The Best Brain Foods for Performance
By Sara Butler
As you get older, it’s important to keep your brain sharp. If you don’t have a healthy balance of nutrients, it can really have an impact on your brain, causing cognitive decline and memory loss. But you are what you eat and you can keep your gray matter happy and healthy by making sure to eat a sensible diet. Here are a few foods to incorporate into your diet – it’s a no-brainer!
Eggplant is rich in anthocyanins, antioxidants that have been shown in some research to help keep your memory sharp. Just make sure to eat it with the skin, since that’s where you’ll find the highest concentrations of antioxidants. About two cups of cubed eggplant provides 1,500 milligrams of anthocyanins.
Good news, chocolate lovers! Eating dark chocolate high in cocoa can boost your brainpower. The flavonols in cocoa can help to give your cognitive performance, reaction time, and spatial memory a bump. They also help to improve the function of the blood vessels in the brain. Just make sure you choose the darkest chocolate you can take, at least 70 percent. Otherwise, the sugar really cancels out the health benefits!
Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are high in compounds that can help to protect the brain from oxidative stress. The antioxidant Vitamin C has specifically been linked to improved brain function as well as beta-carotene. It’s also worth noting that cruciferous veggies have been linked to a lower risk for stroke.
Whole grains contain fiber and protein you can’t find in refined grains, which help to keep your blood sugar, mental sharpness, and energy levels stable throughout the day. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition also found that whole grains may help to stop the cognitive decline. So, swap out highly processed foods for whole alternatives to help keep your brain sharp.
Fatty fish such as sardines, halibut, and salmon are your brain’s best friend! That’s because they’re high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help your brain to function at its very best. They support the new formation of neurons and help reduce inflammation, so consider adding them to your diet in order to keep your brain healthy.
Work these foods into your diet to help you keep your brain performing at its best!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Los Angeles, Calif.