Healthy Foods to Boost your brainpower and memory
Our brains need nutrients to function properly, just like the rest of the body. There are certain foods that you can eat that will maximize your brainpower, help you focus; improve your memory and overall cognitive function, which will all help you on your journey to success. Think of this as another piece of your success puzzle.
As anyone who is working towards success knows, there are no short cuts and it takes every ounce of hard work that your body and mind can produce. Setting your goals, making your lists, crossing your t's and dotting your i's every day, while weaving together a perfect life of habits and small accomplishments, will lead to your dreams. You put in all the hours, and you read all of the books. You attend the seminars and you strive for the greatness that you know is inside of you. You are using your mind. Did you remember to feed that today? To feed what... Your mind? If you want to use your mind to it's full potential, then this is another step towards success that you should be taking.
Diet for success
Your success will be based on the routines that you create for yourself daily. Many successful people incorporate exercise into their daily routines. They know the importance of taking care of their bodies. Eating the proper foods is just as important. You want to fuel your body and mind according to your goals. I won't promise you that if you eat these foods, you will wake up at the end of two weeks with the bank account of Bill Gates, Carlos Slim Helu, or Warren Buffet. It cannot magically make you the author of best-selling books, the founder of a top corporation, or put you on the cover of a financial magazine. That will depend on you and your hard work. What I can promise you is that on your journey to the top, research has found that these foods will provide your brain with the nutrients it needs to perform at its highest level, which is what you need, as you demand the most of yourself, on your way to success. I want to share with you the foods that research has found to be the best brain boosters.
Foods to boost your brain power
Have got a lot of praise over the last decade or more for their abundant supply of antioxidants. What many may not know is that they also improve memory and motor coordination and help prevent the brain from oxidative stress. These amazing fruits have improved the learning capacity and skills of aging rats and made them mentally equivalent to much younger rats, in studies done by The University of Houston and Tufts University U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Ageing. They have also been linked to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. It is recommended to eat at least one cup a day of blueberries in any form, fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried. The way they are served doesn't matter. Try some blueberries as part of a parfait or a smoothie for breakfast. No matter how you eat them, the benefits are yours!
Salmon is loaded with health benefits. The Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for brain function. Our bodies do not produce Omega 3's. We have to get them from the food we eat. Omega 3's have become popular because of their ability to reduce heart disease, cancer and arthritis. These fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and are important for brain performance and memory. Salmon is not the only fish that is loaded with Omega 3's. You can add to this list fish such as Tuna, Mackerel, Sardine and Herring. For the proper amount of these nutrients, four-ounce servings, two to three times a week is recommended.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are a great source of Vitamin E. Higher levels of Vitamin E correspond with less cognitive decline as we age. Walnuts are a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids and are extremely high in antioxidants, which promote brain function. There are more nuts and seeds that also provide these vitamins and omega 3’s, such as Hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, Almonds, Cashews, Peanuts, Sunflower seeds, Sesame seeds and flax seeds. It doesn't matter if they are raw or roasted, they will contain the nutrients that your brain needs to function properly.
Eggs are considered a super food. The whites of eggs are protein rich and the yolks contain a water-soluble nutrient called Choline. Choline is known to improve memory, focus and overall cognitive performance. When you eat protein, you raise the levels of an amino acid called Tyrosine. Tyrosine prompts your brain to manufacture Norepinephrine and Dopamine, which are chemical messengers in your brain. Norepinephrine and Dopamine promote alertness. Eggs are also rich in B12 and Omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential for your brain to properly function.
Whole Grain Foods
Whole grain foods have been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and promote cardiovascular health. When you are improving cardiovascular health, you are improving the blood flow to the organs. This includes improving blood flow to the brain, which is not only a necessity, but also the single most important thing that your brain needs, to deliver oxygen and nutrients for function.
Green tea comes to us with many health benefits, including detoxification, a healthy heart, cancer prevention and a healthy brain. Green tea contains flavonoids and other compounds that bind to cell membranes and prevent damage from oxidative stress in cells that contain Dopamine, which is related to your mood, learning, movement and attention. Studies have shown that green tea also increases the brain's connectivity and leads to improvement in cognitive performance and improved memory during working tasks.
Olive oil is high in antioxidants called Polyphenols. Since the brain uses about 20% of your Oxygen intake, it is more vulnerable to the oxidation process. Olive oil is also high in Vitamin E, which can help prevent mental decline and works to maintain a good memory. One of the greatest benefits of olive oil is that it boosts the two brain chemicals- brain-derived Neurotropic factor (BDNF), and Nerve Growth Factor- which stimulate new brain cell formation, offset the negative effects of stress on your brain, and enhance growth repair.
These foods are obviously not the only ones that benefit your brain, but it is a great place to start. In anything we do, our health must come first. We demand so much from our bodies, yet many of us do not give them the fuel they need to perform the tasks that we are asking of them. The best athletes know that in order to win, they must eat and work according to their goals. You are no different. When we provide our bodies with the proper nutrients, exercise and lifestyle that they need, they in turn give us the ability to do anything that we set our hearts and minds to do. Your success- whatever that may be to you- is within your reach. Make sure that you are using all of your resources to attain it.
Gina Davis is a writer, living in Texas. She is currently studying health and nutrition and believes in an all-around healthy lifestyle for body, mind and spirit. She is working on changing the way that the world looks at themselves, their lives, and their imaginary boundaries, one vision at a time.