There is a proven link between what we put into our mouths and how well we think and feel. Our mood, ability to learn and memory are all affected by the type of foods we eat. Our brains rely on a steady supply of essential nutrients from our diet, blood sugar and oxygen to function properly. Eating a well-balanced diet abundant in these nutrients helps improve memory and boost brain power and may also reduce the risk of age-related diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. The brain is made up of 70 per cent fat and requires essential fatty acids (omega-3s) from the food we eat to maintain healthy function and development. Omega-3 fats are primarily found in oily fish such as salmon, trout and mackerel, flaxseed oil and nuts and seeds. Protein is another important nutrient essential for proper brain function. Good-quality, low-fat protein is needed to supply our brains with essential amino acids to make neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine (needed for good memory) and serotonin (involved in mood). Foods such as eggs, legumes, tofu, organic chicken and lean meat are good choices. Antioxidants, which include vitamins C, A and beta-carotene, are important for boosting brain power and protecting brain cells against free radical damage. Fruits and vegetables, especially red- and orange-coloured varieties, are full of antioxidant goodness. Complex carbohydrates found in wholegrain cereals and breads (oats, rye, brown rice, quinoa) are good sources of energy, fibre and B vitamins. These foods provide your brain with a slow and steady supply of energy-giving glucose, without causing a sharp spike in blood sugar levels.
We all know that we need to eat the right diet for the good of our physical health. With the right diet, we can lose weight and strengthen the muscles in our body. But did you know that with the right foods, you can become smarter? That’s right, adding superfoods to your diet can do you wonders. -Acai. Known as one of the truest superfoods, acai is packed with antioxidants with ORAC, omega-3, vitamins, and protein. Acai has been known to enhance brain health and improve cognitive abilities as well as reduce the risk of diseases. -Kale. This leafy green exploded in popularity recently and is known as one of the most nutrient-dense foods known to man and one of the top foods for brain health. Kale is loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A as well as phytonutrients (antioxidants) and signalling molecules that help decrease inflammation of the body. -Goji Berries. Goji berries are an excellent superfood for boosting brain power because they improve the sharpness of your brain and help you retain information more efficiently. Goji berries also help in reducing damaging inflammation of the brain as well as reduce the accumulation of toxins in the brain. -Spirulina. Spirulina is known as one of the most concentrated source of protein and an excellent alternative for those who are wishing to eliminate meat from their diet. Spirulina also has many cognitive benefits! -Cacao. Great news! Cacao, aka chocolate has tons of minerals and nutrients that boost the body’s neurotransmitters and creates that pleasant feeling that many experience when they eat chocolate. But here’s the catch, when you eat chocolate that’s been cooked or processed, the cacao’s nutritional value is lost. -Maca. Maca is a superfood that is related to the radish and is grown in the Andes mountains. It can survive higher elevations and has proven to be a strong food that can survive the elements. Maca has been known to improve the brains neurochemistry and helps fight against depression, stress, and anxiety. -Coconut. By providing a stable fuel supply, coconut is considered to be great fuel for your brain and supporting your brain’s learning capabilities and memory retention.
-Broccoli. Scientists have recently discovered a compound in broccoli known as sulforaphane, which has been shown to help protect the brain after there’s been an injury and actually improve the brain’s performance. -Chia Seeds. Beans help stabilize blood glucose levels, and the brain depends on glucose for food. Not only is it economical, but it provides the brain with a steady source of energy and helps prevent crashes.
-Chia Seeds. Chia seeds are the latest trend in the superfood industry. However, they are known as the staple food for the Mayans and Aztecs, who used chia seeds for many dietary needs such as flour, oil, and an add-on for water. Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language and was considered to be a magical food because it provided much needed energy and stamina for the brain.
Superfoods are foods are nutritionally dense and thus good for one’s health. The term has no set scientific meaning, however, and any list of “top” superfoods is purely subjective. The following list was compiled from the healthiest foods that everyone should (and can) include in their diets. Foods on the list had to meet 3 of 5 criteria: – great source of fiber, minerals and other nutrients
– high in phytonutrients
– assists in reducing heart disease and other illnesses
– low caloric density
– readily available
In accordance with this criteria we all be eating: 1. Almonds – for fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, iron and calcium (they actually have the most calcium of all nuts) 2. Apples – for pectin and vitamin C 3. Blueberries – for phytonutrients and a low-calorie source of fiber 4. Broccoli – for calcium, potassium, folate, fiber and phytonutrients 5. Red beans – for a low-calorie source of protein 6. Salmon – for omega-3 fatty acids 7. Spinach – for vitamins A, B and C as well as magnesium 8. Sweet potatoes – for a fat-free, low-calorie source of beta carotene 9. Vegetable juice – for an easy way to include vegetables in your diet 10. Wheat germ – for a concentrated source of niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc.