As the control-center of your body, the brain is an energy-intensive organ. It uses about 20% of the body’s calories, so it needs plenty of fuel and nutrients to keep it functioning to its best ability. The foods you eat play a key role in keeping your brain healthy and can improve specific mental capabilities like cognition, alertness, and mood stability.
Having a healthy brain is important for all aspects of your wellbeing, including your work life success. The healthier your brain, the more energized and focused you are throughout the day. This translates to increased creativity, work productivity, and higher thinking.
Here are five amazing foods to incorporate into your diet that will keep your brain happy and healthy.
1. Dark berries and cherries
While fruits of any kind are highly nutritious, cherries and dark berries such as blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries, are ideal for brain health. These specific fruits are high in flavonoids and anthocyanins, compounds that possess high levels of antioxidants that boost brain health. Studies have shown that these compounds may also increase plasticity which boosts learning and memory!
To include more of these delicious fruits into your daily meals – start adding them into smoothies, top off your cereals, or simply enjoy them as is.
2. Dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables
All types of vegetables should be part of your daily diet to promote strong immune system function and good overall wellbeing. But if you’re looking to improve brain health, increase your intake of dark, leafy greens and cruciferous veggies. Countless health studies have shown that these types of vegetables improve attention, verbal abilities, alertness, and overall brain health.
Start consuming more kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, broccoli, arugula, and cauliflower, and experience the benefits of improved memory and cognitive function. Health tip: try adding a handful of spinach or baby kale to your morning smoothie!
3. Omega-3 fatty acids
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, is essential for optimal brain health. Omega-3s help to build and repair brain cells, enhancing cognitive performance and functional brain activation. Studies have linked higher levels of DHA in the bloodstream with improved memory and focus. Increasing your omega-3 intake can have a significant impact on your overall work performance – helping you stay more present and productive all day.
Omega-3s are present in fatty types of fish such as tuna, mackerel, salmon, halibut, trout, and herring, and in nuts and seeds such as pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, and chia seeds.
Walnuts are the top nut for good brain health. Just ¼ cup of walnuts contains more than 100% of the daily recommended value of DHA. Additionally, walnuts can help regulate blood pressure, which assists with reducing stress levels in people with high blood pressure for improved brain health. They are also an excellent source of protein and healthy fats.
Keep walnuts on hand and snack on them to satisfy bouts of hunger. Also, consider adding walnuts to cereal and oatmeal for breakfast, and to salads and vegetable stir-fries for lunch and dinner.
Beans are inexpensive, versatile, and easy to incorporate in your daily diet. They’re slowly digested and provide the brain with its favorite fuel – glucose. This helps concentration and memory so you can keep a steady work flow during the craziest of days! They have a bunch of brain-friendly nutrients including folate, fiber, zinc, and antioxidants. Add some beans to your rice bowl at lunch, make a delicious bean stew, or throw some chickpeas on your salad.
Yours in Health,