Healthy eating is often associated with physical benefits. People may change their diet to lose weight or improve heart function but rarely do people consider the mental benefits of proper nutrition. Eating right and choosing certain foods can go a long way in boosting your brain function! Here are five must-have brain foods:
Coffee: If you were sincerely hoping coffee would make the list, you are not alone. While the classic morning beverage has received some flack in recent years, it still has plenty of benefits. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is the caffeine boost. Blocking adenosine, a chemical message that makes you sleepy, coffee works overtime to keep your brain alert. Furthermore, studies show that coffee drinkers tend to be more effective at tasks that require concentration. While the short-term benefits are appealing, perhaps coffee’s most convincing argument is its potential protection from neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Although the morning cup of joe will not completely prevent these diseases, research has shown that drinking coffee can reduce your risk.
Blueberries: These berries are small but mighty. Blueberries are high in antioxidants, which prevent damage to your cells. Their gallic acids make them especially effective at providing protection from stress. Plus, some studies have even suggested that consumption of this fruit could boost your memory and delay short-term memory loss.
Broccoli: Your mom had a good reason for encouraging you to eat your greens! Broccoli is considered one of the best super-foods for the brain, and this vegetable has earned the praise! The chemical sulforaphane can rebuild damaged neural cells and even help restore cognitive function after a traumatic brain injury. Adding to its superpowers is Lutein, a pigment found in broccoli, which helps preserve the knowledge you have obtained.
Avocado: While the avocado may be recognized as particularly fatty, health-conscious individuals should not avoid this brain-healthy fruit. The monounsaturated fat found in avocados encourages healthy blood flow and lowers your blood pressure, which contributes to your brain health. These fats also support the production of acetylcholine, which is essential for your memory and learning. Finally, avocados are high in tyrosine, which precedes dopamine, a chemical that keeps you motivated and focused.
Dark Chocolate: Indulging in your favorite treat has serious benefits! Dark chocolate has numerous super-food powers, which include improving your mood, increasing your concentration, and protecting your brain cells. Dark chocolate boasts these benefits due to caffeine, antioxidants, and the ability to stimulate the production of endorphins. Studies have also shown that consuming chocolate can help with cognitive performance and improve your memory.
Information for this article was provided by webmd.com, healthline.com, washingtonpost.com, draxe.com, and health.com