%), sesame seeds (25%), and pumpkin seeds (23%).
8. The vitamin B defense against dementia
A study published in the National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health found that vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid helped lower homocysteine levels and improve cognitive function. High levels of homocysteine have been linked to stroke, brain shrinkage, and Alzheimer’s.
9. Hit the crab shack!
Did you know that real crab is full of brain-loving vitamin B12? Plus, it aids in the production of a cocktail of brain-stimulating neurotransmitters and hormones. Go easy on the butter sauce, though.
10. There’s nothing fishy about eating fish!
According to a study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, eating baked or broiled fish once a week is good for the brain. So, get those omega-3 fatty acids on the regular!
“To keep the body in good health is a duty . . . otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” ~Buddha