Long form Article: BRAIN BOOSTING FOODS
Published on April, 23rd 2018
By Greg Wells
1. Good nutrition is critical for your brain to function optimally.
2. Slow-digesting complex carbohydrates fuel your brain for thinking, solving problems, being creative, and instilling memories.
3. High-quality fats are used to build the structures in and around your nerves that help to speed communication between neurons.
4. Healthy proteins provide the precursors for the neurotransmitters used to communicate between nerve cells.
Guess what you should be eating to fuel your thinking, creativity, problem solving and memory? That’s right – whole, fresh, unprocessed foods. Cold-water fatty wild fish. Fruits and veggies. Raw nuts and seeds. Olive oil. Coffee, green tea and black tea.
Here are some examples of healthy fat foods that can improve brain function and health:
1. Fish. Cold-water fish high in omega-3 fatty acids are great for brain and nervous system health. Examples of healthy cold-water fish include organic wild (unfarmed) salmon, sardines, mackerel and trout. One habit that I’ve been working on is to eat wild salmon on nights after a long, hard day at work. It’s a great food for mental recovery, and i feel much better the next day.
2. Nuts. One of the best daily snacks you can have is a handful of nuts. Studies have shown that the healthy fats, vitamins and minerals in nuts improve thinking and memory and may protect against cognitive decline as we age. So mix together your favourite types and take a portion into work every day, or sprinkle them into cereal, salads, smoothies or just about anything you eat.
3. Avocados. The monounsaturated fat in avocados can help improve your cardiovascular system and blood flow to all your organs – including your brain. Since your brain has no stored energy and depends on blood flow to deliver the glucose and oxygen that it needs to think, foods that improve your circulatory system can help supercharge your brain.
4. Coconut. Once avoided because of its high fat content, coconuts have recently been deemed a super food. The fatty acids in coconut are mostly saturated, which means it is one of the only oils that won’t go bad when cooked at high temperatures. The medium chain triglycerides (mct’s) inside are special because they can be broken down more easily than other types of fat and can be used as fuel for our bodies and our brains.
5. Olive oil. One of the cornerstones of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is rich in heart healthy monounsaturated fats. The list of brain improvements seen from regular consumption of this oil include lowered risk of depression, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and cancer. The tricky thing about this oil is making sure it stays fresh. To be sure you’re getting the best product, buy extra virgin oil in a dark glass bottle and eat it in its raw form.
Improve your energy and mental performance with these smart foods. Your supercharged brain will thank you.
The Brain Power Smoothie:
One way to pack better brain foods into your day is through a morning breakfast smoothie. Here is an example:
2 handfuls of spinach or kale
1 tablespoon of ground flax seed
1 teaspoon grated ginger
About ½ teaspoon of turmeric root
About ¾ cup of almond milk (a little more or less depending on your preferred thickness)
Add a scoop of your desired protein powder. Living fuel and Vega make great plant-based proteins.
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high for 60 seconds.
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