12. Red Wine
For several years wine has been recommended by doctors for its ability to thin the blood, and prevent heart disease and cancer. The resveratrol it contains has been shown to increase blood flow to the brain, but it’s especially unique because it’s able to cross the blood-brain barrier, something most antioxidants and other substances are unable to do. This means that the positive effects of antioxidants are able to reach your brain cells and protect them from damage. That’s why you’ve seen doctors saying to drink a glass of red wine daily, to provide daily support.
The potassium in a banana helps the brain, and low potassium levels can inhibit your ability to think clearly and focus. They also contain fiber to help you meet your daily fiber needs, and tryptophan to keep you in a good mood. It is often thought that tryptophan induces sleep, but what it really does is gets your serotonin levels going, which can make you feel calmer and help you sleep. Bananas also contain vitamins that are important for brain function.
Yet another healthy benefit of spinach is that it can improve the health of your brain thanks to its phytonutrients and fiber, as well as essential minerals. The folate in spinach will help with the blood circulation to and from your brain. Spinach is also a detoxifying food, and works wonders on your liver, which in turn keeps your entire body humming along by removing toxins that can impair the proper functioning of all of your organs.
Kale is something of a wonderfood and is just now getting to be pretty mainstream, as we discover just how good it is for the body. It is just as healthy as spinach, if not more so, and has plenty of antioxidants, fiber, and iron to keep you feeling strong and healthy. Unlike spinach it falls under the category of cruciferous vegetables, which are noted as being a great group of foods for the brain, as well as the heart and other systems.
16. Brown Rice
Making the switch from white rice to brown rice can actually help your brain, as well as the rest of your body. The reason is that more B Vitamins are in brown rice, and these have an effect on how well your brain works. White rice, on the other hand, loses many of these vitamins during the process of making it white, and therefore you’re missing out on plenty of additional nutrients, the kind you get in brown rice.
Because of their lycopene content, tomatoes have been recommended by the medical community for well over the last decade. They are getting extra attention as of late for the promising signs that they can help prevent Alzheimers, Parkinson’s, dementia, and other degenerative diseases of the brain. Eat your tomatoes cooked to absorb the most lycopene from them, although they’ll still contain some in raw form, cooking them releases much more.
18. Whole Grains
Even though there are a large number of diets advocating getting rid of grains, including gluten-free and Paleo diets, research has shown that whole grains can provide your brain with what it needs to stay alert and on the ball. The reason is that these foods often provide you with improved heart health, which improves your circulation, and also improves your brain. It’s all connected, so it’s important to keep everything flowing well throughout the entire body.
Being in a dehydrated state can cause headaches and lightheadedness, and can make it hard to focus on the task at hand. Keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day is key to your daily brain functions. It’s not the easiest habit to develop if you’ve gone without the right amount of water intake for a long time, and it’s important to gradually get more water over time, so you don’t flood the system. Rehydrating yourself first thing in the morning is a good way to start the day, as you’ve gone a full night without any fluid intake.
Avocados are a great resource for those trying to optimize their brain cells. First, they have healthy fats that help to increase blood flow throughout the body. They also contain almost as much potassium as a banana, which helps oxidize your brain. They are also great for lowering blood pressure, which in turn helps the brain stay healthy. You don’t have to go overboard with them, simply use it as an add-on to one meal a day.
21. Green Tea
The antioxidants in green tea is what gives it so much notoriety, and in addition to helping you lose weight and fight off cancer and heart disease, green tea is a boon to the brain. Unlike many of the other items on this list, green tea has been shown to potentially help your brain produce new brain cells, something that for years neurologists thought was impossible. In order to get the best results possible you have to be willing to drink up to two cups per day, and it’s uncertain if the damaging effects of the caffeine in green tea outweigh the benefits.
22. Flax Seed
Flax seeds are known for the omega-3s they contain, as well as a large amount of fiber for such a small seed. Both of these will do wonders for the brain over time, and it’s easy enough to start getting more flax into your life. These little seeds can be mixed into soups, added to oatmeal (another item on this list), or added to a green smoothie made with kale or spinach (also on this list) as a brain-boosting pick-me-up.
This delicious melon can actually be used to improve your brain. Keeping the seeds in the melon is a good idea if you’re eating it for brain health. They contain omega-3s and are often tossed down the garbage disposal during the preparation process. These essential fatty acids are used not only by the brain but by the rest of the body, and it’s important to get enough of them each day.
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