12 Top Brain Foods That Really Help You Think
Boost Your Brain Power
Sometimes you need to be at your absolute sharpest. It could be for a number of reasons, such as a test at school, a new job interview or even just doing a tricky crossword.
Whatever your reasons for needing to boost your levels of acuity, the very best foods for the brain could help.
We’ve put together 12 brain foods that can keep your intellectual stimulation and focus at peak condition.
Using sound nutritional principles and giving the brain everything it needs for optimal performance, you can give yourself every advantage and really see a difference.
Why Fuel Your Brain?
What’s The Deal
Poor nutrition and lack of dietary knowledge can inhibit your ability to reach maximum cerebral efficiency. We set out to find the best foods to compliment your need for an increase in mental aptitude.
A bad diet can not only leave you without the nutrients you need to function properly but can rob you of good health and destroy neural tissue. For that reason alone, whether or not you want to boost your brain, staying away from the very worst foods is important.
Sound nutrition for your brain can not make up for self-abusing factors such as alcohol, cigarettes and junk food so take care of your body and diet, and put down that extra beer, avoid bad foods and trans fats as well as eating the brain fueling foods listed below.
Read on to find out how to supplement with the very best brain foods.
What Does This Really Mean?
Bad food can literally destroy your brain, but with the right nutrition, you can be firing on all cylinders.
What Is The The Best Food For The Brain?
Real Food – Real Improvement
To ensure adequate nutrition for the brain, we need to eat the very best, highest quality foods available.
Though the term food is used loosely here, these consumable items all may help improve brain function including memory ability.
The 12 Top Brain Foods list Include:
1. Wild Salmon
The best source of essential omega 3 fatty acids, wild salmon contains healthy doses of both omega 3 and omega 6 to help keep your brain sharp and focused.
Eat wild salmon when you can. When you can’t, buy farmed salmon and consume 2-3 times per week.
Definitely one of the most effective brain foods ever, but also very versatile and tasty too.
Salmon can be used in place of chicken and turkey in many dishes, but unlike poultry, goes really well with cheese sauces.
Salmon is most palatable when it’s not cooked too thoroughly as it can get a little dry, like most fish.
2. Flax seeds
Depending on where you originate from, you may know these tiny little seeds as linseeds.
An excellent source of omega 3 fats and flax seeds contain high levels of soluble fiber as a bonus which has the added benefit of helping with digestive health, preventing colon cancer and speeding up your metabolism. Add flax seed meal to your breakfast, muffins, or use flax seed oil on salads.
Keep your flax seed cold in the refrigerator and only purchase the variety that comes in a dark bottle to protect it from the light.
Many paleo diet followers create crackers out of flaxseed meal, chia seeds, and water which make a wonderful crispbread that is full of good fats.
Yes, this is a “foods” list, but to clarify, eat foods that have adequate electrolytes. Lack of sodium and potassium electrolytes can reduce critical brain function. (1)
A balance of electrolytes is also important with potassium being needed in larger quantities.
Eat plenty of potassium rich foods for the brain, such as bananas and sweet potatoes. Be sure to keep your table salt to a minimum, you will most likely get all the sodium you need from bread and condiments.
Make sure your brain food diet has plenty of high potassium foods for maximum effectiveness.
One word of caution for those with renal issues such as kidney infections or diabetes, high potassium could be a risk for complications, so be sure to take this into account if those issues are present.
4. Low G.I Carbohydrates
High glycemic carbohydrates create fluctuations in blood sugar levels and may create brain cell damage.
Low glycemic index foods help to sustain a steady, even blood sugar. They supply the brain with constant carbohydrate feeding. It’s food for the brain.
Good low glycemic foods include:
High-fiber & Protein Pasta
Very low glycemic foods may include such foods as:
Lentils really are the best of the best. Eat Low G.I brain foods and fuel your brain the right way. It really is the smarter solution.
Some evidence suggests that excessive spikes in blood sugar can be detrimental to the brain and therefore cognitive processes. The good news is Low G.I foods don’t do this at all.
5. Multi Vitamin And Minerals
The body and the mind need adequate levels of essential nutrients to sustain proper function.
Eating a wide array of fruit and vegetables is a good way to ensure you receive many high quality micro-nutrients in your diet, however, a good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement can act as a sound solution for nutritional insurance.
A superior multivitamin will have iron, Vitamin D, complex B group vitamins, magnesium, calcium, and folate. Vitamin C is also useful to take supplementally as there is some interesting research that shows it can help protect brain tissue from oxidative damage.
To find out the best supplements that can assist with mental acuity and memory, there’s a comprehensive article called The 10 Best Brain And Memory Supplements that might be of interest.
Walnuts are a good brain food because they contain high level of essential fats, protein, B6 and E vitamins.
It seems that walnuts are particularly good because they contain the good fat omega 3 in alpha linolenic form.
While it’s true that the body can only produce a certain amount of digestive enzymes that can convert alpha linolenic acid into DHA and EPA in the body, it’s still an excellent food source whether you’re after foods that are good for the brain or not.
Consume walnuts every day with breakfast cereals such as muesli or oatmeal.
Even dessert can be enhanced with walnuts and the maple walnut combination is a favorite of many.
7. Cacao Beans
These amazing chocolate ingredients contain especially high levels of antioxidants which can help destroy harmful free radicals in the bloodstream.
In a recent article asking is “dark chocolate good for you“, we discovered that many of the properties of dark chocolate (which can be found in cacao beans and powder) are very healthy indeed.
Antioxidants have recently been touted as the fountain of youth that prevents wrinkles, aging, and many other fanciful ideas, but regardless of some exaggerated claims, antioxidants can protect the brain from free radical damage and that means cacao beans are very much worthy of a spot on this top brain foods list. (2)
Raw cacao powder is excellent for use in cooking, protein shakes, on cereals or as a more natural alternative to hot chocolate.
8. Green Tea
Another excellent antioxidant food, green tea is a fantastic solution for protecting the brain. The best green tea is matcha the high grade green tea powder.
Some people opt for the decaffeinated varieties of green tea so they can drink a bit more without the jittery effects of the caffeine which is not ideal for everybody.
Healthful teas like green tea and Oolong make great drinks on the side to a tasty meal and provide many beneficial nutrients and polyphenols worthy of making them brain foods.
9. Dark Berries
All berries are delicious and nutritious but the darker berries are higher in antioxidants and are some of the best brain foods available.
Blueberries have a beautiful blue and purple suede color that tempts the eye because of their high anthocyanins, another excellent berry (though hard to find) is the acai berry. The anthocyanins in berries have been shown to have many other healthful properties that may include increasing cardiovascular health and may help to reduce the risks of a potential heart attack. (3)
Blueberries can be considered not only foods good for your brain, but good for your entire health.
The rise in popularity of the smoothie bowl has seen an increase in demand for berries and has also made them highly available for consumers.
A smoothie bowl can offer an entire punnet of frozen blueberries in one serve, dishing up an antioxidant hit that is not only super healthy but exceedingly tasty as well.
10. Lean Red Meat
You need iron in your diet for healthy brain function and many other uses in the body. One of the single most beneficial sources of iron is the brain food red meat – Nice and lean red meat that is.
One solution to help absorb the iron in red meat is to consume a quality source of Vitamin C with the meat such as broccoli or a glass of orange juice.
Some Vitamin C supplements contain up to 500mg of per serve, so that is an easy way if there’s no high Vitamin C vegetables or accompaniments available to have with whatever your red meat choice is.
High in calcium, Vitamin C, B5, B6, B2, beta carotene, phosphorus, folate and iron, broccoli is a veritable buffet of goodness and micronutrients.
Broccoli is not just one of the best types of food for the brain, but also one of the world’s best super foods, so be sure to consume it at least twice per week and don’t overcook it or you may find yourself destroying much of the nutritional value.
Many people aren’t aware that broccoli leaf is also edible and makes a great addition to salads as well as in savory dishes.
12 Rosemary And Sage
These two herbs pack a one-two punch for stopping memory degradation and associated problems.
Rosemary also contains carnosic acid, which can protect the brain from vicious, tissue-damaging free radicals. (4)
Use rosemary and sage in roast meals or with vegetable bakes and it may help with memory improvement and for those who want to increase their intellectual aptitude.
Fresh herbs always require a thorough washing because some bugs may be present, though these herbs have a added benefit of acting like a repellent for many varieties of garden crawlies. That being said, washing is still a must unless you want a little extra bug protein in your diet.
What’s The Bottom Line Here?
These foods that are good for the brain are also by and large great for your health as well.
12 Top Brain Foods That Really Help You Think
It’s no surprise that these good brain foods are great in general with nutritional benefits. Eating them as regularly as possible can only be of benefit to your well being.
Taking care of your brain is a smart step to improve mental performance, of course taking care of your whole body is important as well.
Make sure your new brain food diet has the very best brain foods. Like the ones, we have shown you.
School examinations are the perfect time to increase the consumption of these special foods and to reap the benefits of healthier living, however, don’t make it a “one off” action.
Consume these ingredients on a regular basis to maintain optimum intellectual performance.