11 Foods to Make You Smarter
The 11 foods listed below are recognized brain boosters: They are foods or supplements that enhance brain health and cognitive performance. These brain boosters are essentially memory enhancers that work in many ways to produce a range of benefits across memory, focus, attention, motivation, relaxation, mood, alertness, stress resistance and more.
So how should you get the benefit of our 11 foods? Probably the most pleasant way is via the earliest daily meal. You may want to kick start your brain with eggs and coffee for breakfast.
Eggs are a great choice for breakfast. They start you off with the things your brain needs to work well throughout the day. They are especially rich in choline which is like a lubricant for your neurons. That means you’ll think faster and clearer. While your body can produce small amounts of choline, it does not produce an adequate amount so we must get it from our food. Unfortunately, at least 90% of us don’t get enough.
Caffeine is a physical performance enhancer. Coffee is probably your preferred source of caffeine in your diet. It is found to improve cognitive performance by blocking the degrading effects of adenosine on the brain. Think of adenosine like a defender who is keeping from getting to the goal. Caffeine basically runs a screen, so you have an easy path to clearer thinking. In so doing, this obstructive mechanism increases mental stamina and reduces drowsiness. Drinking too much coffee can result in you feeling “wired and tired”. One way to optimize coffee consumption is just to drink decaf for a week or two which will sensitize you to caffeine’s biochemical effects. Moreover, decaf also retains some of the coffee aroma which energizes most people.
If you aren’t a coffee person and you like green tea we will not exclude you. Green tea does not have much caffeine but it does have powerful cognitive boosters which leave you feeling relaxed and alert.
Kale and Spinach
By mid-day you are getting hungry again and to pep your brain up so you should eat dark leafy greens like kale and spinach. When properly cooked, not only are these plants delicious they help you with your thinking. A recent study indicated that humans with higher levels of the nutrients in kale and spinach did better on a test of working memory.
A new review published in the May 2017 edition of Frontiers in Nutrition analyzed the evidence to date that flavanols (found in dark chocolate and cocoa, among other foods) may benefit human brain function.
At the close of your evening meal, you can finish off with a dark chocolate bar. (A review published in the May 2017 edition of Frontiers in Nutrition analyzed the evidence that dark chocolate may benefit human brain function.) Some enthusiasts say that the link between chocolate consumption and improved thinking is robust. In part, the link leads to the flavanols found in the cocoa bean. The benefit can be described as being due to the cocoa’s ability to increase blood flow to the brain as well as stimulating the growth of new brain cells.
Your Mother was correct when she told you to make sure that you are drinking several (doctors say as many as 8) glasses of water a day. Even mild dehydration can negatively affect cognitive function, altering a persons’ mood energy level and processing function.
There are plant compounds that activate the body’s master modulator of inflammation pathway. When activated, this path increases the production of powerful endogenous antioxidants.
Sulforaphane is a chemical useful for the prevention of prostate cancer and other types of cancer. Sulforaphane is developed when cruciferous vegetables are chewed raw in an enzymatic process. Again, your Mother was right, you must properly chew before swallowing to get the benefit. It is highlighted that broccoli sprouts release more of this nutrient than any other popular vegetable.
Blueberries are not only delicious, they are rich in a class of compounds which have been shown to protect the brain against aging. In most cases, studies equate around 2.5 years of life benefit for the highest level of berry consumption.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Tests have been conducted and found that people who added liter a week of extra virgin olive oil to diets healthy “Mediterranean Style” showed enhanced brain capability. Typically, “Mediterranean Style” meals have a lot of vegetables, legumes, fish and are low in refined carbohydrates and sugar.
Turmeric is another powerful activator of the master modulator inflammation pathway. Research has been conducted on humans with early stage diabetes which has shown that turmeric was able to enhance working memory. It also had a positive effect on the symptoms of depression. Keep in mind that when cooking turmeric, it works best with fat and black pepper. These two ingredients will enhance the absorption of turmeric.
Fish Oil supplements are a rich source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA), two types of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids have been linked with many health benefits including improved brain health and invigorated thinking capability. Taking DHA has been linked with sharper thinking skills, improved memory and reaction time in healthy younger people. This is a great supplement for those taking exams and who want their brains in top gear.
Salmon and Sardines
Many studies have shown a link between fish consumption, brain health, and better memory function. Fatty fish (such as wild salmon and sardines) are rich in Omega -3 fats which can assist in optimal brain function. There are two types of Omega-3 fats found in the fat of fish: DHA which is essential for healthy neuronal membranes and EPA, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory. We do remind you that if you are not able to stock up on salmon or do not have an adequate budget, supplements are readily available
Most often the best way to obtain brain sharpening nutrients is to get them in your diet. Also, you should take care to get proper exercise and sleep. Once you have benefited by harvesting the “low hanging fruits” by living healthily then you may want to consider supplements for a larger impact.