8 Brain foods to help you focus
Looking for something besides coffee to help keep your brain sharp throughout the day? Try one of these foods, which studies have shown to improve cognitive function.
1. Leafy greens
In a 2015 study on older adults, those who ate 1-2 servings of green leafy vegetables per day had the cognitive ability of someone 11 years younger, compared with those who did not consume any leafy greens. The researchers found that vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta-carotene were most likely responsible.
2. Whole grains
Whole grains can help improve blood vessel health and having good cardiovascular health has been shown to lower the risk of dementia. Whole grains are low in saturated fat, so they can lower your risk for high blood pressure, which can contribute to memory loss.
3. Avocado / Coconut oil
A diet high in monounsaturated fat alters the brain to enhance learning, slow age-related cognitive decline, and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It also leads to an increase in the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is vital for memory and learning.
According to studies, DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in Salmon, is thought to prevent Alzheimer’s and improve memory function and reaction time in young adults.
Bananas are recommended for athletes as an energy source. One medium sized banana contains 9% of the recommended daily intake of potassium. A diet rich in potassium can lower your risk of stroke and vascular disease.
Nuts are a great source of vitamin E, which has been associated with increased memory performance. Walnuts are considered to be the best nuts for the brain, as they contain Omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts will provide you with protein, fiber, and beneficial fats for a sustained energy boost.
All types of fruit are effective as energy boosts, but the best fruit to consume for your brain are blueberries. Blueberries contain anthocyanins, which can increase signaling between neurons. Blueberries have the highest level of antioxidants of all fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that they slow mental decline and improve short-term memory, balance, coordination, and navigational skills.
8. Dark chocolate
Cocoa, which may make most of us very happy, is effective for improving brain health. Cocoa has a large amount of antioxidants, mainly flavonoids. These stimulate the brain perfusion (movement of blood), can affect learning and memory, and improve cognition. Cocoa also induces a more positive mood and the small amount of caffeine doesn’t hurt as well!