While there is no magic pill to satisfy all your nutritional needs, we can implement small changes into our diet to improve brain and overall bodily functions. The brain specifically is an energy-intensive organ, using around 20% of the body’s calories. Therefore, it is vital to consume foods that can maintain and facilitate high levels of brain activity for you throughout the day. While it is not new information that a balanced diet consists of lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; we can target stronger brainpower by adding more of these foods to our diet.
Salmon + Other Oily Fish
Salmon is considered one of the most nutritious brain foods as it is full of Omega-3; a fatty acid that provides more oxygen to the brain that allows us to retain and remember information. As a pescatarian, I have to include salmon into my diet at least once or twice a week to receive appropriate amounts of protein. However, for the average person one serving should suffice but it can’t hurt to include more for the best results. Other fish to eat for brain health also include tuna and herring. These fatty acids within the fish are beneficial to preventing the development of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Blueberries + Other Berries
Consuming berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc…) are beneficial to improving your memory as it contains a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Blueberries specifically are one of the highest antioxidant-rich foods as they contain vitamin K. Also, since blueberries’ have high levels of gallic acid, it makes them a great source for protecting our brains from degeneration, cognitive decline, and stress. Evidence has shown that people who ate blueberries had an increase of blood flow to key areas of the brain as well as improvements in memory and attention to complete required tasks.
While milk and white chocolate are pretty popular, dark chocolate is shown to be extremely healthy for you as it contains high levels of flavonols (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties). Many studies show that cocoa can increase cerebral blood flow and oxygenation as well as lower blood pressure. I will say dark chocolate is definitely an acquired taste; however, overtime you will realize that it is much richer in quality compared to other chocolates. Especially since supermarket chocolate is highly processed and sugary, it is best to avoid them altogether.