15 Best Foods For Brain Health
Like it or not, the foods you consume will either have a positive or negative
effect on your body. With so many different types of chemically induced foods,
it can be hard to make the right choice in regards to eating healthy. There are,
however, many different foods that will support and improve the health of your
brain. In most cases, these foods can be easily found and incorporated into your
favorite meals on a daily basis. All it takes is a little ingenuity and
resistance against the temptation of foods that are unhealthy for you.
As the saying goes, eating an apple a day will keep the doctor away. What you
may not realize is that this statement actually has a grain of truth to it. By
eating apples on a regular basis, you can protect your brain from oxidative
damage that can cause neurodegenerative diseases. The neurodegenerative diseases
that you can be at risk for include Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Quercetin,
which is a phytonutrient found in apples, acts as a shield against such
Apples can be found in virtually any market and are easy to incorporate into
your everyday diet. You can eat an apple as a snack, or you can use them to
create a unique dish. According to the Endless Simmer website, there are about
100 ways to use apples in the dishes that you create for yourself. Some of the
top dishes that incorporate this powerful food include shredded beef sliders
with carrot apple slaw, baked apple casserole, apple and prosciutto flatbread
pizza, and a grilled brie and apple sandwich. Though these particular dishes
make good use of apples, it is important to remember that some of the nutrients
that can be found in apples are lost during the cooking process. To receive the
maximum amount of nutrients from an apple, you should stick with eating them
The vegetable asparagus contains high levels of folic acid. Folic acid helps
promote a faster metabolism for the long chain fatty acids inside of your brain.
In addition to these attributes, asparagus also contains dietary fiber, beta
carotene, and vitamins A, E, and K. This
vegetable can be found and sold fresh in the spring time and is native to areas
in Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa.
In most cases, asparagus is served as an appetizer or side dish. It is found
throughout Asian cuisines and is often served as a part of stir fry. However,
there are many different ways you can successfully showcase asparagus in a way
that does not drain all of its nutrients. Popular dishes that contain asparagus
include garlic-roasted asparagus, garlic asparagus flatbread, grilled asparagus
soup, and fresh asparagus ribbon salad. Each of these dishes are healthy and act
as a great way to incorporate asparagus and the nutrients that they provide
into your every-day diet.
Almost every berry contains antioxidants that decrease the risk of oxidative
stress. Berries are also known to contain anti-inflammatory agents which will
help to fight against brain aging. By increasing your intake of berries you are
helping to ensure that your brain cell membranes stay youthful and flexible.
Though berries are seasonal, you can still find them throughout the year. In
most cases, you can substitute fresh frozen berries if you cannot find fresh
berries at your local market.
There are many types of berries to choose from. Some types include
strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, boysenberries,
marionberries, acai berries, huckleberries, and ollaliberries. Because there are
so many different types, your options for incorporating them into your everyday
life are endless. Like most fruits, the best way to get the largest amount of
nutrients from berries is to eat them raw. However, if you do not like to eat
them raw, you can always incorporate them into one of the dishes that you have
throughout the day. Some of my favorite
dishes that incorporate berries include blueberry summer salad, fruit and
mozzarella salad, spicy grilled pork with blackberry sauce, double berry jam,
along with spinach and strawberry salad.
12) Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate doesn't have to be your dirty little secret anymore or a snack
you sneak out in the middle of the night. Instead, dark chocolate is a powerful
brain food that can be appreciated by almost everyone. This tasty treat offers
powerful antioxidants and natural stimulants that will increase the presence of
endorphins, which help make you feel good. It also decreases the risk of having
a stroke. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that
help to remove radicals that can cause damage to your brain cells. Before going
crazy with the chocolate, though, you should make sure that your dark chocolate
has at least 70 percent cacao so that you can also get the added heart benefits.
Though you probably won’t mind eating dark chocolate in the raw, you have to
make sure that it doesn't have more than 10 grams of sugar so that you can gain
the optimal benefits from it. Fortunately, there are many healthy ways to
incorporate dark chocolate into your diet. According to the Better Homes
website, popular dark chocolate recipes that are healthy for you include
chocolate-filled lemon meringues, saucy chicken with garbanzo beans, orange and
dark chocolate salad, and chocolate accordion bread. Each of these recipes uses
dark chocolate that has less than 10 grams of sugar per serving and contain 70
percent cacao or higher. And, of course, moderation is key – so you'll still
have to limit those late night trips to the refrigerator.
Salmon is another food that provides extra benefits for your brain. Salmon contains omega-3, iron, protein, and
vitamin B. Each of these components will help to improve your focus, memory,
reasoning, and recall. The omega-3 acids also help reduce the risk of blood
clots, which can drastically reduce the chance of having a stroke. Salmon also
contains amino acids, selenium, and vitamins A and D, which causes salmon to act
as a natural anti-depressant.
Salmon is a relatively easy fish to come by and can be found in almost any
market place. While you can eat salmon raw, many people choose to cook it. Some
of the most popular cooked salmon dishes include salmon and ravioli, salmon
burgers, smoked salmon and apple supper salad, and ancho glazed salmon. Popular
raw salmon dishes include raw spicy salmon salad, salmon sushi, and salmon
sashimi with ginger. If you choose to try out one of the raw salmon recipes,
then you need to make sure to use proper handling and preparation techniques to
avoid getting sick.
10) Dried Oregano
There are many different health benefits to using dried oregano in your cooking.
Dried oregano offers 40 times more antioxidants
than what is found in an apple. This herb is rich in vitamin K, rosmarinic,
iron, manganese, fiber, thymol, and carvacrol. Each of these properties work
together to make dried oregano one of the most powerful brain foods. This herb
is easily accessible at almost every market place. If you have an aptitude for
growing herbs, oregano is quite simple to maintain so it is easy to have a fresh
supply for your cooking needs.
In addition to being a powerful brain food, dried oregano is easy to
incorporate into your daily meals. Popular dishes that call for dried oregano
include pastas, fruit salads, chicken, fish, beef, pork, and bread. It can be
used to season and flavor almost every type of food, which is why it is popular
in many different cultures around the world.
Walnuts provide you with vitamin E, vitamin B6, and omega-3 fatty acids. Each of
these properties will help you to obtain healthy neural tissue. Eating seven walnuts every day will provide you with two times the
amount of daily antioxidants your body requires. Walnuts are often used in
vegetarian cuisine to replace meats. In addition to being a powerful brain food,
walnuts have been linked to reducing the risk of certain cancers, type 2
diabetes, and gallstones. The antioxidants that can be found in walnuts are 15
times more potent than vitamin E, which is known to protect the body against
damaging chemicals that can cause disease.
There are many different ways to include walnuts in your daily diet. Eating
walnuts raw with the peel still attached will provide you with the most health
benefits. However, walnuts can also be used as an ingredient that can help to
improve any dish. The most common ways to cook with walnuts are to use it as a
meat substitute, create a dessert with it, or use it as a topping that will
complement your favorite dishes. Popular walnut desserts include vanilla bean
flan with caramelized walnuts, gingersnap- walnut cookies, and candied walnuts.
Popular vegan and vegetarian walnut recipes include tofu walnut meatballs, vegan
walnut mushroom pate, and walnut loaf. Popular side dishes that use walnuts
include blue cheese-walnut green beans and orange-walnut chicken salad.
8) Whole Grains
Whole grains are great for your brain and overall health because they are packed
with fiber and vitamin E. The fiber and vitamin E helps improve your
cardiovascular health. When your cardiovascular health is improved, the
circulation to your brain increases significantly. Whole grains will also reduce the risk of stroke, cancer,
obesity, and diabetes. Consuming at least two and a half servings of whole
grains will provide these health benefits to you.
There are many ways you can get your intake of whole grains on a daily basis.
Rice, breads, and oats are only some of the different forms of whole grains that
can be eaten. Some of the healthiest whole
grain dishes include brown rice and tofu maki, sugar snap peas and barley salad,
herb and lemon Bulgar pilaf, and spring chicken and barley soup. Though whole
grains are very healthy for you, it is important that you do not overdo it with
the amount that you consume each day. Like everything in life, it is important
to exert control and eat in moderation.
Yogurt isn't just a great snack; it also offers many health benefits. One of the
main health benefits of yogurt is that it provides you with the protein and
vitamin B that is essential in improving communication between your brain cells.
The high levels of potassium, calcium, and magnesium are also helpful to
improving your cardiovascular system, which, in turn, improves circulation to
your brain. These benefits can also help you to perform better on a daily basis
and to perform your daily tasks more efficiently.
There are many different types of yogurt, which makes it easier to
incorporate it into your daily meals. Yogurt can be eaten on its own, with
fruit, turned into a sauce, and even incorporated into desserts. According to
the Eating Well website, popular dishes that use yogurt include spicy yogurt
chicken, roasted garlic potato salad, Greek yogurt cheesecake, and Tutti-Frutti
Muesli. It is recommended that you consume at least three servings every day to
experience the maximum benefits of yogurt. Almost every market place offers a
variety of yogurts. What’s more is that most yogurts can be found in containers
that make it easy to track your daily intake and increase portability.
One banana a day will provide you with the daily amount of glucose that your
brain needs to continue to function properly. Bananas also include a large dose
of tryptophan, which converts itself into serotonin. When serotonin is produced,
you become happier and your risk for depression becomes lower. Bananas also help
you to stay more alert throughout the day. By adding just one banana to your
menu every day, you can experience some of the great benefits that this tropical
fruit offers. Luckily, bananas are easy to come by and can be found in almost
While it is recommended that you eat a banana in its raw form, you can also
receive some of the benefits by incorporating them into your other meals
throughout the day. You can include bananas in your meals by adding them to
desserts and making them into bread. Many people choose to cut up their daily
banana and add it to their cereal or yogurt. Popular banana recipes include fat
free banana-walnut bread, peanut butter breakfast pudding, banana oatmeal
squares, and dark chocolate frozen bananas. Each of these dishes take this
healthy fruit and presents it in a way that even the pickiest eater can
Eggs aren't just tasty to eat, they're actually pretty good for your body, too.
One of the top benefits that come from eating eggs is that it will provide you
with a good amount of choline. The presence of choline is desirable because it
helps improve your memory and reflexes. Choline will also help improve your
nervous and cardiovascular systems, which means that your risk of heart attacks,
clots, and strokes becomes greatly reduced. The University of Harvard's website
recommends that you limit your egg intake to about two every day to avoid issues
with high cholesterol. Since eggs are a diverse food, there are many different
ways you can prepare them in a meal. Poached, scrambled, fried, omelet, and
baked are all different ways that eggs can be prepared. Eggs are also used in
breads, cakes, and other foods as an agent that will hold all of the ingredients
together. According to the Cooking Light website, some of the most popular egg
dishes include huevos rancheros, shrimp and bacon deviled eggs, simple baked
eggs, and egg salad sandwiches. Each of these recipes can help to further
stimulate your brain because they also include other powerful brain foods like
walnuts and whole grains.
The skin that can be found on
an eggplant includes nasunin, which has many benefits for the brain. Nasunin is
an anthocyanin phytonutrient that works as an antioxidant and a radical
scavenger. Nasunin also works to protect cell membranes from serious damage. To
protect the cell brains, nasunin regulates the nutrients that affect cell
membranes and pushes all of the wastes out. In addition to a large amount of
nasunin, eggplant also contains phenolic antioxidant compounds and will promote
cardiovascular health, which in turn keeps your brain healthy. Though there are
definite health benefits to eating eggplant, you should keep in mind that this
vegetable is of the nightshade family. Foods that are a part of this family
should be eaten with caution, since they tend to have adverse reactions for some
Many people describe eggplant as having a unique taste and texture. You will,
therefore, need to be more careful in how you prepare it. Otherwise, you may end
up turning your taste buds against this powerful brain vegetable. Some of the
most common ways that eggplant is incorporated into a daily menu is by adding it
to soup, as a meat substitute, using it as a topping, serving it cooked and
seasoned, and even grilling it. Some of
the most popular eggplant recipes include eggplant parmesan pizza, grilled
eggplant sandwiches, lamb and eggplant kebabs, and shrimp-stuffed eggplant.
Coffee isn't just that drink you need to start your day or keep you awake while
at work or studying for a big exam. Besides keeping you awake, coffee has many
useful benefits. Coffee is known to contain powerful antioxidants than can
promote a longer life and an improved neural system. A 2009 study showed that those who drank coffee had a lower chance of
developing Alzheimer's and dementia later in life. Another study showed that the
mere smell of coffee did wonders for reducing stress levels. Coffee has been
proven to enhance your memory and will help to protect you against eyelid
spasms. In addition to the benefits to your brain, coffee can also decrease your
risk of developing type 2 diabetes, improves your reproductive system,
strengthens your muscles, and reduces the risk of oral cancer. It is recommended
that you limit your coffee intake to four cups a day.
Though the obvious method of consuming coffee is to brew and drink it, there
are other ways to incorporate it into your menu. If you do not enjoy drinking
coffee, you can use it to make healthy desserts, soups, and can even use it into
your main courses. Popular recipes that use coffee include smoky black bean
soup, chicken with red-eye gravy, coffee cake, and espresso glazed roast pork.
Of course, moderation is once again key here. Drinking a pot of coffee isn't
considered being "extra healthy."
2) Green Tea
Green tea offers the largest amount of antioxidant polyphenois out of every tea
available to consumers. The most abundant antioxidant that can be found in green
tea is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG provides many of the health
benefits that are found in green tea. According to the World's Healthiest Foods
website, people who drink green tea on a regular basis have a lower risk of
stroke, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and cancer. It has also been shown
to minimize any damage to the brain after having a stroke and with helping
children with brain tumors to recover. It is recommended to limit your green tea
intake to about three cups every day.
Like coffee, green tea can also be included in your diet by means other than
drinking it. Some of the most common ways to include green tea in your daily
menu include cake, soup, ice cream, and smoothies. Some of the most common
alternative green tea recipes include green tea cake, Matcha green tea
smoothies, green tea chocolate truffles, green tea rice soup, and green tea ice
cream. Though you may be wary of trying out one of these recipes, they are
perfect options for incorporating green tea into your daily diet.
1) Dark Leafy Greens
You may turn your nose up at them, but there is no denying that dark leafy
greens are good for you. Dark leafy greens are loaded with vitamins,
phytonutrients and minerals. The amount of iron alone that can be found in dark
leafy greens can improve the amount of oxygen that you take in, and it can
improve your cognitive control. A 2010
study showed that dark leafy greens can improve blood circulation and can
increase energy levels. Additionally, dark leafy greens can improve intestinal
health, kidney functions, and can help detoxify your liver.
Dark Leafy greens include kale, collards, turnip greens, spinach, Swiss
chard, mustard greens, red and green leaf romaine lettuce, cabbage, and iceberg
lettuce. Although eating dark leafy greens in raw form will give you the largest
amount of benefits, there are other ways to prepare them, including salads,
soups, stews, drinks, and as an ingredient for your main course. Popular recipes
that use dark leafy greens include sauteed garlic greens, spinach burgers, kale
and potato hash, spinach brownies, roasted kale chips, and Swiss chard Italian
wraps. Each of these dishes will provide you with the health benefits of dark
leafy greens, but present them in a way that may better suit your taste buds and
Final Brain Thoughts
Each of these foods can do wonders to promote a healthy brain. Some of the
benefits that you can experience by eating these foods include improved blood
flow, increased oxygen intake, protection against oxidative damage, healthy
neural tissue, and a general improved condition of your brain cells. Some of
these foods have also been known to help reduce the risk of depression,
Alzheimer's, dementia, cancer, and some types of diabetes. While apples,
berries, bananas, and coffee may already be staples in your diet, you should try
to incorporate some of these other foods as well. With so many different recipe
options available for each food, you shouldn’t have any issues incorporating
them into your daily menu.
However, none of these foods does anyone any good if they're not consumed.
Therefore, it's important to choose recipes you will actually want to eat. Force
feeding yourself any type of food may cause you to limit the types of foods you
are willing to try. Have fun with your healthy recipes for these powerful brain
foods. With enough creativity and curiosity, you may end up finding out that you
actually enjoy the powerful brain foods that you once turned your nose up at.
Though you are encouraged to experiment with these foods, you should also be
cautious and watch your intake for some of these foods. Foods such as coffee,
eggs, green tea, and bananas can have adverse effects if you are not watchful
and careful about the amount you consume. To help you keep track of your daily
intake, you may want to consider keeping a daily food diary. And, when in doubt,
talk to your doctor about the healthiest foods for your brain.
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