Your brain is your most important organ, but often it goes unnoticed because it’s such a big part of who you are. Diets to improve the health of the heart get a lot of the spotlight, but the brain gets overlooked, which is ironic because it’s the thing that’s running the show. Many people are looking for ways to improve their brain health so that they can stay alert and active their whole lives. These foods will help the cause and help you function at your best now, and into the future.
Eggplant has been specifically noted as being good for the brain because it has certain antioxidants that help protect brain cell membranes. The idea that you’re born with all of the brain cells you’re going to have in your life is gradually being debunked, but it’s still important to protect them from damage. Eggplant is a very versatile vegetable and is easily incorporated into your diet as a side dish or as part of a main dish.
Is there anything broccoli isn’t good for? This vegetable has long been noted for its health benefits, but perhaps its most important feature is its effect on the brain. The potassium it contains helps the nervous system, which in turn helps the brain, and research suggests that broccoli could help contribute to the brain healing itself in the case of an injury. That’s pretty powerful stuff for a vegetable, and it’s not just limited to broccoli, but extends to the cruciferous vegetable family, including cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
Garlic is especially helpful for the brain because it has multiple factors that all contribute to proper brain function. It helps thin the blood, which increase the flow throughout the body, including to the brain. It also helps battle free radical damage to the brain, which has been associated with degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s. Lastly, garlic has been shown to be effective in preventing and battling back tumors in the brain. Taking garlic supplements may be an easier way to get the requisite amount of garlic per day.
Reducing the amount of cholesterol in your body not only helps your heart, but in turn helps the brain get the amount of oxygen it requires. Oatmeal is one of the top foods to help lower cholesterol, and therefore earns respect as a food that’s good for your brain. The glucose in oatmeal also provides sustenance to your brain, and is a big part of what your brain needs each day to survive. The carbs in oatmeal are broken down slowly, which is why it’s great for sustained energy and alertness, and why you don’t end up with a crash the way you do with “energy” drinks.
5. Dark Chocolate
If you’re a fan of chocolate, you’ll want to opt for dark because it has several advantages over milk chocolate. One of those advantages is that it’s shown to improve the amount of blood that flows to your brain. It’s been shown to lessen the chances of getting a stroke, which is one of the most debilitating things that can happen to your brain. They also contain antioxidants, which are absent from milk chocolate, and these antioxidants can slow the aging process, including the aging of the brain.
Lentils are getting more mainstream attention, and it’s because of things like being good for your brain that are the reason. The fiber and antioxidants contained in lentils is what’s given credit, and they help keep the blood circulating to the brain. This can’t be overlooked, as it has a strong impact on how your brain operates on a day to day basis, and with time it can mean the difference between having a healthy, active brain and a sluggish, aged brain.
If you’re not in the habit of having almonds handy as a snack, you may want to establish it. These crunchy snacks can help get you to the next meal, and help you avoid eating unhealthy foods in a moment of intense hunger. They contain a good dose of Vitamin E, which over time can help you maintain your cognitive abilities. These abilities include learning, problem solving, remembering, and paying attention. It’s hard to make the connection between what you eat and how you think, but there definitely is one.
There are a few characteristics of eggs that make them good for your brain. The yolks are especially good for the part of your memory that helps you remember short term things, like where you parked. The protein that eggs contain, typically consumed in the morning as a breakfast, can keep your brain hitting all the right notes throughout the day. Go with pasture-raised aka cage-free eggs, and you can even get them fortified with omega-3 for added benefits.
9. Lean Meats
How can lean meats help your brain? They Not just any lean meats are recommended if you’re interested in improving your brain function. Tryptophan in many of the most popularly consumed meets will help you calm down during the day and sleep better at night. Most meats are also good sources of B Vitamins 6 and 12 which directly help the brain’s neurotransmitters and metabolism respectively Go with grass-fed organic meat to reduce the amount of antibiotics and growth hormones that are given to conventional livestock.
The omega-3s found in salmon are beneficial to the brain, and salmon is often recommended on many diet plans for its high levels of protein. But hands down it is the omega-3s that are providing the most benefit to your brain, as these can actually help you think better, and can prevent the diseases of the brain that we’re all trying to avoid. It can even improve your moods, making you less hostile and depressed if eaten consistently. You can also eat sardines for many of the same benefits.
11. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter has healthy fats in the form of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated that your brain and body both need. For years these types of fats were lumped together with saturated fat and labeled bad as part of the low-fat and no-fat dieting strategies. But the more that is discovered about these fats the more it’s seen how essential they are to overall health. You’ll have to get the kind of peanut butter that is made from only peanuts, preferably organic, as you don’t want any of the additional oils that are added to many conventional peanut butter brands.
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