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Best Superfoods to Improve Your Brain Power and Mental Clarity
If you want your brain power to be all that it can be, and keep your memory sharp as well, you need to include some of Mother Nature’s superfoods in your diet every day. The human brain is a powerful and complex machine that needs certain nutrients in order to function properly and in top form. Your brain regulates thousands of processes in your body and it’s so easy to give it the necessary foods it needs!
Keep reading for a list of the top superfoods you should be consuming every day for super brain power!
One of the best super foods you can feed your brain. Your brain needs lots of omega-3 fatty acids and walnuts are the best source of those among all tree nuts.
This important fatty acid has a protective effect on your brain. Omega-3 fatty acids increase the neurotransmitter function, which means you will have improved cognitive skills and increased memory capability. Studies show that walnuts improve the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the blood vessels in the brain and can even prevent inflammation.
Walnuts also provide your brain with extra protection from their high amounts of vitamin B6 and magnesium. Snacking on walnuts is a super way to improve the power of your brain.
Maca comes from plants that have been cultivated and grown for thousands of years in the Andes Mountains of Peru. These foods grow where no other cultivated crops can grow, thriving in altitudes of more than 9,000 to 14,000 feet.
Maca has almost magical powers when it comes to increasing our brain power by working directly on the pituitary and hypothalamus glands.
It can also rejuvenate the adrenal glands, which are the glands that help us deal with stress.
Choline is a compound that encourages the growth of new brain cells, as well as neural connections, both of which are important for your brain and your memory. Broccoli is very high in choline.
Scientific studies show that a choline deficiency when you are pregnant can cause neural tube defects in infants, so it’s super important to eat foods that are rich in choline, such as broccoli.
Eating 3 cups of broccoli each week is one of the best ways to improve your brain power.
With more than 300 beneficial compounds, cacao is believed to be a super beneficial medicine. The bad news here is that many of the products that are made from cacao destroy their beneficial qualities through processing, cooking, or refining them. Chocolate bars, for example, are more sugar and hydrogenated oils than they are cacao. Look for high levels of cacao and a minimum of processing. Avoid foods such as chocolate bars, and other items that contain sugar, soy, or dairy products.
Cacao has been shown in studies to increase the levels of neurotransmitters that specifically help us to feel happier and give us a positive outlook on life. The cacao benefits include:
- Serotonin – Raw cacao increases he levels of serotonin and acts as a natural anti-depressant.
- Endorphins – Cacao also increases the secretion of endorphins, which leads to a sense of well-being.
- Anandamide – Sometimes called the “bliss” chemical. When the brain releases this chemical, we feel super happy. Raw cacao has a compound that increases the levels of anandamide in the brain and enzymes that slow the breakdown of anandamide. This helps to give us longer periods of relaxation.
- Phenylethylamine (PEA) – This natural compound is made and released by the brain when we are in love. PEA is an anti-depressant, mood elevator, and helps to increase our levels of alertness and focusing abilities.
Turmeric contains curcumin that helps reduce our risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at UCLA found that adding turmeric to your foods can help to keep your brain razor sharp and working at its very best. Turmeric can also offer you some protection from inflammation.
Add turmeric to everything!
6. Reishi Mushrooms
Often referred to in Eastern medicine as “the mushroom of immortality” or sometimes “the king of herbs”, Reishi is a mushroom with powerful medicinal properties. It can have positive effects on the mind and has the ability to maintain equilibrium and help maintain balance. A balanced body is a sign of health as well as an immune system that is working at its best.
Reishi mushrooms also have adaptogenic compounds which provide us with an incredible ability to handle stress much more easily and with improved mental clarity.
Reishi mushrooms are also anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, which can help improve the digestive system and strengthen an important nerve called the vagus nerve, which is a direct connection from the gut to your brain, giving you vastly improved mental clarity.
7. Green Tea
Green tea can improve your memory and concentration levels while reducing the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Scientists at the University of Basel found that drinking green tea increases the electrical connectivity of your brain, which can prevent dementia and greatly improves cognitive function.
To get these brain benefits, try to drink 2 or 3 cups of freshly brewed green tea each day. Don’t bother to buy those bottled green teas as they have been pasteurized and have no nutritional value.
You might not know it, but tomatoes are another superfood that is super good for your brain. Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, which fights the damage the free radicals cause damage to brain cells, especially the ones that cause dementia.
It’s been proven in studies that people who consume lycopene every day have sharper, better memories than those who do not.
Eating tomatoes regularly can reduce your risk of stroke. Add them to your salads, omelets, or soups, eat more lasagna and spaghetti, or just eat them raw for super brain power you can count on.
9. Acorn Squash
Sometimes called winter squash, this vegetable is a super brain boosting food that is high in folic acid and vitamin B12 that prevents nerve damage and brain shrinkage.
Folic acid increases the transmission of information through nerve cells. It is known that a deficiency in folic acid can cause birth defects and brain damage in fetuses.
To be sure you get all the benefits of acorn squash, eat it baked or roasted.
Even in our senior years, eating blueberries can help keep your brain sharp. The flavonoids that blueberries contain improve memory, learning, and other cognitive functions. Blueberries protect your brain from those free radicals we talked about earlier, which damage healthy tissues and are often associated with memory loss.
Eating blueberries regularly can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The recommended amount is to consume is half a cup of blueberries every day. So feel free to buy that huge frozen bag of blueberries from your supermarket. Your brain is going to thank you for it!