The brain is such a complex organ that scientists and doctors still do not fully understand its many intricacies. However, with each passing year we discover more about this miraculous source of consciousness and cognition. And increasingly we are seeing parallels between the brain and body that it controls. In order to keep your body in good shape you workout; we also have brain exercises that prove to help our mental abilities expand. For many physical parameters — weight, skin, muscle — we have supplements that feed us key properties. Brain supplements, called nootropics, aim for similar mind-bolstering benefits. And while we diet to give our body what we need, brain nutrition is a rapidly growing new frontier.
The idea behind brain nutrition is that you can strategically compose your diet for maximum mental benefit. Certain nutrients have powerful positive effects on everything from cognition, focus, attentiveness, memory and more. It goes without saying that, over the long haul, feeding your brain what it needs to thrive is going to pay dividends. Not only can it help improve your productivity and enjoyment of all facets of life, but it can also help ward off degenerative conditions and diseases. When you account for the fact that most of these foods offer a wealth of additional benefits, a diet focusing on brain nutrition is — well, a no-brainer.
Top Foods for Brain Nutrition
We researched the brain nutrition foods with the best evidentiary backing. We skipped those that would not be readily available in a grocery store or supermarket. You should have no trouble incorporating any of the foods or categories below into your dietary regimen.
This guacamole mainstay is a notoriously strong safe of monounsaturated fat — aka good fat, which contributes to healthy blood flow. When your brain receives more oxygen and nutrients through optimal circulation it simply performs better in basically all regards. Plus, there are so many ways to utilize avocados, whether its mixing into a dip or just slicing it up with sprinkling of salt.
With their excellent fiber content, beans such as the lentil or black bean are effective at stabilizing your glucose levels. This provides the brain with consistent energy, improving alertness and helping to fend off mental fatigue. Beans are also very good for your digestion.
Both a great fiber and omega-3 fatty acid source, whole grains are among the most nutritious diet staples. Much like avocados, they help boost circulation so your brain cells get everything required to function at their best. Kick off your day with a bowl of oatmeal and/or whole wheat toast for an easy grain fix.
Cranberries, blueberries and even pomegranites offer tremendous antioxidant properties. These helpful substances are crucial for preventing oxidative stress from dangerous free radicals. A diet heavy in blueberries is believed to reduce the risk of developing such aging brain conditions as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s one of the best natural sources of caffeine, which — in the right doses — can be very helpful for cognitive function. Tea also contains protective antioxidants and promotes healthy blood flow. It’s an all-around great brainy beverage.