From childhood, you've listened to your parents drone on about eating your vegetables, grimacing as spinach, broccoli and/or Brussels sprouts was piled onto your plate. Cringing with each bite, wishing it was ice cream and candy. Yet, as you've grown older, you've learned that eating those (maybe not-so yucky anymore) vegetables will make you big and strong afterall. Science has determined which foods improve bone health, skin and more, and the brain is no different.
For many of us, we are sometimes so focused on changing or shaping our bodies that we forget to cater to the muscle that keeps us going. So whether you are consumed with studying, writing papers, or, if you are lucky, relaxing, try eating these seven foods proven to boost your brain power.
- Avocados: Attention guacamole fans! Avocados aid in the circulation of blood (and therefore, oxygen) so the brain can work at its best. Eating an avocado in the morning is a healthier breakfast option to wake you up than an energy drink while also kick-starting your brain activity.
- Salmon: Salmon are rich with Omega-3 fatty acids essential for brain health. Eating salmon or any fish that contain Omega-3s increases alertness, cognitive ability and reduces the risks of dementia. Light and delicious, salmon should be a staple in your diet!
- Eggs: If you are having a tough time trying to memorize terms for a test, eggs are not only packed with protein, but the yolk contains memory-promoting Choline. Eating eggs for breakfast before you start a study session is a great way to retain the information.
- Berries: Eating berries rich in antioxidants, like blueberries and blackberries, have been found to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Berries also increase motor-skills and learning-ability - not bad for a sweet and nutritious snack.
- Coffee: Hot or iced, grande or venti, a cup of coffee is ritual amongst all early risers before the start of any day. But that cup of Joe does more than just wake you up in the morning! Coffee contains fiber, which helps your cardiovascular system pump blood through your body, increasing alertness in the part of your brain that makes decisions.
- Chocolate: Yes, you read that right! Dark chocolate is a fantastic source of antioxidants, rich in fiber to help the blood flow to your brain. A pretty sweet deal, indeed.
- Nuts: Packed with Vitamin E to help brain function, you would be ‘nuts’ not to incorporate these treats into your diet. Rich in fiber and fats to help with blood flow, try almonds, macadamias and walnuts for a healthy snack any time.
Delicious and healthy, these foods are accessible in any supermarket. Of course, adding these staples to your diet won’t help you pass that test if you don’t study. But eating right can give your brain that extra boost you need to study better and excel. So next time your stomach growls late at night as you study, instead of grabbing a bag of chips, try some of these foods. You will satisfy not only your stomach, but also your mind. After all, it would be a terrible thing to waste.
Written by Thomas Edison State University