Top Super Foods For Boosting Your Brain Power

Nature has given us "Super foods" which are packed with nutrients that have health-enhancing properties ranging from prevention of heart disease and cancer to improving skin health and boosting memory and brain function. Some of the health benefits you see on internet about superfoods may be overstated but they do provide the recommended nutrients when included as part of your balanced diet.

This fast-paced world requires us to stay mentally sharp. But the average American diet is doing all it can to stop your brain from firing on all cylinders. While life demands more and more from your brain, the food you eat may be giving you a lot of calories without the nutrients you need to meet those demands. 

If you could protect your brain against degeneration, nourish your neurons and even boost the production of neurotransmitters just by eating more delicious whole foods… Who wouldn't do it?

How to Eat Smart for a Healthier Brain

The brain is the first of the body's organs to absorb nutrients from the food you eat. It uses up to 20 to 30 percent of the calories you consume. And, just like your body doesn't benefit from junk food, neither does your brain. While leafy greens and fish serve as great sources of brain food, there are plenty of other foods to provide your thinking organs the power they need to keep ticking. 

In general, you want foods that provide 4 things:

Your brain is mostly composed of fat, and it needs fatty acids to process information and for brain cells to communicate. Omega-3 fatty acids particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) play an essential role in allowing brain cells to transmit signals properly. Lack of DHA can cause brain signals to become garbled and difficult to read. 

The harder it is for your brain cells to talk to one another, the harder it is for you to control mood, concentrate, and remember things. Research also suggests that DHA can actually help you feel happier by prompting your body to release serotonin, the chemical the body uses to boost mood and relieve depression.

Eating foods rich in antioxidants helps control the buildup of free radicals. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and halt the damaging effects they have on the body. Berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, goji berries, and many others are a great source of antioxidants, as are a variety of nuts and seeds.

Various factors contribute to the gradual decline of mental acuity as we age. Recent studies suggest that inflammation, high blood pressure, elevated insulin levels, obesity, arterial inelasticity and a condition known as metabolic syndrome are all risk factors and can lead to a decline in brain health.

Blood circulation
While only making up two percent of total body weight, the brain consumes 20 percent of the oxygen your body takes in. Your brain needs oxygen, and your blood is what delivers it. Having a healthy blood flow means that oxygen and nutrients can keep the brain going at full power. Foods like goji berries naturally promote circulation.

So before you reach for the supplements or overdose on spinach, try filling up on some of these tasty bites that can fire up your brainpower naturally. Add these 'superfoods' to your daily diet, and you will increase your odds of maintaining a healthy brain for the rest of your life.

10 super foods to boost your brain power 

1) Blueberries
"Brainberries" is what experts calls these tasty fruits. In animal studies researchers have found that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Studies have also shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging rats, making them mentally equivalent to much younger rats. Add at least 1 cup of blueberries a day in any form -- fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried.

This is a great BRAIN-BOOSTING & FIBER RICH Breakfast Smoothie

*16-24oz Almond Milk
*1/2 Cup Blueberries
*2 Tbsp Chia Powder
*2 Tsp Mesquite Powder
*2-3 Drops Essential Oil of Lemon
*2 Tsp Maca Powder
*1 Tbsp Bee Pollen
Pinch of Sun Dried Sea Salt

Blend until Creamy and enjoy...

2) Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E, higher levels of vitamin E correspond with less cognitive decline as you get older. Add an ounce a day of walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, filberts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed, and unhydrogenated nut butters such as peanut butter, almond butter, and tahini. Raw or roasted doesn't matter, although if you're on a sodium-restricted diet, buy unsalted nuts.

3) Fish 
Cold-water fish, such as salmon, are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids (DHA), which are essential for brain function. Omega-3s also contain anti-inflammatory substances. People who have higher blood levels of DHA, have a 47% lower risk of dementia than those with the lowest levels, reported a Tufts University study of about 900 older women and men. 

Eating fish three times a week led to the highest DHA levels. Specially, wild salmon is recommended for its "cleanliness" and the fact that it is in plentiful supply. Other oily fish that provide the benefits of omega-3s are sardines, herring, anchovies, mackerel and tuna, add 4-ounce serving, two to three times a week.

4) Avocados
Avocados are almost as good as blueberries in promoting brain health,It is rich in monounsaturated fat, which contributes to healthy blood flow and healthy blood flow means a healthy brain. Avocados also lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of  hypertension which leads in decline of cognitive abilities, a lower blood pressure promotes brain health. Add just 1/4 to 1/2 of an avocado to one daily meal as a side dish.

5) Milk
Milk is rich in vitamin B6, vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium and potassium – all of which are necessary for improving memory and cognitive functions. But what is especially beneficial to brain health is the milk protein, especially cow milk protein. The cow milk protein is made up of 20 percent whey protein and 80 percent casein protein. The whey protein is a mixture of alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin and serum albumin. 

A research study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that dietary protein rich in alpha-lactalbumin (cow milk protein in this case) improves cognitive performance in stress-vulnerable people by increasing brain serotonin activity levels.

6) Whole grains
Every organ in the body is dependent on blood flow. Whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole-grain breads, and brown rice can reduce the risk for heart disease, thus promoting heart health promotes good blood flow to all organs of the body including your brain.

Wheat germ and most whole grains are rich in B-complex vitamins that promote brain health by protecting nerve tissue against oxidation. B- group vitamins also help by enhancing memory and preventing stroke. In addition to fiber this superfood contains Vitamin E and some of the omega 3s. Take 1/2 cup of whole-grain cereal, 1 slice of bread two-thee times day, or 2 tablespoons of wheat germ a day.

7) Beans
Beans are very economical but under-recognized for their brain boosting properties. They also stabilize glucose (blood sugar) levels. The brain is dependent on glucose for fuel, and since it can't store the glucose, it relies on a steady stream of energy, which beans can provide. Add 1/2 a cup of lentils and black beans to your daily diet.

8)Freshly brewed tea 
Two to three cups a day of freshly brewed tea -- hot or iced -- contains a modest amount of caffeine which, if used properly can boost brain power by enhancing memory, focus, and mood. Tea contains a large number of bioactive chemicals such as amino acids, vitamins, caffeine and several polysaccharides. It has been suggested that green and black tea may protect against cancer, though the catechins found in green tea are thought to be more effective in preventing certain obesity-related cancers such as liver and colorectal cancer.

9) Quinoa
Quinoa is an all-around good grain. It makes up a complete protein, containing all nine of the essential amino acids. Quinoa is also an excellent source of iron, which is needed to produce energy for the brain’s neurons. It is also rich in riboflavin (or vitamin B2), which is another important energy source. Since the brain consumes such a large amount of the body’s energy, it’s important to eat the right foods to supply it. Riboflavin also functions as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.

10) Pomegranate juice
Pomegranate juice offers potent antioxidant benefits, which protect the brain from the damage of free radicals. Your brain is more sensitive to the damage from free radicals than other organs. Some research studies suggest that daily consumption of pomegranate juice, about 8 ounces a day for three months or more, can help:
  • Reduce dangerous LDL-cholesterol in blood
  • Improve blood flow to the heart in patients with coronary artery disease
  • Reduce thickening of the arteries that supply blood to the brain
  • Lower the level of systolic blood pressure
These all factors enhance your brain health boosting your brain power.

If the foods on this list don’t tickle your taste buds, there are many other ways to implement these foods into healthy and tasty recipes. As well there are many more Super Foods that help fight against harmful effects and prevent damage to your brain.

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