Do you find yourself feeling sluggish at times, or perhaps your thinking just feels clouded? If this sounds all too familiar, did you know that there are several things you can do each day to combat these feelings?
It’s no news that what you eat impacts how you feel, which is why it’s so important to make mindful, conscious decisions on what you put into your body. That’s why I’ve given you 5 ways to boost your brain power.
Ready? Here you go!
5 Brain Boosting Nutrients
1) Omega 3’s: These fatty acids have long been credited with brain boosting powers. By incorporating foods like fatty fish (think salmon), flax seeds, or walnuts into your diet, you can increase the amount of omega 3’s that you are getting. Omega 3’s are important for brain and cell functioning, and recent studies have even shown that they may help to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. That’s a good enough reason for me to get my omega 3’s. I choose fatty fish once per week, and use flax seed and walnuts daily! You can mix flax seed and/or walnuts in your yogurt, smoothie or on top of a salad!
2) Flavonols (better known as chocolate!): Here’s a great reason to enjoy that dark chocolate treat even more! Cacao, which is found in dark chocolate, contains flavonols which have antioxidant properties. These powerful compounds have been known to assist in the production of new cells as well as protect the hippocampus, which is the portion of the brain responsible for memory. You can add dark chocolate shavings to a Greek yogurt for a delicious treat or make your own trail mix with nuts, seeds, and dark chocolate chips!
3) Carbohydrates: Did you know that your brain prefers to get its energy from glucose, which is a result of the digestion of carbohydrates? Remember to try and stick to whole grains, as these contain more vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Foods that are higher in fiber help with satiety, so this ensures that not only will your brain be happy, but your stomach as well! Aim to choose more whole grain pastas, breads and crackers throughout the day to increase your fiber.
4) Caffeine: The caffeine in coffee (or tea) not only helps you to feel more alert, recent studies have shown that caffeine intake can also help to improve memory. So whether your favorite source of caffeine is tea, coffee, or both, drink happy knowing that you are improving your brain health. Just remember, all good things are best enjoyed in moderation. Cheers!
5) Probiotics: There has been a lot of buzz lately regarding the microbiome and how it impacts your health. More and more research is showing that having a healthy digestive tract not only helps with processing your food, but also impacts how you feel and function overall. These foods also help in the creation of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in the body. SCFAs assist in brain cell communication and combat inflammation, both of which are crucial for ultimate brain health. Try to incorporate fermented foods, such as kimchi, and others that contain probiotics, such as yogurt, into your daily eating pattern to reap all the benefits. You can make your yogurts fun by adding in fruit, nuts and/or dark chocolate shavings!
Remember to make your plate fun and colorful, and choose a variety of options from each food group. This will ensure that your meals are not only nutritious, but are extremely satisfying as well!
Your turn to take action: How will you incorporate these brain-boosting nutrients into your meals? Let me know in the comments below!