You don’t need anyone to tell you that food is good for your brain. Obviously it is because it’s what keeps you alive. But did you know there are certain foods that can be more beneficial than others? (Probably yes, too.)
Most of the time, your body just needs calories to function. It’s better if those calories come from healthy foods, but if your body can burn them, it’ll do the job. The benefits come from when you eat foods that are really good for both your mind and your body. They’re full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that help your body function the way it should and they keep your brain running at top efficiency.
I’m sure you’ve heard of “superfoods” before. They’re known to house the most nutrients and can aid your body in a number of different things. They can even prevent illnesses! Here are some of the top foods you can eat to have a healthier mind and body.
1. Nuts and Seeds
These bad boys are filled with healthy fats and proteins. Studies have also shown that, since they have high levels of vitamin E, they reduce your cognitive decline as you get older. Try adding some to your yogurt or munching on some during the workday — the sooner the better.
These have been known as superfoods for quite some time now and for good reasons. They have tons of antioxidants, fiber, folate and potassium, which are all great for your heart. Blueberries are also just really tasty. Throwing them in a banana smoothie makes a delicious breakfast.
For those of you who aren’t fans of fish, this might change your mind. Deep-water fish like Salmon are great for your brain function because of their abundance of Omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also packed with protein so grill up a salmon filet and eat it with some brown rice or just feel less guilty about those $8 extra you spend on getting a lox bagel.
This food has been labeled as “under-recognized” for a lot of reasons. Many people don’t really eat them but they’re so plentiful, cheap and good for you. They stabilize blood glucose levels and since your brain relies only on a steady stream of available energy, this helps to keep it functioning the best it can throughout the day.
5. Dark Chocolate
Did I just hear some cheering? I think so. Yes! Dark chocolate is great for you and you should go right ahead and indulge all you want. It’s full of antioxidants and help you maintain focus and concentrate due to its caffeine levels. Just don’t go eating a crap ton right before bed or you might have difficulty sleeping.
6. Whole Grains
You’ve probably heard this a hundred times before but this is why eating whole grains is actually great for your brain. They reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. And since your brain needs mega amounts of blood flow to work properly, this helps fuel it. Finally we can start feeling good about our bread consumption, amiright?
7. Freshly Brewed Tea
There’s a reason tea is talked about so much for its beneficial properties and that’s because the beverage is full of them. Tea contains a ton of antioxidants in a single cup and it helps improve your focus, memory and mood. But there’s a catch: it can’t be powdered. Only the freshly brewed stuff does the trick.
These little guys are packed with antioxidants that protect your brain from free radicals and they’re delicious. The darker and richer the color, the more nutrients you’ll get from these little seeds.
Praise the avocado! It’s you’re a fan of guac, you’re in luck. Some experts praise this as being just as healthy as blueberries when it comes to increasing brain function. They have the healthy fats you need and the monounsaturated fats help blood flow. The most blood your brain gets, the healthier it is!
Not enough people eat tomatoes. And no, ketchup does not count. (Tragic.) These guys house so many essential vitamins and micronutrients that most of us just don’t get enough of. They even help keep your blood sugar in balance and we already know how great that is for your brain function.
If you’ve never heard of these guys, you’re not alone. These little berries aren’t all that popular, but they should be. With more than four times the amount of vitamin C as oranges, it can keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
Sage isn’t just for expelling bad energies from your home! If you need to improve your memory and concentration, adding some sage to your diet is the best way to do it. Just add some to your meal when it’s done cooking and you’ll be good to go!
This is an amazing little spice made from the root. It contains a lot of beneficial nutrients but mostly, it can help reduce your stress drastically. And we all know that a stress-free mind is a great mind.
14. Coconut Oil
All hail the coconut oil! You’ve heard the benefits over and over again. So I’ll keep this simple: it helps regulate blood glucose levels and helps give your brain the fuel it needs to function all day long. That said, it’s still oil so use it in moderation.
Eggs are chock full of B vitamins and folic acid which are known to reduce levels of homocysteine the blood. Elevated levels of this compound are known to increase your risk for stroke, Alzheimer’s and cognitive impairment. Just remember that they’re high in cholesterol, so eat them carefully!
16. Your Favorite Junk Foods – in Moderation
In order for your brain to work properly, it needs to stay sane! Eating your favorite foods and downing some junk food every once in a while will keep your body and brain from feeling restricted — which is ultimately a good thing. Enjoying your favorite stuff in moderation is just as effective at keeping you happy and healthy, as long as you’re also eating the rest of the yummy foods on this list.