What are the 5 best brain healthy foods? It may surprise you to know that certain foods have benefit to your brain, encouraging focus, clarity, and protecting the brain from stress.
Incorporating "smart" foods into your daily diet will have benefits beyond your brain. Your entire body will thank you for taking care of your brain, which controls so much of your physical self, not just your intelligence.
It's not complicated to add these foods to your diet. Just be mindful of the benefits of fresh fruits, vegetables, and organically grown food which have overall effects on your body chemistry.
To begin, let's start with breakfast.
1. Blueberries are a favorite fruit to add on cereals, in fruit salads, and in baked goods. Researchers have found that blueberries improve learning capacity and motor skills in aging rats, as they help protect the brain from oxidative stress.
2. Whole grains are also an excellent choice, as they lower cholesterol and reduce the risk for heart disease. When the heart is healthy, the brain is able to get a good supply of blood along with all your organs. Oatmeal, whole grain breads, and brown rice are a few examples of these body boosters. You can combine them with your blueberries at breakfast in cereals and breads!
Now, what about protein?
3. Fish is an excellent source of protein, and very satisfying. Organic wild salmon is high in omega 3's which decrease inflammation while enhancing cognitive function. Wild salmon is best, as farm raised fish contains a carcinogenic dye that is ingested to change the color from gray to pink - it is gray in the cage when raised and fed genetically modified soy pellets.
4. Beans and nuts are a vegan source of protein. Beans can stabilize glucose, allowing the brain to have a steady stream of glucose for fuel, rather than a sudden spurt of energy and then nothing.
5. Leafy greens are also beneficial, as they provide bulk in your diet, and are also a source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Add a variety such as brussels sprouts, spinach, arugula, mint, kale, and watercress. They are great as a side dish, a salad, or even for snacking.
Finally - for dessert - do not overlook dark chocolate. Dark chocolate does not contain the sugar that is in lighter confections, and is rich in antioxidants. It also includes caffeine, stimulating the production of mood enhancing endorphins. Dark chocolate is a superfood which must be consumed in moderation, more is not better. One half to one ounce a day will be all you need.