Most people already realise that the foods they put into their body on a day to day basis will have a large influence over how their body feels and functions. But, few people realise the impact that their food choices will have over their minds. Eat the right foods and you can see improved brain health and function, while offsetting some of the mental illnesses that can come about with age. Wondering which foods are best to include in your diet plan? Let’s walk you through some of the optimal brain-boosting foods that will not only nourish your mind, but also nourish your body as well.
Often dubbed the ‘brainberry’, blueberries should not be overlooked. These are great brain boosters thanks to the high dose of antioxidants they contain, which can help to improve short-term memory.
Considering they contain just under 50 calories per calories half cup, there’s no reason to not add these to your diet plan. They’re also a high-fiber food, so will help reduce hunger pains while slowing down digestion. Try them over a bowl of oatmeal, added into your smoothie, or just eaten on their own as a quick, light snack.
As far as brain boosting protein goes, you simply can’t beat salmon. Salmon makes the list thanks to its high dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which are needed to help keep your brain strong over time. Those who have the highest intake of omega-3 fatty acids in their diet over the long haul tend to experience fewer issues to age-related cognitive decline and may also safeguard themselves against Alzheimer’s disease. As many people are currently short in their omega-3 fatty acid intake and salmon is one of the best sources that you can consume, you should be adding it to your meal plan.
Another fruit that far too often gets overlooked in the diet but one that you should start considering is black currants. Black currants are loaded with vitamin C. In fact, they are one of the best sources for this vitamin. Diets rich in vitamin C can help increase the level of mental agility you have, improving your overall cognitive processes.
If black currants aren’t your thing, consider other foods rich in vitamin C such as red peppers, carrots, oranges, and grapefruit. All will help you get in a great dose while also boosting your immune system as well.
You likely already know that nuts can be a great way to get healthy fats into your day. But, don’t overlook the power of seeds. Namely, pumpkin seeds. This seed variety is a fantastic source of the mineral zinc, which many people, especially men, tend to be lacking in.
Taking in more zinc will help boost your memory as well as your thinking skills, making sure that you perform at the top of your cognitive capability. Additionally, they are also a good source of the amino acid tryptophan, which will be converted into serotonin in the body and can help improve your mood and lessen anxiety. Next time you are feeling mentally on edge and anxious, try a light snack of pumpkin seeds. It might just do the trick to help calm you down. And, if you really dislike pumpkin seeds, you can also opt for sunflower seeds as well, which will offer many of the same benefits that pumpkin seeds do.
Spinach is a real power food as far as your health goes. It’s high in dietary fiber, rich in vitamin A, E, C, K, along with the many B vitamins and will also provide you with a great dose of phosphorus, copper, iron, manganese, and magnesium. All in all, eating spinach is virtually the same as taking a multi-vitamin it’s so nutrient dense.
In addition to giving you all these great benefits, it’s also going to go a long way towards boosting your brain health as well. Spinach contains nitrates, which are a natural substance that can have a vasodilation effect, therefore increasing blood flow to the brain. Since lack of blood flow to the brain can create issues with focus and concentration and could even lead to stroke (in severe cases), you can see why this is important.
Next time you’re looking to sauté something, try using coconut oil rather than the traditional oil you may be using. Coconut oil is relatively high saturated fat content. The fats found in coconut oil are medium chain triglycerides, which are much different than typical saturated fats. Rather than being harmful to your health, these fats can actually help give you a health boost as far as your brain is concerned.
Coconut oil can help to lower your risk factor for depression as it exerts mood-boosting benefits. As coconut oil is quite calorie dense however, just be sure to watch how much of it you consume. Measure out how much you use and then be sure to add those calories to your daily total so you aren’t putting yourself at risk for weight gain.
So, have a good look at your current diet plan. Are you eating these brain-boosting foods? If not, this does not mean that your diet isn’t a healthy, but it may not be promoting a healthy mind as much as it could be. Make a few changes and you should be noticing a difference.
Looking to enhance your knowledge of nutrition? Join our top-rated professional diploma in nutrition today!