Terms like “brain food” and “food for thought” have been popping up for years, but maybe we haven’t really given them the attention they deserve. Do we actually know what each term means? Which foods are really best for the brain? And which studies we should be focusing on?
It turns out that choosing certain foods can actually help make us smarter. Or rather, think more clearly. All it takes is understanding which foods to eat, and how they can help. Even though we know it’s important to eat healthy food, ongoing research tells us which healthy foods can also have an impact on brain function.
The most sought-after brain foods around.
This includes oil-based salad dressings, seeds and nuts, vegetables (like spinach, broccoli, and avocados), whole grains, and peanut butter – all of which are chock full of healthy fats. Their powers are said to improve memory over time, likely by protecting neurons and/or nerve cells. However, it should be noted that the same properties were not found in vitamins or supplements containing Vitamin E. [Health.com]
Tasty and a healthy treat, blueberries have been shown to help keep short-term memory loss at bay. This impressive and diet-changing research was performed at Tufts University in Massachusetts. [BBCGoodFood.com]
Steer clear of the bottled stuff, but it turns out freshly brewed tea (whether hot or cold) can do wonders for the memory. This might have something to do with the caffeine (even though tea holds less caffeine than coffee), but it’s also said to enhance memory, mood, and focus. It also hosts some incredible antioxidant powers, especially green versions. [WebMD]
Just what you wanted to hear, right? Chocolate blends with percentages of cocoa 70% or higher can work as a brain super food. It enlists the help of antioxidants that are shown to boost the brain and keep you healthy. Other antioxidants working as unsung heroes: red wine, onions, and grapes. [Prevention]
Surprisingly enough, this seasoning has been the source of many studies. Most notably, it’s shown to improve brain health in Alzheimer’s patients by working to combat and break plaques, among other negative substances that have been proven to block memories. [Mercola]
You may be avoiding the yolks for cholesterol reasons, but their yellow centres are actually home to some seriously healthy stuff. Eggs are full of choline, which is the substance that helps maintain memory and keep the brain communicating between its own cells. Researchers at Boston University continues to track the numbers, but results show that through 10 years of eating, choline helped improve memory tests. [Reader’s Digest]
Also on the list of brain foods, experts agree on fatty fish, whole grains, pomegranate juice, tomatoes, and red meat (though some say beef should be grass-fed).
No matter your favourites, there are plenty of nutrients shown to help improve brain health. Be sure to check in on research, and to adjust your diet accordingly. You could be doing yourself – specifically the brain – some serious good.