Everyday Foods That Are Amazing For Your Brain

Everyday Foods That Are Amazing For Your Brain

Forget crossword puzzles, the answer to keeping your mind healthy could be hiding in your fridge.


Eggs

Most of us get the majority of the vitamin D we need from sunlight on our skin, but this nutrient is also found in certain foods, including eggs. Keep this in mind, as research indicates that low levels of this important vitamin can be linked to cognitive decline. It’s not known for sure why, but it’s believed that vitamin D strengthens connections between brain cells. But before you put that box of eggs in your shopping basket, check they’re free range, as these contain higher levels of vitamin D than eggs from hens kept indoors.

Nut butter

It’s not just heavenly on toast, nut butter could keep your brain happy! It’s all thanks to the high levels of vitamin E that nuts contain, which is known to protect the body against damaging natural chemicals that can harm cells. Food for thought: look for nut butters that contain no added sugar or salt to make your morning nut fix even smarter.

Blueberries

One study of 16,000 women found eating this sweet blue fruit could make your mind roughly two years younger. It’s believed to be thanks to the antioxidants they contain, which can increase the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. Add a handful to plain yogurt or to homemade smoothies, sprinkle over oatmeal or muesli, or crush with a fork and have on wholegrain toast instead of jam. Delicious!

Dark chocolate

Fantastic news for dark chocolate fans! Chocolate improves memory. The high cocoa content found in good quality dark chocolate (minimum 70%) is a useful source of memory-boosting antioxidants called flavanols. Dip strawberries into a few melted squares of the dark stuff for a deliciously sweet way to help strengthen your mental muscles.

Steak

Lean red meat is incredibly high in iron, which is one of the most critical nutrients for brain function, because it binds and transports oxygen to the brain. Not getting enough iron can trigger poor concentration, lack of energy and tiredness. To eat red meat with a clear conscience, always choose lean cuts. If you’re a vegetarian, crank up your iron levels with egg yolks, pulses such as red kidney beans and lentils, dried apricots, broccoli and wholegrain fortified cereals and bread.

Cinnamon

This sweet spice doesn’t just make apple pie soar; it has anti-inflammatory benefits that can help boost overall brain functioning. Some studies have even suggested cinnamon could help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Sprinkle a little on your morning cereal to give your brain a boost first thing.

Oily fish

Your brain loves oily fish. Many of us are missing out on the omega-3 fats they contain, which are literally the building blocks for brain cells. As a guide, eat at least one portion of oil-rich fish a week – sardines, trout and salmon and fresh tuna are great sources.

Tomatoes

Rich in a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, tomatoes could help protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells that occurs in the development of dementia. Amazingly, tomatoes are loaded with even more goodies when they’re cooked, so whip up a sauce with a little olive oil to optimize nutrient absorption.

Mint

Researchers have made a mind-boggling discovery that the aroma of mint alone can boost alertness and memory. So if you want to beat the afternoon slump, try swapping that shot of espresso for a cup of reviving mint tea.

Lentils

Adding lentils to salads and soups for the benefit of your brain should be a no brainer (see what we did there?). This legume is bursting with folate, a B vitamin shown to help boost brainpower. Folate also plays a role in decreasing levels of amino acid that can impair brain functioning. And yes, quick and easy tinned lentils are just as good for you as dried.

Popcorn

No, we’re not pulling your leg. Popcorn is a wholegrain – just like wholemeal rice, pasta and bread – and these release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, keeping you mentally sharp throughout the day. So when crunch time comes along, you know what to pop in your mouth.

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