The food you eat has something to do with how your brain functions. Nutrition experts emphasize that what you ingest not only affects your body but your mind as well. Yes, brain foods matter a lot! Here, in this post, we will tell you seven most important foods that boost brain function.
Your gut will help boost your immune responses as well as keep inflammation under control. Furthermore, gut hormones entering your brain or those produced in your brain affect your cognitive abilities. These chemicals help you stay focused on tasks at hand, process and understand new information and recognize if you are already full.
Moreover, brain foods rich in good fats, NAD+, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants give you energy and help in protecting against various brain diseases. Experts say that NAD+ in food is essential in increasing your energy levels and improving your brain function. So if you focus on giving your body nutritious food, you can keep both your mind and body in tip-top shape.
Here are seven foods that boost brain function that you must be eating to feed not just your body but your mind as well:
Broccoli is among the best brain foods you should eat. It has high levels of choline and vitamin K, thus keeping your memory sharp.
Researchers have also discovered that broccoli is high in glucosinolates, a compound that slows the breakdown of acetylcholine. In turn, this promotes your central nervous system to perform optimally, keeping your memories sharp. In fact, low levels of acetylcholine have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
2. Oily Fish
Your body cannot produce essential fatty acids. So this means that it should be obtained through diet. Naturally, oily fish like salmon, mackerel, kippers, sardines, and trout contain the most effective omega-3 fats in the form of DHA and EPA. These fats are not just beneficial to your heart and joints but to your brain as well.
Having enough levels of DHA and EPA is thought to help you manage stress. These compounds help produce serotonin, a good mood brain chemical that is also enhanced with therapeutic deep tissue massage. On the contrary, low DHA levels can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and memory loss.
Moreover, some varieties of fish including salmon, sardines, and tuna also have high amounts of NAD+ in them.
Avocados are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat. Though they have high fat content, take note that they are packed with monounsaturated fat, which is a good kind of fat. Avocados help keep your skin radiant and your blood sugar level steady.
And since they contain folate and vitamin K, they help prevent blood clots in the brain. Consuming them will improve your cognitive functioning, especially when it comes to concentration and memory.
4. Bone Broth
Bone broth is considered the best food for healing your gut and your brain. This is an ancient food that offers plenty of health benefits. These include overcoming leaky gut, food allergies, enhancing joint health, and boosting your immune system.
Bone broth also contains high levels of healing amino acids like glycine and proline that boost memory and immune responses.
For many people, beets are an intimidating food. That is a shame because these root vegetables are considered one of the nutritious plants you can add to your diet. They contain plenty of cancer-protecting antioxidants.
They also have natural nitrates that can enhance blood flow to the brain, improving mental performance. Plus if you are doing tough workouts, they help boost your energy and performance levels.
6. Dark Chocolate
Chocolates, in general, are linked to high sugar content and bad teeth. But not all chocolates are created equal!
Dark chocolate, for instance, can be good to you. It is full of flavonols that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It also promotes proper blood flow to your heart and brain.
The darker the chocolate is, the more health benefits it provides. To ensure that you get its brain-boosting benefits, consider opting for chocolates with a minimum of 70% of cocoa.
Blueberries are among the foods high in antioxidants, including vitamin K, vitamin C, and fiber. And because of they have high levels of gallic acid, they are good for protecting your brain from stress and degeneration.
Having a well-rounded, nourishing diet will give your brain the best chance of avoiding a number of diseases, including memory loss.
But if your diet is unbalanced, consider supplementing with nutrients like NAD+, and anthocyanin to make up some of the essentials. But before taking any supplement, it is always best to discuss it first with your healthcare provider.
Frank L. Jaksch Jr. is the Chief Executive Officer and a co-founder of ChromaDex.
He oversees research, strategy and operations for the Company with a focus on scientific and novel products for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical markets. Mr. Jaksch earned a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from Valparaiso University.