The brain isn’t only useful for math problems and crossword puzzles — it might actually be the most important part of your body. Weighing about 2% of a person’s body weight, the brain contains over one hundred billion nerve cells or neurons. Those neurons control almost everything we do: thoughts, feelings, habits, even physical motion.
For this reason, it’s important to take good care of your brain. Below are 7 foods that can sharpen your memory, make it easier to focus, and keep the brain in healthy working order.
Scrambled or sunny-side up, eggs are full of healthy nutrients for the brain. These nutrients include choline, along with three crucial B vitamins: vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate.
Choline has been found to improve mood and memory function, and most people don’t get enough of it in their diets. Egg yolks are among the foods with the highest concentration of choline — each egg yolk contains a whopping 112 mg of choline, out of a recommended daily intake of 425 mg for women and 550 mg for men.
Vitamins B6, B12, and folate can also contribute to mental health. Studies have linked deficiencies in B12 and folate to depression and dementia. For this reason, folate and folic acid supplements are often used to combat dementia and memory loss.
Broccoli is healthy not only for the body but for the mind.
Among its many benefits, broccoli is full of vitamin K — a 1-cup serving contains more than 100% of the recommended daily intake. Vitamin K is one of the crucial building blocks for brain cells, and studies have linked Vitamin K to improved memory.
Broccoli also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances, which help the brain fight off potential damage.
Coffee doesn’t only wake you up in the morning; it wakes your brain up, too. Coffee contains two major ingredients for brain health: antioxidants and caffeine.
The high antioxidant level in coffee could strengthen the memory and combat neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
And the extra alertness that comes with a caffeine jolt isn’t just an illusion. Caffeine keeps the brain awake by reducing adenosine, a chemical that makes you feel tired. It also may boost serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates your mood and fights off depression.
More information about coffee’s many potential health benefits can be found here. If you’re not a coffee drinker, green tea and dark chocolate have many of the same beneficial effects.
Fatty varieties of fish, such as sardines and salmon, are among the best-known foods for brain health. Because the brain is about 60% fat, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish help build new neurons and brain cells.
Also, omega-3s have been linked to Alzheimer’s prevention, and an omega-3 deficiency can be toxic to your mood and learning ability.
5) Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants that combat disease-producing free radicals.
They’re also full of familiar minerals, including copper, zinc, magnesium, and iron. These minerals are integral to a stable brain and central nervous system.
Like many other nuts, pumpkin seeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acids. In general, vitamin-rich nuts and seeds are good for the brain and heart.
Oranges are nature’s main source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant for a healthy brain. Vitamin C fights off free radicals, which can hurt brain cells and contribute to neurological disease. It has also been shown to help prevent memory loss, iron deficiency, and even strokes.
While oranges and other citrus fruits are the highest in vitamin C, many other fruits, and vegetables, including bell peppers and strawberries, are excellent sources of this nutrient.
A key ingredient in curries and a delicious base for tea, turmeric’s health benefits have been widely praised.
Turmeric has been suggested to improve cognitive function, contribute to the growth of new brain cells, and even destroy the compounds that cause Alzheimer’s.
Between Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and even caffeine, ordinary foods can do wonders for the health of your brain and body. Try to incorporate these 7 foods into your daily routine for a boost to your energy levels, concentration, short-term memory, and more.