When it comes to overall health, your brain is at the center of it all. Your brain sends signals to your body to breathe, keeps your heart beating, allows you to move, and is also in charge of important tasks like memory and concentration.
Scientists have discovered a link between what we eat and our brain health. Adding specific brain foods into your diet can boost your brain function. If a healthier, better you is on the horizon, here are seven foods to stock up in your apartment to keep your brain in tip-top shape.
1. Whole grains
Your brain uses energy from glucose in your bloodstream to fuel it and help keep you mentally alert throughout the day. Carbohydrates are the primary source of glucose for your body.
Simple carbohydrates like sugar or white bread provide surges of energy which are not sustainable over the long term. Whole grains, like those found in oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice or buckwheat can help improve concentration and focus by providing a steady supply of energy to your brain.
Easy ways to incorporate whole grains into your diet is in sandwiches or pasta dishes.
2. Foods high in omega-3s
Your brain uses omega-3s to build brain and nerve cells, which are essential for overall function and play a key role in learning and memory. Omega-3s can also slow down mental decline and help ward off diseases like Alzheimer’s that affect your brain.
Our body doesn’t produce omega-3s naturally, so you need to add them to your diet. Foods like salmon, sardines, walnuts and pumpkin seeds are all great choices. Pop some mixed nuts into your lunch box for a snack to fuel you during the day.
Happy to see this one on the list?
Coffee is full of caffeine and antioxidants, which are both good for brain health. A daily cup of joe increases alertness (perfect for those all-nighters), improves your mood and helps to sharpen concentration. Long-term coffee consumption has also been linked to a reduced risk of neurological disorders.
Blueberries are packed with vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber. These antioxidant powerhouses help protect our brains from brain aging and degeneration. Adding blueberries into your daily routine at breakfast on your oatmeal or alone as a snack can help you keep your brain healthier for longer.
Broccoli can help keep your memory sharp. It’s full of vitamin C, vitamin K and choline which have brain-boosting effects. Vitamin K is essential for forming a type of fat that’s densely packed in brain cells to help protect your brain. Incorporate broccoli into soups, stir fries, salads or cut some up to eat with an omega-3 rich dip like flax seed hummus.
Avocados are full of healthy fats that contribute to healthy blood flow. For good brain health, it’s essential to have a healthy supply of blood flowing through to provide your brain with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function properly.
Mash up avocados on whole grain toast, opt for homemade guacamole or add them into smoothies to incorporate them into your diet.
7. Dark chocolate
Saved the best for last.
Dark chocolate contains caffeine, flavonoids and antioxidants, all which are good for brain health. The flavonoids in dark chocolate gather in areas of the brain that deal with learning and memory and may help to enhance memory.
A square or two of dark chocolate is a great option for dessert and will really help to curb your sweet tooth. Look for bars that contain 70 percent cocoa or more.
These are a handful of brain-boosting foods that you can easily keep on hand in your apartment. Try adding these into your diet in the new year to sharpen your concentration, enhance memory, boost alertness and enhance your overall brain health.