In this article, you will learn how to supercharge your brain with foods. Have you ever felt sluggish and tired after a large meal or after eating fast food or junk food? Chances are, it was because of the contents that you just put in your body! Here are 8 foods that can boost your brain power. These suggestions are also great for kids!
Thanks to Shari Hammer, MS, RN-BC, CHES for a great article.
Brain Food: Super-Foods to Super-Charge Your Brain!
1. Fruits and Vegetables Made Easy: The Green Smoothie! Loaded with the best, most nutrient dense foods on the planet, a green smoothie for breakfast or even for lunch can pack the most bang for your buck. Bananas provide quick energy to the brain. You can include bananas in this recipe: blend a handful of greens (spinach or kale) with water or ice, 2-3 ripe bananas, and a cup of mixed fruit. Place in the blender. Blend very well for better nutritional absorption, this makes the nutrients easier for your digestive system to extract so you get the biggest nutritional benefit.
2. Blueberries. Antioxidant-rich and heart-healthy. They also protect the brain from stress, increase learning capacity and strengthen motor skills. This is also an easy food to get kids to love! One cup a day will do the trick.
3. Whole grains. Whole grains are tricky because so many products are packaged as “whole grain” or “all natural”. Make sure you real the labels carefully and look for “100% whole grain” to avoid possibly getting some refined product, which is stripped of nutrients. Whole grain oatmeal is an excellent grain for breakfast. Sprouted grain breads are even better by offering vitamins and protein, such as the Ezekiel brands.
4. Fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish and are very important for the brain. Tuna is good, too, with greek yogurt instead of mayo
5. Nuts and seeds . Nuts and seeds are good souces of vitamin E, which enhances cognitive abilities. Add an ounce a day of any kind ot nuts or nut butters, like almond butter. Raw is better than roasted, which means they will be without salt. An excellent “brain food” can be a traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich, made with truly whole grain bread, natural sugar free peanut butter, and blueberry jam (unsweetened)!
6. Avocados. Avocados are another good brain food, but since they are high in calories, you want to sick to no more than 1/2 avocado per day. Make a guacamole dip and enjoy with carrots, cucumbers or all natural whole grain chips.
7. Beans. Beans are filling, healthy, and help stabilize blood sugar and also offer a consistent stream of energy. They are also vital for cognitive function. Black beans go well with brown rice or quinoa.
8. Dark chocolate. (yes, we saved the best for last!). Dark chocolate, at least 70% cacao is loaded with antioxidants and natural brain stimulants. It also stimulates endorphins which improve mood. I remember eating chocolate before a test when I was in college (I didn’t realize why I was doing it at the time, but it worked)!
Remember, there are many other foods not on this list that are good for you and to eat these in moderation. Of course those with allergies or gluten intolerance would avoid some of these foods altogether.
Combining good food with fresh air, exercise, and adequate sleep are critical for proper brain function.
And remember to always take time for yourself each day.