Think your diet is helping you think better? It might if it includes these top 8 foods. Here’s what to chow down on if you want kick-ass cognitive powers.
1. Some Sage Advice
It’s no coincidence that this word refers to both a plant and a wise person. Studies have found that taking sage oil extract before a mental challenge (like an exam) garners better results. If you want to get scientific about it (and why not, we’re talking about brain power here) the sage oil protects your brain’s acetylcholine, which is required for neurotransmissions. Plus, it’s a pretty tasty herb to add to your spice rack.
2. Go Nuts
Don’t go nuts, eat nuts. Research conducted at Rush University in Chicago discovered those with a diet rich in vitamin E (plentiful in nuts) were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. They speculate that the vitamin may actually trap free radicals that could otherwise do damage to your noodle. Walnuts are the brain-boosting winner but almonds, pistachios, and macadamia nuts are tasty runner’s up.
Eggs, specifically the yolk, are incredibly rich in vitamin B, also known as choline. Choline is essential for the brain to make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in memory and communication. Keep those synapses firing; just get cracking.
4. Ah Yes, Avocado
Loaded with healthy monounsaturated fat, these delicious little food gems help to lower blood pressure, which in turn, lowers your risk of hypertension leading to a potentially brain-damaging stroke. Plus, it helps to build myelin, which not only protects the brain, it accelerates the speed at which information can travel. We’ve never felt so smart saying, “pass the guac.”
Studies have found that including dark leafy greens like kale and spinach can slow the aging of your brain. It’s the combined power of antioxidants and vitamins that keep the brain from aging quickly. So while some people aim to be young at heart, we say add those greens and enjoy a little mental youthfulness too.
6. Here, Fishy Fishy
And the fattier the better. The brain’s preferred fuel source is omega-3 fatty acids. Not only will a diet rich in healthy fats improve mental function, but it’ll also protect your memories too. If you’re a vegetarian, don’t worry; there are plenty of plant-based alternatives – flaxseed, hemp seeds, and chia seeds rank as some of our favourites.
These brilliant berries have been the superstar of brain-boosting foods since a study discovered how their potent antioxidants battle against free radicals in the brain and decrease short-term memory loss. Truth be told, any berry – especially ones similar to blueberries – will do. So, go berry-bonkers with Saskatoon berries, huckleberries, lingonberries, and beautiful blueberries.
8. Good Grains for Brains
No surprises here. This one’s on the list because the brain needs energy to function optimally. It’s as simple as that. Making sure that your diet includes plenty of energy-boosting and sustaining whole grains is a no brainer.
Looking at this list now is making us thirsty for an uber-smart shake. To the blender! Boosting our brainpower never tasted so good.