In todays society brain health is key. We must have brains that our thinking clearly and not fogged up. By giving your body the right foods to supply proper nutrients to the brain, you can increase your cognitive function and avoid that ‘brain fog feeling that is so common with the standard American diet.
Try adding in these foods to feel an immediate effect.
Wild Salmon is rich in Omega 3s. Omega 3 fatty acids are proven to help with cognitive function. Sixty percent of your brain is made up of fatty acids.More than two-thirds of the brains fatty acids are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid found primarily in fish.
Wild salmon is one of the best fatty fish to consume. We want to look to avoid farmed salmon, which can have less of the anti-oxidants and less omega-3s than wild salmon. Recent studies proved that omega 3 fatty acids help cognitive function so start adding some into your diet. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24470182
Eggs are a great brain food if eaten with the yolk. A lot of people are avoiding the yolk due to cholesterol concerns. We know now that dietary cholesterol is not as worrisome as we were led to believe. The egg yolk is rich in nutrients such as choline.Choline is a precursor of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays a central role in memory and learning. They are also rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps produce serotonin and makes us feel happy.
Berries are an excellent fruit for enhancing brain function. This is due to their anthocyanin content. The anthocyanins, give berries their beautiful colors. These play a role in improvements in numerous cognitive skills including memory, learning, and decision-making. ( http://faculty.missouri.edu/~glaserr/3700s14/SciAm_Blueberries_563719.pdf)
Studies have shown that these flavonoids can help our mood and support cognitive function. Try throwing a handful of blueberries into your protein shake after your workout.
Fatty foods typically support brain health. We want to eat healthy fats to feed our brain as our brain is made up of mostly fat. Avocados are also rich in an amino acid called tyrosine. Tyrosine is an amino acid thats a precursor to dopamine,the brain chemical that keeps you motivated and focused. Avocados are also rich in monounsaturated fat which helps supply nutrients to the brain.
The funny thing about walnuts is that they look like brains. Nature is obviously giving us a clue and now we have studies to back the idea that walnuts are a brain food. Walnuts contain a unique polyphenol, pedunculagin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and reduce brain inflammation.( http://bebrainfit.com/brain-foods/#walnuts) Another study showed that adding walnuts in the diet helped maintain brain health and increased neurogenesis.( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24500933)
MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides. These oils are found by spinning coconut oil in a centrifuge and extracting the certain layer of these fats. They are excellent food and fuel for the brain. A 2004 study published in the journal Neurobiology of Agingfound that the administration of MCTs the primary fat type found in coconut oil, immediately improved cognitive function in older adults with memory disorders.
A good way to add MCT is putting it in protein shakes or trying “bulletproof coffee”. Remember to start light only adding a tiny amount, then increasing gradually. MCTs can also help with weight loss. While it is a newer product, the studies are already coming in that show it can assist in cognitive function in a big way. ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671041/)
We all hear that we need to eat more vegetables and greens for health, but did you know that they play a key role in memory and brain development? Leafy greens and veggies are rich in Vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function and improve brainpower. Vitamin K is being studied for its role in Alzheimers prevention.
Brain Food Smoothie Recipe
So now that we have all the brain foods lets give you guys a recipe to try some of them out.
1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk.
1 handful blueberries
1 raw pastured egg yolk, separate egg yolk from white.
1 small handful of walnuts
1 teaspoon mct oil
1 Scoop protein powder (I like MRM Veggie Elite protein, or grass fed whey)
Blend together and enjoy!
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