What is a Brain Food?
Your brain uses 20% of all glucose, 35% of all vitamins and minerals, 40% of all water, and a staggering 50% of fats in our bodies.
That’s what happens when that particular organ is organizing everything!
Food that are particularly good at nourishing our brains are the ones that have high amounts of fats, nutrients, water, and just a little carbs (or glucose).
What sucks is that there isn’t one particular food that fits this bill. You need many of them.
Ever have a gut feeling? That’s the billions of bacteria in your gut reacting to what’s happening. When the good bacteria are in charge, you feel good, have energy, and digest foods without issues.
When the bad bacteria are in charge, you are tired, vomiting, have indigestion’s, and pain.
Yogurt contains billions of good probiotics that replace some of the bad bacteria in our gut.
Properly fermented yogurt (not what is in the tiny containers) is packed with the bacteria, plus thousands of nutritive by-products of the fermentation cycle that help heal our gut.
While yogurt alone won’t give you a brain boost, it helps to fix problems and is a great carrier for other brain foods like…
Broccoli is rich in Vitamin K which is known to improve brain power and cognitive skills.
Many studies have reported that because broccoli is rich in a compound called glucosinolates which can slow the breakdown of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine.
Which the central nervous system needs to perform its function properly, keeps our brain and memory sharp.
Low levels of acetylcholine are linked with Alzheimer’s.
As you eat dark chocolate, the helpful nutrients (flavonoids) immediately begin to improve blood flow to your brain.
These nutrients can boost your working memory and problem-solving skills.
They also increase the amount of nitric oxide that is produced by the cells that line the inside of all blood vessels. This nitric oxide has an anti-inflammatory effect.
I recommend cooking with unsweetened dark chocolate powder because it’s packed with helpful flavonoids and has no sugar.
Avocados are a source of monounsaturated 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 are also a good source of potassium and vitamin K—both protect the brain from the risk of stroke.
Nuts, especially walnuts and almonds, are extremely good for the brain and nervous system. They are great sources of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin B6, and vitamin E.
Vitamin E has been shown to prevent many forms of dementia by protecting the brain from free radicals, and it improves brain power.
Nuts contain some anti-nutrients, like phytic acid.
Since we consume a relatively small amount of nuts, this isn’t a huge problem. But they are far healthier if you soak them overnight (about 8 hours) before eating them.
Bright yellow turmeric is a spice commonly found in Indian curries and mustard, but you can easily add it to any number of dishes.
I sprinkle a bit of turmeric into almost everything I cook, as the flavor is mild and it blends well with almost all soups and sauces.
Turmeric helps remove a specific plaque in the brain that contributes to Alzheimer’s disease. I recommend that you eat the real spice and avoid the supplements.
Only the spice itself has the antioxidant properties that are most effective in boosting brain health.
Rosemary has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function with its scent alone.
It improves blood flow to the brain, improves mood, and acts as an antioxidant.
Rosemary is also a powerful detoxifier, fights cancer, boosts energy, and combats aging of the skin.
As we have already mentioned, omega 3 fatty acid has an important role to play in cognitive functioning.
According to New York Times, Journal neurology, low level of omega 3 fatty acid is linked with smaller brain volume and poor mental performance.
Salmon is a rich source of omega 3 which can strengthen the brainpower.
According to a research conducted at the University of Pittsburgh, adults under the age of 25 who increased their omega-3 intake over six months improved their test scores, measuring the working memory.
The Bottom Line
Many foods can help keep your brain healthy.
Some foods, such as the fruits and vegetables in this list, as well as avocado and rosemary, have antioxidants that help protect your brain from damage.
Others, such as nuts and salmon, contain nutrients that support memory and brain development.
You can help support your brain health and boost your alertness, memory and mood by strategically including these foods in your diet.