Getting a healthy diet is more than just focusing on nutrients that support your digestive system. It’s more than just supporting your heart and artery health. You also need to support your brain health.
The food that we eat directly affects our brain. By getting the right type of nutrients, we can improve the way our brains function. It’s possible to avoid some age-related diseases and prevent cognitive decline. There is the chance to improve memory centers and support the development throughout the body.
You just need to make sure you eat the brain boosting superfoods. Out of all the food out there, these are the 10 superfoods you need to add to your diet right now.
Stock Up on the Oily Fish
Whether you prefer salmon, tuna, mackerel or another oily fish, make sure you stock up on it. Fish is one of the most popularly suggested foods when it comes to improving brain power. It’s all in the omega-3 fatty acids in fish, along with the protein.
Protein is essential for the whole body, but most importantly it helps the brain to release the right hormones. These hormones include serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine to avoid the build up of stress hormones. With the right hormones working, you will feel happier and be able to starve off mental health problems like depression and anxiety.
We also can’t forget about vitamin B12, which is in a large abundance of oily fish. Vitamin B12 is known for improving the nervous system; keeping it working when it needs to. It will help with the cognitive tissues that keep the brain in full working order.
But it is the omega 3 that makes fish a superfood. Omega 3 is essential for keeping the brain power to a healthy level. It helps to improve both the long and short-termmemory while boosting the hormone release. When you have a good level of omega 3, you will feel more focused and in tune with the world.
Omega 3s also help to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation causes the tissues to become damaged. The cells don’t get the blood flow they need and start to die off. Chronic inflammation has been linked to ADHD, “baby brain,” depression, and dementia.
You don’t need a lot of oily fish in your diet. Two portions a week is more than enough!
Stock Up on Eggs
Eggs have gained a bad reputation over the years. There are many people who still believe that eggs are too high in cholesterol for a healthy diet. The truth is that eggs are high in cholesterol, but healthy cholesterol! It’s the type of cholesterol that you want for an improved heart health. Your arteries get a layer of smooth lining that helps to improve blood flow.
It’s not just your heart that benefits, though. Eggs are also an excellent superfood for your brain, and you want to start eating more. They’re full of vitamin B12 and protein, which we’ve already considered above with fish.
They’re also full of tryptophan, which is an important amino acid. With the right levels of this amino acid, you will get more help to create serotonin, the “happy hormone.” With good levels of serotonin, you will keep stress hormones at bay and help to improve your mental health. It’s possible to avoid depression and anxiety.
Another benefit of eggs is the choline. This nutrient is something often overlooked in the diet, but essential for boosting the learning and memory centers in the brain. Those without enough choline in the body are more at risk of developing Alzheimer’s, according to some studies.
Choline also helps to improve the blood flow. When your brain gets enough blood, it gets the right levels of oxygen. This helps to create more energy, so you feel more alert throughout the day.
You Can Enjoy Your Chocolate
This is great news for those chocolate cravers. Chocolate can be good for you, but you need to get the right amount. It’s important to stock up on the dark chocolate. You only need a couple of squares a day to get the benefit—that means small squares, not a “square” bar.
There are various minerals that offer benefits to the brain. The first is magnesium, which offers the ability to de-stress the body. With just a little chocolate, you can help to boost the happy hormones and reduce the number of bad hormones circling the body. It’s time to get rid of the myth that chocolate causes acne, as it can help to reduce your natural oil production.
There is also the benefit of tryptophan in chocolate, which is an amino acid that helps to create serotonin. Not only are you getting rid of the stress through magnesium, but you’re boosting the serotonin to feel happier.
Chocolate is known as a “love drug,” because of the phenylethylamine in it. This compound helps to slow down the heart rate and make you feel like you’re in love. Of course, when you feel like you’re in love, you have a boost of happy hormones to help fight against depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.
Dark chocolate is essential. Other types have added sugar that will outweigh all the good that the dark chocolate is doing.
Don’t Forget the Berries
Whether you eat blueberries or raspberries, you want to stock up on them. Get fresh or frozen; just make sure you get berries into your diet.
All fruits are good for fiber and vitamins. Many of them have powerful phytonutrients, but very few have the high levels of antioxidants that berries include. Blueberries and raspberries are the best, but any berry will make it onto the brain superfood list.
Berries are full of a specific antioxidant: flavonoids. Flavonoids help to protect against oxidative damage. Oxidative stress leads to the death and abnormal regrowth of cells. This can lead to a deterioration in the cognitive skills. Flavonoids help to fight against free radicals and improve learning, memory, and even decision making.
In fact, the flavonoids go one step further into protecting the brain power. They help with the development of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which pushed the brain into creating new cells. Those with low levels of BDNF have been linked to having various mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The antioxidants and nutrients in berries also help to reduce inflammation in the brain. As noted with fish, inflammation has been linked to some mental diseases and the death of cells.
Have at least a handful of berries on a weekly basis. You can eat a handful a day for all the benefits.
Don’t Skip the Avocados
Eggs aren’t the only brain superfood given a bad reputation. Avocados are too! They’re viewed as being fatty and unhealthy, but it’s the fatty goodness that turns out to be good for the brain.
Avocados are full of nutrients. They’re among the list of ingredients that doctors want everyone to get more of, whether raw, pureed, or used in desserts. Yes, avocados can replace numerous ingredients in desserts!
Despite looking like a big vegetable, avocados are classed as a berry. This should give you some clue already as to why the fruit is so good for you. It has all the benefits of the berries mentioned above!
The difference with an avocado is some monounsaturated fats included. One is made up of 75% of the healthy fat, that you will usually only find in olive oil. With the monounsaturated fats, you get support in acetylcholine, which supports the learning and memory functions of the brain. You get all the same benefits as you would with eggs!
There are also various vitamins like B, C, E, and K. All these are fat soluble vitamins, which is important for the brain. The brain is full of fatty tissue, so will find it easier to absorb all the fats.
At the same time, avocados are full of tyrosine, which is a precursor amino acid to dopamine. This chemical helps to keep you focused. It will help to remove that cloudy feeling, especially after lunch when you hit the 3pm slump.
And of course, there are energy and anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s amazing what you can get from one ingredient!
There’s no recommended amount of avocado to eat. Try at least half an avocado a day.
Switch Your Vegetable Oil for Olive Oil
It’s time to get rid of the canola, corn, or other vegetable oil. Olive oil is the type you want to stock up on. It were the oil of the Mediterranean diet and viewed as the healthiest of the lot (including healthier than coconut oil).
We briefly mentioned this when talking about avocados. Olive oil is full of monounsaturated fats, which help to support the health of the brain. With good levels of monounsaturated fats, the brain’s cognitive functions are fully improved, including the memory and hormone development.
There are also many antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients that help to support the brain health during aging. Mental decline and cell damage are a thing of the past. It’s possible to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s considerable with a Mediterranean diet that includes olive oil.
Doctors recommend that you get two tablespoons of the oil a day. You can use it in cooking or opt for it through oil pulling to help your gums absorb the benefits directly.
Add More Sea Vegetables to Your Diet
Sea vegetables are commonly forgotten about. They started to make a name for themselves earlier this decade, but the focus on them has waned again. However, they are still a superfood for the brain.
Sea vegetables, like seaweed, are extremely popular in Eastern cultures. People in Japan say that it’s sea vegetables that have improved their overall health, and scientists agree. After all, these vegetables are full of 56 essential minerals for the whole body. They are the best source for vitamin B12 to help support the nerve and brain health. Nori is added to the top of the list of sea vegetables to eat for this specific nutrient.
Sea vegetables are also full of iodine, a nutrient commonly missed in other foods. It’s so rare that salt manufacturers add it to their productions! Iodine is necessary to help improve cognitive functions and IQ averages. Not enough of the nutrient can also lead to hypothyroidism, which has symptoms of fatigue, poor memory, and foggy brain.
The vegetables are also good sources of tyrosine, which we’ve already looked at for the benefits of dopamine in the brain. And then there are the B vitamins, choline, and other powerful minerals that support the blood flow, reduce inflammation and improve the transmitters in the brain. You only need a teaspoon of flakes from the vegetables, and you will get all the benefits you need! If you’re going to eat the actual vegetables, opt for a third of a cup.
Stock Up on the Kale
Dark leafy greens are good for you. There is no surprise in that. The dark leafy greens are full of vitamins and minerals that you can only get from lots of individuals, usually high-calorie foods. But there’s one leafy green that you want to stock up on kale.
Okay, so it’s not the most exciting vegetable around. It does have a bitter taste to it, and you’ll want to cook it. But it’s so worth going through the taste. Kale is full of flavonoids that you would get from berries. It’s also full of polyphenols and beta carotene, which are both extremely powerful antioxidants that the body (and brain) needs.
You will also get plenty of vitamin C, a vitamin that you can’t store or make alone. While many think of vitamin C as an immune system benefitting vitamin, it’s one that can starve off depression. It helps with the creation of serotonin, to help boost the happy feeling in the body.
Of course, you also have plenty of folates. This is a nutrient expectant mother are advised to get extra of throughout pregnancy. It’s a vitamin that is linked to the brain development. It makes sense that it will help to slow down the aging process in the brain and boost the memory abilities. It’s also been linked to preventing Alzheimer’s in some studies.
Get a handful or two of kale bunches a day, and you will be set for a healthy brain. You can cook it, add it with berries to a smoothie, or even eat it raw if you want!
Add More Turmeric to Your Diet
Another popular addition to the diet is turmeric. This spice has been known for all types of health benefits. While you can get some of the benefits from other herbs and spices, including ginger, saffron, and cinnamon, it’s turmeric that will always come out on top.
This yellow spice is the reason curries are so rich and tasty. It’s a spice that is commonly used for cleaning and brightening, whether it’s the face, the teeth, or your kitchen counter tops! Yes, despite the yellowy color, it’s excellent for lightening elements.
But it’s the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that make it a superfood for the brain. Nobody knows all the compounds, but more than 100 have been found so far. They help to fight against oxidative stress, starve off depression, and keep the blood flowing properly throughout the brain. Studies have shown that turmeric is better than Prozac on the brain!
One of the benefits is that turmeric has no side effects. It’s a healthy alternative to antidepressants. It’s wonderful as an herbal remedy on the side of various pharmaceutical options.
Unlike other ingredients on this list, turmeric is also full of turmerone. This is a substance that encourages the brain to self-heal. It helps to produce new neurons in the brain after injury or cell death.
You only need to use up to half a teaspoon a day to get all the benefits of turmeric.
Stock Up on More Walnuts
If you want to choose one type of nut to eat, make sure it’s the walnut. The only time you want to avoid this ingredient is if you have a nut allergy.
Walnuts are essential for improving the levels of serotonin in the body. We don’t need to cover this anymore, as we’ve looked at how good serotonin is for the brain.
The nuts are also full of pedunculagin, a unique polyphenol, which is full of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Walnuts help to avoid inflammation in the brain, which can affect the health of the cells and the tissues. They will help to fight against free radicals in the brain that are linked to degenerative health diseases and signs of aging.
Unlike many other foods that have been linked to fighting against oxidative stress and free radicals, walnuts can also help to reverse some signs of brain aging. Some studies have shown that they can reverse some of the damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Patients have seen improved memory recall and reaction time, although more studies are needed.
You only need a tablespoon of walnuts a day, which is less than a handful. Add them on top of your porridge oats, and you’ll not even realize you’re eating them!
It’s Time to Add More Brain Boosting Superfoods to Your Diet
There are just so many brains boosting superfoods out there. The 10 above are all ones that will offer nutritional benefits that directly improve the brain health. Some will help with the repair process after cell damage, while others help to avoid cell damage in the first place.
The ingredients are all ones that you can easily add to your diet. They become replacements for some of your lesser healthy options. Switch out vegetable oil for olive oil and opt for more walnuts over your peanuts. You’ll be surprised at the cognitive functions you improve and the way you overcome many of the signs of aging. What are you waiting for? Add in the 10 superfoods today.