Common Foods that Will Fuel Your Brain and Help Make You Smarter
Your brain likes to eat too and how smart you are can also depend on what you feed your body. Your brain likes antioxidants, good fats and just the right amount of carbs and protein. When you find yourself catching up with deadlines or coping with academic work, do not get tempted to load up on soda and empty carbs. Here are some of the best foods for brain health.
Not only is coffee a refreshing drink that would surely wake you up, a cup can help your brain perform at its best when you take it before an exam. This is because caffeine improves short-term memory and helps speed up reaction times.
Research from the National Institute of Ageing found that those who drank more coffee scored better on memory tests. This also explains why regular consumption of coffee has been linked to a lowered risk for Alzheimer’s disease. It has also been shown to prevent Parkinson’s disease. However, be aware of your caffeine tolerance and be sure not to overdo it. Consuming more than you can handle can cause jitters or can make you irritable.
Nuts could be the best snack that you can have at work or while studying. If you have always believed that your favorite sugar-loaded candy bar fuels you, it is not the best and healthiest. Sugar can give you a quick hit of energy, but it does not last long. You are likely to crash later on in the day. When you swap those sugars with healthy fats, you will have longer lasting energy and your cognitive ability will improve.
Nuts are great sources of Vitamin E, which has been shown to help prevent cognitive decline as you age. While it makes you smarter, it is also good for your heart. Several nuts and seeds have been proven to drastically reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Salmon is one of the richest sources of Omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for brain health and development. The good fats found in salmon had been linked to improve alertness and cognition, while reducing the risk of developing degenerative mental diseases. This has also been linked to improved memory, a more stable mood, less likelihood of developing depression, hyperactivity and anxiety. Wild salmon is the best source of these nutrients and you should avoid farmed salmon for best results.
When you start each day with protein and beneficial fats, you are in for an energized day ahead. When you add some slices of avocado to your eggs, you get decent amounts of monounsaturated fat which will help your blood circulate better. Blood circulation is essential for optimal brain development and health. This goes better than the typical carbohydrate and sugar-loaded breakfast.
Avocado has also been shown to lower blood pressure, thanks to its high potassium content. High blood pressure can impair brain function. When your blood pressure levels are stable, your brain can perform at its top capacity.
Chocolate has a lot of brain-boosting compounds as it is loaded with antioxidants and has some caffeine. It is also one of the best sources of the feel-good hormone serotonin, which helps uplift your mood and relieve you of stress. However, chocolate is very often marketed as candy, so this means that you should watch the sugar content. Go for organic, dark and fair trade chocolate instead of the sugary and processed candy bars.
As the popular saying goes, you are what you eat. In this particular case, adding these foods to your regular diet can let you see some great results. However, while a well-balanced diet can sharpen your thinking ability, it will not magically transform you into a quiz show millionaire winner. It takes some time to get a brain nurtured. Thus, you should avoid empty calories and instead go for healthy fats, fiber, protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. What are some of your favorite brain food? Share them with us in the comments below.
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