Nine Foods that are Suprisingly Good for the Brain

I’m a coffee-lover but since I have been diagnosed of laryngopharingeal reflux a few years ago, the doctor has advised that I minimize my intake of coffee, tea, carbonated drinks and anything that has caffeine. But oftentimes, I find myself sluggish, especially when I’m in front of the computer.

I didn’t want to aggravate my LPR but I also did not want  my concentration to wan down.

The good news is,  you can  have the same sharpness and concentration you get from caffeine from other food sources, minus  the side effects. pizap.com13619474880601

1. Wholegrain Foods

Whole grain is a great brain stimulator because it contains high percentage of folate and Vitamin B6 which are an important brain vitamins.  Wheat, a type of grain also contains thiamine, a substance that helps improve memory. Grains also boost the body’s blood flow to the brain.

2. Nuts won’t make you go nuts.

Nuts can enhance your mental health in its own way.

  • Walnuts are made up of 15 to 20 percent protein and contain linoleic (omega-6 fatty acids) and alpha-linoleic acids (omega-3 fatty acids), vitamin E and vitamin B6, making it  an excellent source of nourishment for your nervous system. Omega 3 fatty acids found in walnuts are especially helpful in brain function. Our brain is more than 60% structural fat (which needs to be primarily omega-3 fats) for its cell membranes to function properly. Cell membranes, primarily composed of fats, are the gatekeepers of the cell. Omega-3 fats, flexible and fluid by nature, make it easy for nutrients to pass thru the outer membrane of the cell and also helps remove waste efficiently.
  • Cashews are high in magnesium, known to open up the blood vessels in your body. More oxygen means rich blood which means better brain function.
  • Almonds contain phenylalanine, which can do wonders for one’s mental and neurological health. Phenylalanine has the rare ability to cross the blood-brain barrier where it stimulates the brain to generate natural mood-boosting neurotransmitters called dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline. Almonds are also high in riboflavin which is known to boost memory.
  • Pecans and peanuts provide choline, another important nutrient for optimal brain function as it aids in both memory and brain development.

3. Berries‘s lovers have a good chance of seeing their memory improve and last longer.

  • Blueberries are especially potent with antioxidants and other memory-boosting agents such as anthocyanin and flavonoids, which have been shown to enhance spatial memory and learning. Blueberries are also known to protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. They also contain ellagic acid, another phytochemical that has been shown to prevent cell damage.
  • Strawberries are also rich in antioxidant that can prevent age-related neurological declines by improving brain cell abilities to send and receive the ‘signaling’ molecules. The brain uses these signaling molecules to communicate.

4. They may be small, but many seeds can boost your mood and brainpower.

  • Sunflower seeds contain tryptophan, an important amino acid that the brain converts to seratonin, which relieves mild depression and insomnia. Sunflower seeds are also high in thiamine, an important B vitamin, which increases memory and cognitive function.
  • Pumpkin seeds are a power food, as they are rich in zinc, Vitamins A and E. the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. The zinc found in pumpkin seeds play a vital role in enhancing memory and thinking skills.

5.  Green tea may not be a crowd favorite but is a wonderful beverage. It enhances memory and focus and fights mental fatigue. It contains catechines, which help you relax mentally, yet also keeps your wits sharpened. Green tea also helps maintain positive mood states and fights against many brain disorders. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants found in green tea that can boost the availability of the important signaling brain substance dopamine (vital in creating positive mood states) in brain circuits.

6. Aside from the calories, protein, vitamins and minerals found in eggs, eggs also contain a nutrient called choline, which helps boost the memory center in the brain. Researchers have found choline to increase the size of neurons, which helps them fire electrical signals more strongly and rebound faster between firings.

7.  Eggplant’s skin contains a nutrient called nasunin which keeps our brain sharp by enhancing communication between our brain cells and messenger molecules. Remembering to use the skin pays tremendous benefits in vastly improved focus.

8. Bananas, as we all know, are good sources of potassium, manganese,  vitamin C and fiber, but recent studies have shown  that  bananas are also brain foods. Bananas contain vitamin B6, which aids in the body’s production of serotonin and norepinephrine and dopamine, all of which support concentration. One study found that eating bananas helped students learn their school material more efficiently and get better scores on exams, probably due to their high levels of potassium.

9. Fish are known to have high contents of omega-3  and 6 fatty acids which provides the body with good cholesterol, but the same fatty acids can greatly enhance  brainpower. These fatty acids assist in brain functioning and can lower the risk for dementia and stroke. Fish also plays an essential role in slowing mental decline and enhancing memory.

Most of them are inexpensive and easy to find. All you need to do is integrate them in your diet, and you’re on way to a  more active and healthier brain.

Web References:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1276881/The-brain-diet-Eating-right-foods-improve-memory-lift-mood-help-concentrate-longer.html

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/slideshow_brain_foods_that_help_you_concentrate/article_em.htm

http://leftofzen.com/brain-food/2008/01/04/

http://www.thirdage.com/nutrition/foods-that-help-concentration