Is “food for thought” really a thing? You bet! Check out these 10 brain foods that give your brain a healthy boost.
It’s 2016, and health food is all the rage. That’s a great thing–it means that people everywhere are treating their health and diet seriously and thoughtfully. Unfortunately, it also means that terms, phrases, and buzzwords get thrown around and used casually with varying degrees of accuracy.
One of those buzzwords is “brain food.” There’s no doubt you’ve heard this phrase–along with related ideas, like fatty acids, fish oils, and superfoods–used at some point. But, do you have a real, comprehensive understanding of what constitutes a brain food, or what foods qualify as brain food?
Wellworks For You is here to help! If you’re interested in understanding and discovering brain foods–say, the top 10 brain foods that will boost your intelligence, or the top 10 brain foods for memory–we’ve compiled this handy and informative list of the top 10 brain foods to help acquaint you with these invaluable brain-healthy foods.
The Top Ten Best Foods for Your Brain
Nuts are loaded with vitamin E, which has been shown to help prevent cognitive dysfunction–especially in aging persons. Walnuts, in particular, are an especially powerful brain food; studies have linked improved mental performance with eating walnuts and the omega-3 fatty acids featured in walnuts support healthy brain function.
- Whole Grains
The brain requires energy to perform properly, and whole grains provide some of the best fuel your body can intake. Whole grains release glucose into the body’s bloodstream at a slow rate, helping to keep your brain consistently active and alert.
Fish is the quintessential brain food. Oil-rich fish feature a famously high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA. These help support memory, brain function, and neurotransmitter regulation–which increases your ability to focus.
Egg yolks are an excellent source of choline, which helps support the neurotransmitters that regulate memory. The protein in eggs is great for building overall cognitive function. Plus, the B vitamins found in eggs reduce blood levels of homosysteine, a compound associated with Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment.
Blueberries, as well as other dark berries like black currants, house vitamin C, brain-healthy antioxidants, and protective compounds called anthocyanins, and they have been shown to delay memory loss. That’s why they’re among the top 10 brain foods.
Alpha-linolenic acid (also known as ALA) is a fatty acid that helps to improve the cerebral cortex, and flaxseeds are the single strongest source of this healthy fat. Flaxseed intake can increase the brain’s ability to process sensory stimulation and information.
Spinach, the “superfood” poster child, is loaded with vitamins and minerals that support the health of your brain and the blood that nourishes it. What’s more, leafy green vegetables have been associated with reducing cognitive decline in certain studies.
- Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are included in our list of the top ten brain foods because they have a high concentration of zinc, which enhances memory and thinking skills. They also are rich in magnesium, tryptophan, and B vitamins, all of which help promote mental and emotional stability and stress reduction.
Broccoli is among the top ten brain foods because it is an excellent source of vitamin K and glucosinolate compounds. Vitamin K strengthens the brain and improves brainpower, while glucosinolates have been shown to slow down the degeneration of acetylcholine neurotransmitters, which are needed for healthy central nervous system and memory function.
Like glucosinolates, the compounds in sage help to maintain acetylcholine. Furthermore, many studies have demonstrated an association between sage and increased memory and concentration abilities.
So, there you have it: the top ten brain foods for healthy brain function and performance. If you want to learn more about healthy foods or help promote health in your own lifestyle, workplace, or home, please contact Wellworks For You today!