More and more research is showing the correlation between what we consume and how our brains perform. Much like every other organ of our body, the brain needs a certain amount and type of nutrition to produce optimal performance. Can you really improve your IQ or your concentration? The answer would seem to be “Yes”. The foods on our compiled list of brain foods will not only provide optimal brain health and performance, but benefit many other organs and systems of your body.
Your brain is made up of more than a 60% fat content. In fact, the brain actually needs a certain amount of fats and proteins for neurotransmission to occur successfully. (Neurotransmission is the process whereby your brain receives and sends messages.)
The following is a list of foods that most researchers acknowledge to be beneficial for your brain’s health:
* Oily fish such as mackerel, trout, tuna, sardines, mackerel, herring, anchovies, and most importantly, salmon, are all plentiful in omega-3 fats. Low IQ, poor memory and concentration, depression, and problems with learning, have all been linked to insufficient intake of omega-3 fats. By eating these oil rich foods you are replacing the essential fats that your brain needs and that your body cannot make itself.
* Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts and pecans are all excellent for improving the performance of your brain.
* Seeds such as sunflower, linseed, flax, pumpkin, and mustard seeds are all excellent brain foods.
* Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower may improve your memory.
* Meats, cheeses, milk and eggs all contain protein which is a vital component of neurotransmitters. Any source of good quality protein, including soy and beans, will have you feeling more confident and alert.
* Water is needed by your brain for optimal performance. Drinking 8 glasses of water daily will improve your concentration and ability to learn.
* Oxygen. After eating a big meal you often tend to feel sleepy. This is because the oxygen that your brain needs is being utilised in the digestive process instead. If you need your powers of concentration try and eat smaller protein rich snacks instead of a huge stodgy lunch.
* Complex carbohydrates found in legumes, whole grains, leafy vegetables, and brown rice, will provide your brain with a steady supply of glucose which is what your brain uses as energy. Recent studies have shown that eating complex carbohydrates can improve your concentration skills within an hour of consumption.
* B group vitamins are essential for memory and mood. The B group vitamins can be found in whole grains, Brewer’s yeast, nuts, eggs, meat, poultry, fish and dairy products.
* Antioxidants can be found in rich supplies in blueberries, spinach, grape juice, hot cocoa, extra virgin olive oil, and leafy greens. Antioxidants assist in fighting the free radicals in your body and brain which contribute to the damaging effects of aging. Antioxidants are believed to prevent the deterioration of coordination, memory, balance and motor skills.
Not only will this list of brain foods ensure that your brain remains in good health, but the rest of your body will also benefit. In particular, Omega-3 fats and antioxidants have found to be beneficial in maintaining heart health, slowing down the aging process, boosting the immune system, and protecting against some forms of cancer. Brain foods will not only result in optimal brain health, but total body health.