Eating well is important for your brain as well as for your body. Your brain needs fuel and nourishment to perform at its best. What you eat can make a big difference in your mood, your memory, and how clearly you think.
So, whether it’s for an exam, an important meeting, or simply to stay on top of all the things you need to remember, which foods are best for boosting your brainpower?
While there’s no single go-to brain food for a healthy brain, it’s all about eating plenty of nutrient-rich, high-fiber plant foods while also cutting out saturated fats (mainly animal fats). Plant foods have been linked to better cognitive performance and memory function—so remember to add the following foods to your diet.
These powerful vegetables are generally rich in vitamin E, folic acid, vitamin K, lutein, and beta-carotene, which research suggests may play a role in protecting the brain. A recent study discovered that older people (average age of 81 years) who ate a serving of leafy greens a day preserved their memory and thinking skills 11 years longer than those who didn’t eat leafy greens!
Broccoli is a vegetable in the cruciferous family, which includes cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts. Cruciferous vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that may help improve your memory. One of these nutrients is vitamin K, which helps to regulate calcium in your bones and brain. Vitamin K has antiaging benefits and is at the heart of emerging research about Alzheimer’s disease.
These small seeds, called pepitas by Mexicans, have big brain credentials. They are a plant-based source of zinc, which supports everyday learning by helping brain activity and function. They are also a source of magnesium, an essential mineral that helps maintain mental and emotional function.
Must-buy Brain Foods
Nuts include a wide range of nutrients that are important for brain health, such as vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, manganese, copper, B-group vitamins, and healthy fats. Regularly eating nuts can improve cognition and memory and boost learning skills.
Citrus fruits, such as oranges and mandarins, are particularly high in flavonoids—nutritional compounds important for maintaining cognition and memory as we age. If you aren’t a citrus fan, try apples and berries for a flavonoid boost.
Eating breakfast daily should be a “no brainer.” It can lift your mood and has been associated with improved cognitive function and concentration in school-aged children. For long-lasting energy, choose healthy breakfast options: whole-grain cereals, such as oats; low-fat yogurt; and fruit or whole-grain toast with a spread.
Article courtesy of Sanitarium Health Food Company. Visit sanitarium.com.au and subscribe to Wholicious Living for more great health and nutrition info each month.