5 Brain-Boosting Foods that you Should be Eating
It is a pretty universally well-known fact that there are many foods in the world that have extraordinary health benefits. Foods that are chock full of antioxidants, omega-3's and inflammation-calming properties are ones that everyone should be getting more of. But what about foods that boost our brain power, though? Improved memory and concentration, decreased cognitive decline and less prevalence of both depression and anxiety are just some of the benefits that these particular foods have to offer. The best part? Most of these foods are abundantly available year-round at your local grocery store.
Blueberries are truly one of nature's 'miracle foods'. They have one of the highest antioxidant contents compared to all other fruits and vegetables. The most prominent antioxidant in blueberries, which gives them their gorgeous blue hue, is anthocyanin. Sounds like a scary word, but it is anything but! Anthocyanin is a very potent antioxidant that has some pretty amazing effects on our brain. It actually holds the ability to counteract free-radicals that bounce around in our system from daily exposure to toxins and other harmful environmental stimuli. This effect can actually help protect our brains from Alzheimer's disease, other forms of memory loss and other neurodegenerative disease.
This popular herb isn't just tasty, it can also help to improve your memory, concentration and overall mental function! Rosemary was once considered a "sacred" herb by many cultures because of its healing properties and is still used in many dishes all over the world today. The herb can be incorporated into almost any savory recipe and gives food a nice sharp, distinctive flavor. According to a 2016 study, Rosemary contains a special compound known as carnosic acid, which has some very impressive neuroprotective properties. This compound is known to protect against oxidative stress and excitotoxicity, while the high antioxidant content helps protect the brain on a deep, cellular level from damage caused by free radicals. Rosemary is truly a brain superfood!
Magical mushrooms, anyone? Seriously though, mushrooms can create some pretty sweet 'magic' when it comes to your brain health. Mushrooms are extremely rich in antioxidants, which as you know now, are wonderful for protecting brains cells from free radical damage. But that's not the only great thing about mushrooms; they also have some of the highest bioavailable levels of vitamin D2 compared to all other fruits and vegetables. You can easily add mushrooms to omelettes, soups, appetizers, side dishes, and even smoothies! This versatile fungus packs a serious punch of nutrition to your healthy diet. Make sure to buy organic, though. Mushrooms are actually one of the most chemical laden foods on the market!
4. Wild Caught Salmon
Wild caught salmon may very well be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Unfortunately, many restaurants and grocery stores only carry farm-raised salmon, which actually poses some pretty serious health risks like reduction in IQ and other cognitive and behavioral effects, according to one study. Wild caught salmon, on the other hand, has quite the opposite effect. The DHA levels in wild-caught salmon are more than optimal. This particular type of omega-3 fatty acid found most prevalently in wild salmon may just be the key to preventing Alzheimer's disease and keeping your memory sharp, no matter what your age may be!
5. Raw Cashews
Ahh, cashews. These little half-moon shaped nuts are probably one of the best snacks in the world! Okay, so while that may be an opinion, here is some scientifically proven facts on why cashews may actually be the best snack in the world. Cashews have been shown in several studies to reduce mild depression and anxiety due to their high trytophan content. Trytophan is an amino acid that actually acts as a precursor to the serotonin produced in our brains. Without this powerful amino acid, our serotonin levels are likely to not be as high, thus causing us to have chemical imbalances which may lead to some anxiety and depression. Are cashews the next Zoloft substitute? That may be a little far fetched, but eating a handful of some these naturally sweet nutrition powerhouses every day probably won't do much harm. Unless you are allergic to nuts, of course.