While food can’t boost your IQ to an Albert Einstein level, they can certainly help improve your brain’s function. Several foods, many of which you probably already have in your kitchen, can enhance your memory and alertness! Keep reading to find out which snacks can actually make you smarter!
The antioxidants in berries help reduce oxidative stress in the brain. Fisetin, a flavonoid found in strawberries, had been found to improve memory, but blueberries seem to be the best bet for aging brains. In lab tests, they helped improve the cognitive function of elderly lab rats, and blueberry extract helped limit brain damage due to a stroke. Try topping your cereal or yogurt with a few fresh berries, or mix up a smoothie when the weather gets warmer.
Egg yolks are packed with choline, a nutrient that is essential to your brain’s development. Choline is most important in young children, as their brains are developing at a much faster rate. Some studies have shown that taking prenatal choline supplements can result in the accelerated growth of the unborn baby’s brain cells. So whether you want to boost your child’s brain or your own, an egg a day can keep the doctor away!
DHA, an acid that helps your brain transmit signals, is found in the omega-3 fatty acids of oily fish like salmon. Low levels of DHA in your body can lead to memory loss and a lack of concentration. In the worst case scenarios, people with low DHA levels can even develop depression, autism, schizophrenia, or ADD. Salmon is also a heart-healthy ingredient, so feel free to incorporate it into your meals several times a week.
Coffee beans are chock full of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Studies have not only shown that regular coffee drinkers have a reduced risk of dementia, but it has also been found that coffee may even slow the growth of brain tumors! Poor quality coffee, however, will not be as effective, so try to drink it in its purest form whenever you can.
Nuts are the perfect snack for people who’d like to boost their brain. The vitamin E found in nuts can prevent memory loss due to aging. Walnuts, like salmon, contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, and peanuts and pecans contain brain-developing choline. Cashews contain magnesium, which helps the brain take in more oxygen and work more efficiently. If you find yourself craving a midday snack, mix a small handful of nuts with some raisins or other dried fruit.
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