Your diet can make you smarter and yes you can bet it as there is a link between diet and cognition. Although it is known that eating well is vital for our physical health but it is now proved that healthy diet is crucial for mental health as well. A good diet keeps your brain cells healthy, your gray matter happy and makes you smarter. New researches on the influences of diet on brain reveal that what we eat has great effect on brain everyday skill and cognition. So be careful to choose what you eat[AdSense-A]
In fact, our brain ages with us as we ages, but adding a smart and brain-healthy food to our menu can improve memory as well as other brain functions which tends to diminished as we ages. But remember, diet is not just the mean to stand smarter; it can prevent form many brain disorders including Alzheimer’s, Dementia and many more which usually occurs as you got ages.
Eating well doesn’t mean to eat more; quantity doesn’t matter, but the quality of what you eat and what is suitable for your health and health of brain as well.
Following is the list of 10 easily available foods that boost the brainpower, improve cognition, enhance learning and make you smarter. So add this to your menu
1. Fishes and Seafood
Seafood especially oily fishes like wild salmon, tuna, and sardines are richer in omega-3 which contains EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) both are essential fatty acids mean it can not produced in body. DHA is one of the main fatty acid required for healthy development of brain and eyes comprises about 40% of the fatty acid in cell membrane of neurons and for transmitting of nerve impulses between brain cells.
Researches show the link between low DHA levels and risk of developing dementia (memory loss) and Alzheimer’s disease (neurodegenerative disorder) and those who consume fish at least 3 times a week have high levels of DHA in their body which reduce the risk of having Alzheimer’s disease in later ages by 39%.
2. Leafy Green and Cruciferous Veggies
Green leafy vegetables including cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts are packed with antioxidants like vitamin A, Vitamin C and carotenoids (a plant compounds) which are powerful brain protectors prevent brain cells damage from free radicals. These vegetables are also riche in vitamin K, which is recognized to improve cognitive function and brainpower
3. Avocado, Oils, Nuts, and Seeds
Avocado is as good as green leafy veggies since it is; along with Vitamin A and C, a good source of Vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant and those who consume a moderate quantity of Vitamin E rich foods have 67% less likely to develop Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Another benefit of avocado is its monounsaturated fat which improves blood circulation to the parts of body and brain as well. Improved circulation leads to improve cognition and healthy brain
4. Whole grains
Comprises only 2% of body weight, the brain consumes 25% of blood glucose to get energy required for steady work of brain. To meet the brain requirement of energy, whole grains are the best source as compared to refined sugar and carbohydrates as refined sugar digest and utilize quickly, didn’t meet the energy requirement whole day. On the other hand, Whole grains including Oatmeal, brown pasta and wheat bran are rich in glucose but have low GI (Glycemic Index) releases glucose gradually into the blood give you a steady level of glucose. This keeps you and your brain to stay focused and mentally alert throughout the day
5. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, a powerful antioxidant, along with natural brain stimulants such as caffeine. These ingredients of dark chocolate enable it to protect brain from free radicals and the caffeine improves the focus and concentration and also enhances the production of endorphins (naturally occurring pain killer).
A research conducted on 16 healthy adults who consuming 150 mg chocolate for five days reveals improved circulation to brain, leads to improve brain function (cognition) [source]
But keep in mind “more can be dangerous” as the chocolate can cause many health problems including acne, increase in the occurrence of migraine headache (due to tyramine) and promote weight gain obesity
Berries are considered as powerhouse of antioxidants. Berries including elderberries are loaded with quercetin, a flavonoid type of antioxidant, vital to your brain’s health, built healthy connection between neurons (brain cells). While blueberries on the other hands, has proven effect on memory improvement and delaying the loss of short term memory and reduce the risk and effects of age related (senile) dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies on animals’ shows that consumption of Berries considerably enhanced the learning capacity and motor skills of aging rats, making them mentally equivalent to much younger rats [source]
7. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds (including walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, cashews sunflower seeds, flax seeds etc) along with green leafy vegetables are another good source of Vitamin E which is a proven brain booster and brain protectors as well.
Vitamin E has been associated with great protective and promotive effects on the brain thus, a good intake of these Vitamin E loaded food substance is crucial helps you to prevent cognitive decline, as you got ages.
8. Vegetable Juice
Vegetables are the reservoirs of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, true gold mines for health of your brain. Although you may consumes vegetables on daily basis in cooked form but too much cooking and over heating may destroy the essence of their nutritious worth.
Vegetable Juice is the way to get all essential nutrients from these precious foods substances, although you can eat vegetables itself if you like their test. I personally like tomato juice for both its better test and nutritional values (and of course for its bright red colorJ). Tomato consist powerful antioxidant lycopene along with Vitamins A and Vitamin C, which could help prevent against the development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by disarming the effects of free radicals.
Try to make juice at your own at home as it is easy. Commercial juice products can have artificial flavor, added sugar and may not be fresh.
After all the meats and sweets, it is time to boost your brain with a traditional spicy curry. Curry is often used in Indian cuisines and its active ingredients includes turmeric and curcumin are potent antioxidant and, in addition, they also enhance the role of body own antioxidants. These substances also destroy Alzheimer’s-causing proteins (amyloid plaques) in the brain preventing the condition to occur.
Researches on animal shows that Curcumin enhance the process of birth of new brain cells (neurogenesis) by increasing the level of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF, a type of growth hormone) in the brain, and promote connection among existing brain cells . With these properties, curry and it ingredients could help to improve memory and fight away neurodegenerative process in brain.
Water is vital for health as it is a universal solvent required for all kind of metabolism to take place. 75% of your brain is water thus a steady water intake is required for proper functioning of brain.
Study on the effects of water on brain conducted at Ohio University reseals that people whose were well hydrated significantly get better score on cognitive tests compared with those who weren’t drinking plenty of water.
Another research from University of east London evaluated the effects of water on brainpower and shows that drinking three cups of water at the beginning of a task can increase the brain’s reaction time by 14%.