Top 5 Foods To Power Your Brain

brainGood nutrition for the brain should be a diet low in saturated fats and sugars, and high in lean protein-rich foods, legumes, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  These foods provide nutrients essential for protecting and nourishing the brain, as well as manufacturing brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters that are involved in regulating sleep, appetite and mood.  Certain foods play a role in preserving brain function.  A healthy diet goes a long way in optimizing brain health.

Top Brain Food #1:

Consume more Omega-3 fatty acids.  The brain is 60 percent fat (structurally).  For proper brain cell function, a diet rich in Omega-3 fats, including walnuts, flaxseeds, canola oil and cold water fish, is very important.  According to a 2004 article published by the “Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging,” fats (especially Omega-3 fatty acids), were the first of the dietary factors (nutrients) to show an effect on the brain’s structure and function.  Yellow fin tuna is a good choice because it is rich in both Omega-3 fats and Vitamin B3 (niacin), offering double protection against cognitive decline.  These foods also provide a good source of the antioxidant nutrient Vitamin E.  Vitamin E works against oxidative damage of the fat components of organs and tissues (such as the brain).

Top Brain Food #2:

Blueberries serve a wide range of functions for improving mental function.  Most notably, regular blueberry consumption has been shown to improve memory function.  Furthermore, blueberries are rich in antioxidants, helping to prevent free radical damage.  Still not convinced?  Research has found that blueberries can also reverse age related declines in motor function, balance, and coordination.


Top Brain Food #3:

Start each day with a mix of high-quality protein and beneficial fats to build the foundation for an energized day.  Avocado with scrambled eggs provides both, and the monounsaturated fat helps blood circulate better, which is essential for optimal brain function – and it’s possible the avocado’s plentiful antioxidants help combat diseases like diabetes and chronically high blood pressure (its oil has been dubbed “the olive oil of the Americas“).  Worst alternative: a trans-fat-filled, sugar-laden cream cheese Danish.

Top Brain Food #4:

brainNuts contain protein, high amounts of fiber, and they are rich in beneficial fats.  For getting an immediate energy boost that won’t turn into a spike later, you can’t do better than nuts.  The complex carbs will perk you up while the fat and protein will sustain you.  Nuts also contain plenty of vitamin E, which is essential to cognitive function.  You don’t have to eat raw, plain, unsalted nuts, but do avoid the ones with a lot of sweetening or seasoning blends.  Filberts, hazelnuts, cashews, and walnuts are great choices, with almonds being the king of nuts.

For those avoiding carbs, macadamia nuts are much higher in fat than most nuts.  And for those wanting to bolster the body against disease, walnuts have the highest amount of antioxidants, some of which are even more powerful than Vitamin E. By the way, peanuts just aren’t ideal.  Aside from the fact that many people are allergic, peanuts have less healthy fat than many other types of nuts…maybe that’s because peanuts are not actually a nut!  They’re still much better than a candy bar, however.

 Top Brain Food #5:

Nature’s scrub brush is one of the best foods for cardiovascular health, which translates to brain health.  Additionally, oatmeal is packed with fiber, a reasonable amount of protein (comparable to soy), and even a small amount of Omega-3′s.  It’s a good grain that will sustain you throughout the morning so you aren’t prone to irritability or an energy crash.

Simply put, your brain likes to eat. And it likes powerful fuel: quality fats, antioxidants, and small, steady amounts of the best carbs.

On a deadline?  Need to rally?  Avoid the soda, vending machine snacks and tempting Starbucks pastries and go for these powerful brain boosters instead.  The path to a bigger, better brain is loaded with Omega-3 fats, antioxidants, and fiber.  Give your brain a kick start: eat some of the aforementioned foods on a daily or weekly basis for results you will notice. 🙂

Thanks for Reading!!!


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Category: Diet, Good Fats

About the Author ()

Originally born and raised in Woburn Massachusetts (love my Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins!) I made my trek northward to the beautiful state of Maine back in October 2003 after marrying my college sweetheart. We began a family in 2004 and I am happy to say that we have 4 happy, healthy, beautiful children that bring an amazing amount of joy to our lives! I am also a type 1 diabetic. Diagnosed back in 2006 (out of the blue), at a routine doctors visit. Diabetes has single handed-ly been the biggest obstacle that I have faced in my life. At the time I had no idea of what a roller coaster ride I would be in for, I mean really, what's a couple finger sticks a day and a couple shots of insulin for food...this will be easy, I got this! Well 2 ER visits later, I quickly found out that this was no joke, and if I wanted to see my little ones grow up, this was something that I needed to take seriously! Little by little as we began to digest all of the information that was being thrown at acting insulin, short acting insulin, lancets, test meters, test strips, ketone sticks, carb counting, food groups, glucagon emergency kits, insulin pumps, glucose monitors...OMG, my head was spinning like a top!! After a couple of crazy years, I can happily say that I am well controlled and feel absolutely amazing! Not to be lost in all of this either is the amazing support of my wife. She has been my rock! She has been with me every step of the way, from 2am finger sticks to helping me change out a failed pump in the middle of a crowded restaurant. She truly is an amazing wife and mom and I can't imaging my life without her love and support- love you babe!

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