The foods we consume have a huge effect on our physical health. Not everyone knows that it’s also the same when it comes to our mental health. Boosting your cognitive function doesn’t end with brain exercises. If you want to have a healthier mind, make sure to feed your brain with these foods.
Though they may be a little expensive, avocados are so delicious and so versatile in the kitchen.
Beyond that, they also come packed with all kinds of monounsaturated “good” fats, vitamin K and folate which help prevent blood clotting, and all kinds of other health benefits (including brain benefits, obviously).
If you enjoy putting avocado on toast, by all means, continue doing so. It’s for you to be able to enjoy the many health benefits of avocado toast.
Feed your Brain with Beets
Although they’re not the most visually appealing foods of all time (and maybe not even best-tasting), but beets are one of the healthiest things you can eat.
That’s because these root veggies are great at reducing inflammation, high in antioxidants and even have nitrates—all of which are a winning cocktail for high-powered brain function.
Although all kinds of berries are good for our bodies and brains, blueberries can be particularly beneficial to our health. Perhaps best of all, blueberries are one of the most antioxidant-rich foods that we know of, which is good for brain health (and for protecting the brain from free radicals).
Beyond that, they also have plenty of vitamin K and gallic acid, other protectants that help keep our brains from degrading.
You’ll never do anything wrong by eating more cruciferous vegetables and broccoli is no exception. Like some of the other items on this list, it comes packed with vitamin K as well as choline, an important amino acid for building and replenishing neurotransmitters.
Somewhat more surprising is that it also has a ton of vitamin C—who knew? So if you are craving broccoli, you can try these healthy broccoli recipes.
An egg is one of the foods good for the nervous system. Egg yolks are healthy particularly because of their high levels of choline, a nutrient useful in building neurotransmitters and providing a host of other bodily benefits.
Beyond that, the yolk also contains a bunch of iron, folate, and other vitamins that your body craves. Although it may be tempting to save calories by eating the whites, the yolk is where most of the good stuff is.
When it comes to seafood, fresh salmon is one of the best things you can eat when it comes to brain health.
Like some of the other items on this list, salmon comes packed with all kinds of healthy omega-3 fatty acids that help your brain perform at its best.
Although there are plenty of spices we can add to our food for additional flavor and health benefits, few do as much good as turmeric does. Although it’s renowned as an ancient healthy herb, few people know exactly why.
As it turns out, turmeric contains curcumin, one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory chemicals that we can put in our bodies. Beyond that, turmeric also boosts our antioxidants and protects our immune system. What’s not to like?
Walnuts actually look a little bit like brains and they’re also good for your brain… a coincidence? Probably—but still!
All jokes aside, walnuts have plenty of brain benefits as they have antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that all reinforce the brain and keep it running smoothly.
As an added benefit, they also have high levels of vitamin E, a good nutrient for fighting off Alzheimer’s disease. Amazingly, there is also magnesium in walnuts.
Although a lot of the foods on this list have to do with boosting your brain or enhancing it in some way, it’s also good to eat and drink things that help your brain relax and recharge.
And that’s where chamomile tea comes in. As it turns out, chamomile has plenty of vitamins and antioxidants which help your brain relax and protect it from neurodegeneration.
Though there’s been a bunch of backlash against carbs and grains in recent years, whole grains still offer many benefits for our brains. That’s because these grains come packed with fiber, B vitamins, folate, iron, magnesium and so much more.
There’s definitely a reason why humans came to rely on them as a food source!
Though this is one of the more unusual ones on our list, dandelion greens have some unique benefits that are worth looking into.
Although you’ve probably heard of fiber and probiotics, dandelion greens actually have a lot of prebiotic fiber in them, a specific type of fiber that’s helpful in growing healthy gut bacteria, which in turn help out your brain.
Learning how to pick dandelion greens can be a little tricky, so you may want to check this out.
Before Korean food experienced a wave of worldwide popularity in recent years, many people were unfamiliar with kimchi. For those who don’t know, kimchi is a kind of spicy fermented cabbage used in much of traditional Korean cooking.
As is true of many fermented foods, kimchi also contains all kinds of healthy probiotic bacteria which boost the gut and, in turn, the brain.
Like many other snackable nuts, almonds boast all kinds of health benefits. For one thing, they’re also packed with omega-3 fatty acids that serve as the building blocks of brain function—but as an added bonus, they also have plenty of vitamin E, which protects the brain against neurodegeneration.
If you’re looking for a hearty snack that will sustain you throughout the day, look no further.
Though sage is a staple in any spice cabinet, it’s also a staple when it comes to brain health. Much like rosemary, sage has been said to boost brain functioning through its potent combination of antioxidants and vitamin K.
More specifically, sage has been shown to stop the breakdown of acetylcholine, which helps in the process of forming and storing memories.
It wouldn’t be a complete brain health list without at least one mention of green tea. For those who don’t know, green tea may be even better for brain health than coffee.
Though it definitely promotes alertness, memory, and focus, it also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that boosts GABA production and can help reduce anxiety. Beyond that, it also has polyphenols and antioxidants to protect your brain from degeneration and decline.
What you do and eat will always be among the important factors in maintaining your health. So if you want to live a much healthier lifestyle, especially when it comes to your mental health, feel free to add these foods to your diet and feed your brain.
What’s amazing about these is you can also use them in making mouthwatering recipes without spending a lot of money.
Sources: Dr. Axe, Alternascript, Mind Body Green, BBC Good Food, Heathline, Taste of Home