Brain Food

Brain FoodAs the title suggests, this article is about brain food; foods that are good for the brain. So which foods are most healthy for normal brain function and which can actually enhance cognitive function and mental alertness? Without getting technical we’ll take a look at some of the best brain foods you can eat, as well as some dietary supplements that will help to improve your brain power. Many of these foods can also help prevent the onset of brain disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

 

Fish

One of the very best foods for the brain is fish, particularly salmon and tuna as they are packed full of important omega 3 fatty acids. Oily fish contain DHA and EPA in a ready-to-use form, allowing for easy assimilation into the body and feeding the brain cells more efficiently.

 

Tomatoes and BroccoliTomatoes

There is a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes that fights a free radical known to cause damage to brain cells. Lycopene, the antioxidant found in this fruit, puts up a great defence against the possible onset of Alzheimer’s.

 

Broccoli

Vitamin K has long been recognised as one of the most important nutrients for maintaining healthy cognitive function, and broccoli is one of the richest sources of Vitamin K. In fact most green vegetables are good sources of this essential brain nutrient.

 

Blueberries

The talk up about this particular berry is that it contains properties that keep the mind functioning to its capacity like a younger mind; meaning, as you age, a diet containing regular portions of blueberries will keep your mind sharp and focused as if you were 20 and not 60. Antioxidants found in blueberries are also thought to fight off brain disorders.

 

Seeds and Nuts

Seeds and nuts, like fish, are packed with essential good oils. They are also an abundant source of Vitamin E, which studies show has an impact on reducing cognitive decline as we age. Some of the best are:

  • Sunflower seedsMixed Nuts
  • Flax seeds
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Cashews
  • Pumpkin seeds

 

Wholegrains

Just like the rest of the body the brain needs energy to operate and function at its optimum capacity. It gets this energy from a steady stream of glucose in the blood. A sudden hit from refined sugary products can put the brain into an artificially elevated state. Wholegrains are a better option as they are low GI, allowing the glucose to reach the brain at a slower rate rather than in a rush. Brown pasta, brown rice, wholegrain breads and cereals are the best source.

 

Beans

The magic of beans – any kind of beans – is that they stabilise glucose levels in the blood and, like with wholegrains, send a controlled and steady stream of glucose to the brain.

 

Coffee Beans

Caffeine

Coffee contains more caffeine than tea, but both consumed in moderation are certainly of benefit to keeping a sharper mind. Caffeine stimulates the brain, feeding it energy and rendering your mind very alert. However, too much caffeine will just make you feel jittery and scattered, having the opposite result and causing all your focus to fly out the window.

 

Dark Chocolate

Treat your taste buds and treat your mind at the same time. It’s win-win with dark chocolate as it has very powerful antioxidants as well as substances that increase serotonin levels, giving you that ‘all is good with the world’ sensation. Dark chocolate contains less sugar than milk chocolate, which helps to avoid that sugar rush.

 

Brain Food Supplements

Most multivitamins and minerals are healthy for the brain. Fish oil capsules rich in omega 3 DHA are particularly good. There are also some other good scientifically formulated supplements on the market that directly target brain health, improved cognitive function, increased alertness and levels of focus, as well as being beneficial in the fight against mental illness in all its forms. One that is worth a look is Neuro Clarity. Another is called Instant ATT.

 

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. sduncan252sduncan252
    November 2, 2015    

    Good to see some of my favourite foods on that list of brain foods! At least I’m on the right track but could probably improve. Was particularly pleased to see dark chocolate on the list. Yum – I’ll be using that one for my brain more often now! I didn’t think caffeine would be on the list as it is a stimulant but it does keep your mind alert that’s for sure. Thanks for the list – very interesting and enlightening. I always like to learn something new!

    • November 2, 2015    

      Thanks for reading. Caffeine is mostly on the list for its stimulant effects on the brain. Certainly works for me hehe. Yeah I was just as happy to see dark chocolate was good brain food too, as dark chocolate is my favourite kind.

  2. netpnetp
    December 14, 2015    

    Luckily I think I’m pretty good with this list. I love broccoli and fish most on the list – but that didn’t always used to be the case. Our whole family takes fish oil supplements too – I haven’t heard of neuro clarity or instant ATT before, I will have to look those up. Pleased to see dark chocolate on the list too! 😀

    • December 15, 2015    

      It’s sounds like you’ve got it all covered really well. Thanks for reading.

  3. DaniellaDaniella
    January 5, 2016    

    Hi there,

    Great ideas and very interesting article, I really enjoyed the reading! I am happily surprised to see that dark chocolate and coffee stimulate the brain because both of them are my favorites snacks:) I also eat a lot of nuts, but I always forgot things, I think that I should try the fish oil capsule, I am sure it will improve my memory.
    I have a question if you don’t mind. After taking the fish capsule, will I have halitosis?
    Thank you

    • January 5, 2016    

      Hi Daniella. You can buy odourless fish oils capsules that help prevent you getting “fishy” smelling breath. Even the regular fish oil capsules don’t really make your breath smell. Thanks for reading, cheers.

  4. mikeactiv4healthmikeactiv4health
    June 28, 2016    

    Thank you for this post !
    I am a Student and sometimes, mainly for exams, I need some brainfood to replanish my brain with energy.
    This list of food is very helpful!
    And what is about fruits? Are they good for the brain ?
    By the way do you know how much sleep our brain needs to work properly ?

    • June 28, 2016    

      Most fruits are good for the brain, but anything containing Omega 3 is the best, and this is found in fish oil and things like that. As far as sleep goes, this varies from person to person. Me, I do best with about 7 hours sleep. Other people like 8 or 9 hours. Some people I know only like to sleep about 5 hours. The question is, what amount of sleep works best for you?

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