By Liam H May 31, 2019
You know that how you eat can affect your body, but what you put in your mouth also affects your mood, your brain’s energy, your memory, and even your ability to handle stress, complex problems, or simple daily tasks!
Though your brain weighs only 2% of your body weight, it consumes 20% of the calories you eat! And the more nutrients you eat, the sharper your brain works.
So, to be naturally brainy, eat the following foods liberally!
1 – Legumes
Legumes are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates.
These complex carbohydrates are also mixed with fiber that slow down absorption, providing a steady supply of glucose to the brain without the risks of sugar spikes associated with many other sugar sources.
Legumes are also rich in folate a B vitamin critical to brain function.
2 – Mint
Mint is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin A can help boost learning skills and increase brain plasticity, while vitamin C is said to protect against cognitive decline.
According to studies, even the scent of mint affects brain functioning by boosting alertness and memory.
It also helps improve basic clerical skills, such as typing and memorization.
3 – Broccoli
Broccoli is not only a superfood for the whole body, it’s also one of the best foods to boost brain power and improve your memory! It’s rich in calcium, vitamin C, B vitamins, beta-carotene, iron, fiber, and vitamin K.
These nutrients protect against free radicals, they maintain proper blood circulation, and remove heavy metals that can damage the brain.
Broccoli’s potassium content helps the nervous system, which in turn helps the brain. Research also suggests that broccoli can help contribute to the brain healing itself in the event of an injury!
That’s pretty powerful stuff for a vegetable, and it’s not just limited to broccoli, but extends to the cruciferous vegetable family, including cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
4 – Beets
One of the simplest ways to increase brain power naturally is to include more beets in your diet.
They’re high in nitrates, which help increase blood flow in parts of the brain related to executive functioning.
Beets also contain lots of vitamin B9, which can aid cognitive functioning and delay dementia. In addition, beets are rich in carotenoids, which can help boost brain functioning and stave off depression.
5 – Seeds
Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds especially, are great for the brain, They contain a rich mix of protein, omega fatty acids, and B vitamins.
These seeds also contain tryptophan, which the brain converts into serotonin to boost mood and combat depression.
Eating a handful of seeds daily will also provide your daily recommended amount of zinc, which can help enhance memory and thinking skills! Soaked and sprouted seeds are even healthier!
6 – Nuts
Especially walnuts and almonds, they are some of the best brain-boosting foods on the planet, and they’re extremely good for the nervous system too.
Nuts are a great source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin B6; and vitamin E, which has been shown to improve brain power and prevent many forms of dementia by protecting the brain from free radicals.
Though it is worth noting, nuts contain some anti-nutrients – such as phytic acid, so it’s much healthier if you soak them overnight before you eat them.
7 – Quinoa
Quinoa is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and fiber to balance blood sugar while providing the essential glucose the brain craves.
Quinoa is also a good source of iron which helps keep the blood oxygenated, while B vitamins balance mood and protect blood vessels.
It is also gluten free for those with sensitivities to this protein. But, like most seeds, grains, and nuts, quinoa should be soaked overnight before cooking.
8 – Avocado
Good quality fats are extremely important for brain health, and avocados are a really good source of mono-unsaturated fats, omega 3, and omega 6 fatty acids.
These increase blood flow to the brain, lower cholesterol, and aid in the absorption of antioxidants.
Avocados also come with many antioxidants of their own, including vitamin E, which protect the body and the brain from free radical damage.
They’re also a good source of potassium and vitamin K both protect the brain from the risk of stroke.
9 – Blueberries
These berries are antioxidant powerhouses, protecting the brain from oxidative damage and stress that lead to premature aging, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.
The flavonoids in blueberries also improve the communication between neurons, which leads to improved memory, learning, and improved cognitive functions – including reasoning, decision making, verbal comprehension, and numerical ability.
10 – Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides that the body uses for energy, leaving glucose for the brain.
It also seems to have a beneficial effect on blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
And anything that benefits the heart and circulation, also benefits the brain! Coconut oil also acts as an anti-inflammatory and has been linked in the prevention of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
While there’s no single brain food that can completely protect against age-related disorders, paying attention to what you eat, gives you the best chances of getting all the nutrients you need for cognitive health. Eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes these 10 brain-boosting foods will help keep your memory, concentration and focus as sharp as can be.