What we consume every day affects every cell in our bodies and our brains are no exception. Certain foods that improve brain function are important to eat regularly if we expect to be able to gain new knowledge and retain it. These foods are also important to be able to stay focused throughout the day and pay attention to the tasks set before us.
Many people, including children, find it difficult to be attentive for any significant amount of time. We are constantly stimulated by an ever-changing environment but with the help of the following foods, you will soon experience an improvement in your brain function.
#1. Whole Grains
There is no surprise here that whole grains are better than those that have been broken down and processed. Whole grains are the grains of any cereal that contain the endosperm, germ, and bran as opposed to the refined versions which contain only the endosperm.
Make choices like barley, oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta, bread, and crackers. They contain vitamin B6, folate and thiamine which all help to improve your memory and ability to focus.
#2. Seeds and Nuts
Eating seeds and nuts such as walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and sunflower seeds are fabulous for your brain. They are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids that improve your brain function but can also help to improve your mood.
They also contain Vitamin E which studies have shown reduces oxidative stress; therefore supporting brain health as we age.
Try a bowl of whole-grain oatmeal topped with peanut butter and finished off with some unsweetened almond milk for a kickstart to your day. It will get your brain and body prepared to work for the day.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and thus, one of the effective foods that improve brain function. This can not only boost your memory and concentration levels but also give you a little more pep in your step.
They also contain Vitamin B12, B6 and folic acid which are known to prevent brain shrinkage as well as can help to slow down the decline in cognitive function that inevitably occurs.
Berries like blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are super delicious but also incredibly healthy for your brain. They are high in antioxidants which can reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.
The antioxidants found in these berries also help the brain to improve communication between brain cells. It also increases something called neuroplasticity, which is essentially the brain’s ability to make new connections between new information that we encounter and prior knowledge that we have already stored. Consequently, an individual’s capacity to learn and problem solve is increased dramatically.
Avocados are a fruit that is rich in unsaturated fat – the “healthy fat”. It is this unsaturated fat that can reduce inflammation in your brain which can lead to a decrease in cognitive function and memory as we age.
They are also high in potassium when combined with omega-3 fatty acids can reduce high blood pressure, which is one of its many health benefits. Research has shown that having lowering high blood pressure is good for the health of your brain.
Tomatoes have numerous health benefits and are easily incorporated into any diet. Whether you eat them in a salad or cooked down into a sauce, your body and brain can reap the benefits from the high levels of lycopene. The lycopene not only regulates cell growth that can lead to certain cancers, but it also regulates the genes that control inflammation and overall cell growth.
Salmon is an oily fish renown for its health benefits and definitely one of the foods that improve brain function. You can also eat other fish like tuna, mackerel, herring, or sardines to gain similar health benefits. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help to build the membranes around all the cells in your system, including those found in your brain. This improves the structure of the neurons.
Neurons are known as the building blocks of the brain and it is incredibly important to keep them healthy. They help to transmit messages throughout our bodies, quickly and effectively.
#8. Red Cabbage
Most commonly found in salads, red cabbage is great for the health of your brain. They are high in polyphenols – micronutrients found in some plant-based foods – which are jam-packed with antioxidants and numerous health benefits.
Not only can red cabbage help to deal with weight management and digestive issues, control diabetes naturally, it can also prevent some neurodegenerative diseases.
The polyphenols can protect neurons from injury due to neurotoxins, stifle inflammation of said neurons, and have the ability to increase learning, memory, and overall cognitive function.
Spinach is a great overall healthy food choice when it comes to finding ways to boost your brainpower. The high levels of folate, iron, calcium, and Vitamins K and E can help to increase concentration and memory levels. It also has been shown to help ward off dementia in older adults.
#10. Green Tea
Green tea can help you lose weight but can also boost dopamine levels that assist your brain to remember things and concentrate for longer periods of time without being easily distracted.
It also contains polyphenols and catechins that are natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage in your body and brain. This allows our brains to continue to make connections between the past and present.
Bananas are one of the most easily accessible fruits around the world. High in potassium, Vitamin B6, and folic acid, they can help to boost serotonin levels in the brain.
Low serotonin levels in the brain have been linked to higher levels of depression. Therefore, eating foods that help to boost such levels can help to manage depression and the willingness to interact with the world around you, as well as improve your overall ability to sleep.
#12. Dark Chocolate
Who doesn’t love chocolate? However, to reap actual health benefits from chocolate, you must reach for that contain at least 70% cacao. If you are used to the milk chocolate variety, you may find the dark chocolate bitter at first but eventually, you will grow accustomed to it. Seriously, does it get any better, that chocolate is one of the foods that improve brain function?
Flavonoids – a type of antioxidant – found in cacao are important, especially for brain health. Again, they will help to reduce the effects of oxidative stress but will also increase the flow of blood to the brain. This blood flow then increases memory and concentration levels which is due to the connections being made between cells.
Keeping our brains healthy means making healthy food choices and eating the foods that improve brain function that has been mentioned is a great start. It helps to increase our abilities to concentrate and retain relevant information as well as become better problem solvers in our daily lives.
Without a well-functioning brain, we cannot be our best selves. Choose wisely what you eat to reap the rewards.