What do the foods you consume have to do with how your brain functions?
According to new research, quite a bit!
While we’ve always known that diet impact our bodies and how we look, scientists are learning that our eating patterns also impact our brain health; either for good or bad.
So how can you increase yourbrain function?
Check out the 10 best foods for brain health below.
1. Wild Salmon
For any seafood lovers out there, you'll be excited to see salmon at the top of our list. Wild salmon is a delicious piece of fish that tastes wonderful as well as having some incredibly helpful benefits for your brain.
Wild salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, an important fat molecule that makes up a significant portion of your brain matter. Research shows that omega-3’s help to protect your brain through their neuroprotective properties (1).
The benefits of omega-3’s aren’t limited to only brain health, they are also beneficial to the health of your entire body. It is recommend that you eat two portions of fish every week to get a beneficial amount of omega-3 fatty acids (2). Stay away from farm-grown fish, wild caught is best.
If fish isn’t your favorite food, you can take a fish oil supplement. We have a premium-grade natural triglyceride fish oil, you can learn more about ithere. It's burp free, ethically sourced, and tested for purity!
Not only are they a delicious snack to munch on when hunger starts to strike, but they also have numerous health benefits.
This is due to the high antioxidant levels found in blueberries, in fact, blueberries are one of the most antioxidant-rich foods on the planet!
Due to a high level of Gallic acid, blueberries can help to manage to improve memory. In fact, a study done in 2011 showed that blueberries helped older adults to improve memory (3).
Fresh blueberries are ideal, just make sure to buy organic if possible, and wash them before eating! You can also get dried blueberries, another great option (with high fiber content).
Just be careful that you don’t get dried blueberries loaded with added sugars.
Walnuts – oh so simple, and yet oh so good for you. This little nut just so happens to be in the shape of the brain, and that appears to be the part of your body that benefits from it the most.
Rich in minerals and antioxidants, walnuts are noted for helping to improve brain function. In fact, a study done in 2015 showed that eating walnuts increased cognitive function. (4).
Skip the coffee and consider having walnuts as a mid-afternoon snack. Eat more walnuts and maintain a higher level of mental alertness!
Not only are eggs delicious, they are highly nutritious for your body. Eggs are one of the best dietary sources of choline, a brain beneficial nutrient. Choline is a nutrient that acts as a neurotransmitter, which helps to improve cognitive power (5).
Free-range eggs are the best source for eggs. Buying “free-range” means that the chickens were raised on a farm and had the ability to move around, get outside, and live a happy life.
As a side note, did you know that eggs with brown shells and eggs with white shells are exactly the same? Despite the different shell colors, brown and white eggs have an identical nutrition profile.
As far as cooking eggs, throwing them in a pan with a dash of olive oil is the healthiest way to eat them.
5. Green Leafy Vegetables (i.e. Kale)
While many may think green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach aren't the best tasting foods, they have a ton of health benefits.
Green leafy vegetables are high in vitamin A, C, E, and K. (6).
In particular, the vitamin K content found in dark leafy vegetables is a powerful anti-oxidant that helps to protects your brain.
According to Dr. Drew Ramsey, vitamin K is a “key co-factor needed to make the specialized fats called sphingolipids that create the structure of our brain cells, and it promotes brain cells being more resilient by influencing gene expression” (7).
Avocado are one of the most beneficial foods that you can consume. Full of “good fats” (monosaturated fats), avocados are an ideal food for brain health! Avocados are also one of the best keto friendly foods.
Rich with vitamin K and folate, avocados are a great food to eat to help improve cognitive function.
Want to try a new way to eat avocados? Try avocado toast! Simply make a piece of toast and spread fresh avocado over it (like butter). Delicious!
7. Dark Chocolate
The mere mention of chocolate sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?
Now, while large quantities of chocolate aren't good for you, in moderation it will give you a brain boost - provided you are eating dark chocolate, not sugar-laden milk chocolate.
Research shows that dark chocolate helps to increase the blood flow to the brain.
This is due to neuroprotective work of flavonoids found in dark chocolate. This increased blood flow helps to keep your brain cells alive longer. (8)
Alongside this benefit, it also serves the brain by increasing your attention span, reaction time, as well as problem-solving skills.
Chocolate can also help to support a positive mood, there’s a reason why we tend to eat it when we’re stressed! (9)
8. Coconut Oil
Throughout the years coconut oil has been found to have a myriad of different uses - with so many different health benefits, coconut oil could be considered as being one of the best health foods of all time.
One of coconut oil’s top health benefits is the fact that it is rich in medium chain triglyceride oils (MCT’s).
MCT’s are easily absorbed fats that are able to fuel your brain (10)
Coconut oil is easy to add to your diet, simply use it as the oil that you cook with. It works just as well as olive oil (and other vegetable oils) all while having tons of health benefits!
Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, an antioxidant that protects brain cells from free radical damage - and important benefit, especially as your body ages.
Eat tomatoes more often and you will be surprised at how much sharper you will start feeling!
Cooking tomatoes with a bit of olive oil brings out the lycopene and facilitates absorption.
However, many people enjoy them fresh as well. They are a popular addition to many types of popular salads.
Broccoli is a great source for nutrients that help to support memory and focus.
Due to its highvitamin K contentsand glucosinolates stores, this refreshing ingredient will keep you on top of your game at all times.
In addition, broccoli is the perfect side dish. Serve it steamed or roasted alongside a lean cut of meat for a delicious, brain-boosting dinner.
And if you want to choose a vegetarian option, you can also bake them into a delicious souffle together with the cheese. The options are endless, all you need to do is decide.
We also include broccoli extract in our Essentially-U formula, a multi-nutrient for daily healthy and wellness.
By picking up and using these different brain foods, your body and your brain are bound to be thanking you with a long and healthy lifestyle.
All thanks to these wonderful superfoods that are easy to add to your diet!