How many times have you eaten certain foods and your energy levels just can’t keep up or your brain seems to get brain fog. I know personally when I eat too many carbs at the wrong time I just hit slump mode and cannot get my ass into to gear for anything. That is why you need to eat the right Brain Foods to help maintain a healthy brain.
Your brain is the epicenter of your body, it’s in commander and chief of keeping your heart beating and lungs breathing allowing you to think and move. The foods you ingest play a huge role in keeping your brain healthy and can certainly improve specific mental tasks, such as memory and concentration. That is why it is imperative that you eat healthy not just for your body sake but to keep your brain in peak working condition.
I am going to highlight 11 important brain foods and antioxidants to include in your daily diet. While you don’t have to eat all of them every day it will certainly help your brain and body to include them as many times as possible during the day. Not only do these foods have an amazing effect on your brain but it also has amazing effects on your body and even fat loss so it’s a huge fricken win-win.
1. Fatty Fish
When people talk about brain foods, fatty fish is often at the top of the list, and so it damn should be. About 60% of your brain is made of fat, and half of that fat is the omega-3 kind. Your brain uses omega-3s to build brain and nerve cells, and these fats are essential for learning and memory. Fatty fish is a rich source of omega-3s, a major building block of the brain. Omega-3s play a role in sharpening memory and improving mood, as well as protecting your brain against decline. Omega-3 fatty acids can increase “good” HDL cholesterol. They can also reduce triglycerides, blood pressure and the formation of arterial plaques. Taking omega-3s can reduce symptoms of depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. It can also reduce the risk of psychotic disorders for those who are at risk.
While not many people would think that coffee is a good source of Brain Food you will be happy know that it is. Two main components of coffee have a positive effect on your brain — caffeine, and antioxidants.
The caffeine increases your mood and alertness help you focus on any task at hand. Caffeine keeps your brain alert by blocking adenosine, a chemical messenger that makes you sleepy. Caffeine may also boost some of your “feel-good” neurotransmitters, such as serotonin. It may also offer some protection against Alzheimer’s, thanks to its caffeine and antioxidants.
Blueberries are a super brain food and other deeply colored berries deliver anthocyanins, a group of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects which act against both oxidative stress and inflammation, conditions that may contribute to brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases Some of the antioxidants in blueberries have been found to accumulate in the brain and help improve communication between brain cells.
In short, Blueberries are packed with antioxidants that may delay brain aging and improve memory.
This deep-yellow spice is a key ingredient in curry powder and has a number of benefits for the brain. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, meaning it can directly enter the brain and benefit the cells there. It’s also a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that has been linked to the following brain benefits and makes this brain food a good ingredient to insert inyouru diet.
Curcumin may help improve memory in people with Alzheimer’s. It boosts serotonin and dopamine, which both improve mood. Curcumin boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a type of growth hormone that helps brain cells grow. Find recipes with curcumin or try adding a curry once a week into your diet alternatively, there are teas that you can drink daily.
Broccoli is packed with powerful plant compounds, including antioxidants high in vitamin K, delivering more than 100% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) in a 1-cup (91-gram) serving. This fat-soluble vitamin is essential for forming sphingolipids, a type of fat that’s densely packed into brain cells. Beyond vitamin K, broccoli contains a number of compounds that give it anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which may help protect the brain against damage.
6. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds contain powerful antioxidants that protect the body and brain from free radical damage and are an excellent source of magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper. These are fantastic micronutrients that can help neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, depression, Parkinson’s disease, migraines, depression, and epilepsy.
7. Dark Chocolate
Would you ever think that dark chocolate is a super brain food? I didn’t either until I got into the personal training game and started studying nutrition. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are packed with a few brain-boosting compounds, including flavonoids, caffeine, and antioxidants. Flavonoids are a group of antioxidant plant compounds that can possibly help with learning and memory.
Research has shown that eating nuts can improve markers of heart health, and having a healthy heart is linked to having a healthy brain. Several nutrients in nuts, such as healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E, may explain their brain-health benefits. While all nuts are good for your brain, walnuts may have an extra edge, since they also deliver omega-3 fatty acids which is top of this list already.
This is a regular in the staple diet of a bodybuilder and one to add to yours. Eggs are a great source of several nutrients tied to brain health, including vitamins B6 and B12, folate, and choline. Choline is an important micronutrient that your body uses to create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory. Choline is the kicker in this one which is linked to better memory and mental function.
10. Green Tea
As is the case with coffee, the caffeine in green tea boosts brain function. Green tea also improves alertness, performance, memory, and focus. One of amino in green tea is L-theanine, which can cross the blood-brain barrier and increase the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps reduce anxiety and makes you feel more relaxed. L-theanine also increases the frequency of alpha waves in the brain, which helps you relax without making you feel tired.
The polyphenols and antioxidants in green tea may protect the brain from mental decline and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s while improving the memory. Totally off topic on the brain, however, Green Tea is also known as a great fat burner and is in many supplements already. By adding 3 cups of green tea to your diet you not only get all the brain-boosting effects but also one to help with fat loss. Win-Win.
If you want to perform at your peak and not get bogged down then it would be wise to try and add these brain foods to your diet. The good thing about all these food and antioxidants is that they are so good for fat loss and are included in diets and many meal-plans already. So if your weight is something you have struggled with then it might be a good idea to look at changing your diet and adding these foods to the shopping list.
Your mind and body will thank you.