5 Foods That Can Naturally Increase Your Brainpower
By Brandi Monasco
We have all had that day where you can’t concentrate or focus, no matter how hard you try. Maybe you aren’t feeling well or you didn’t get enough sleep last night. Whatever the case may be, you know that you need to perk your brain up and start getting it to concentrate better.
But before you reach for that second cup of coffee or that energy drink full of chemicals, try snacking on one of these brain foods to give your brain that burst it needs to stay focused and concentrating all day.
- Walnuts. Walnuts are not only good for your heart, but they are good for your brain too. They are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 found in walnuts plays an important role in brain growth and function.
Research has also shown that having a diet rich in omega-3 helps increase cognitive function. Walnuts also contain folate, vitamin E and antioxidants, which may also help support brain health.
A study showed that eating walnuts increased inferential reasoning in young adults. No wonder why walnuts look like tiny brains!
- Dark Chocolate. It’s a given that dark chocolate improves your mood. Who couldn’t be happy after eating a square? Dark chocolate not only improves your mood, but it helps your brain as well.
The compounds found in dark chocolate, such as flavonoids, increase blood flow to your brain by acting as vasodilators, which is dilating your blood vessels. When your brain gets more blood flowing to it, your attention span, problem-solving skills and reaction time increase. It also helps in boosting your memory!
- Blueberries. Blueberries are considered one of the world’s healthiest foods because they are loaded with antioxidants that help protect your body and your brain from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals.
These antioxidants may help in reducing your risk for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. A study conducted by Tufts University has shown that eating blueberries may be effective in delaying, or even improving, short term memory loss.
- Water. Making sure that you are adequately hydrated is important. Your brain alone is composed of 72% water.
When you become dehydrated, the tissue in your brain shrinks, making your brain work harder than it would if you were hydrated. Dehydration can affect your cognitive function as well as impair your focus, decision making and short-term memory.
- Sage. Sage is an herb that is commonly used to flavor food. It also has antioxidants that help protect your brain against damage from free radicals. It also has anti-inflammatory properties as well as memory enhancing qualities.
A study published by Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior studied the effect of sage on 45 individuals in two groups; one that received the sage essential oil and the other that received a placebo. The study found that those who were given the sage essential oil had improvements with memory.
Remember that a healthy body and brain all starts with what you put into your body. It is always important to make sure that you eat whole healthy foods to keep your body and brain in tip top shape.
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Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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