The modern world takes its toll on both the body and mind. Glued to computers and bombarded by smart phones, schedules seem to get more hectic with each passing day, and to-do lists get longer and longer. This endless stimulation can be hard to wrap your brain around. You need a way to cut through the clutter.
Luckily, plenty of foods at your local grocery store are loaded with key nutrients to boost your brain health. Here are seven foods to help nourish your brain for all the mental clutter life throws your way.
1. Fatty Fish
Have a conversation about healthy foods, and fatty fish is probably mentioned at least once. It’s because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids—a key nutrient linked to many aspects of overall health. Omega-3s are used by the body to build brain and nerve cells. In fact, recent studies show that people who eat fish often have more gray matter in their brain—a substance used for memory and decision-making.
A steaming cup of java is the best part of the morning for many. For short periods, it improves mood and alertness, and it sharpens focus. Coffee is also rich in antioxidants, which can help protect your brain from oxidative stress. Just take it easy when caffeine is involved. Too much can leave you feeling uncomfortable and jittery.
Anthocyanins are a group of plant compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and give some fruit and veggies a rich blue or red coloring. So, it’s no wonder why these bluest of berries are packed with healthy anthocyanins. Overall, antioxidants can protect your brain from free radicals and oxidative stress so it ages healthily.
That’s right, everybody’s favorite green, stalky vegetable is actually amazing brain food. It’s chock-full of antioxidants and vitamin K, which helps maintain a proper calcium balance, both in the bones and brain. Vitamin K also supports the formation sphingolipids, a type of fat present in brain cell membranes, important for many cellular functions.
5. Whole grains
Every organ in your body—your brain included—relies on regular, healthy blood flow. A diet rich in whole grains can help lower cholesterol and support overall cardiovascular health. Plus, you support your gut microflora with added dietary fiber. Embracing whole grains as part of your daily diet is a total win-win.
Vitamin E is a key nutrient to support brain health. It defends cell membranes from free radicals and may even slow mental decline. And nuts are loaded with it. Vitamin E can also support heart health and overall cardiovascular function. That means better blood flow to your brain. To boost brain health, nuts are a great way to go. Get crackin’!
Sure, water isn’t technically a food, but should we really ignore the building block of all life on the planet? After all, your brain is about 75 percent water. And many studies show people who stay hydrated are able to think faster and with more clarity than those who are dehydrated. Water is essential to supply nutrients to the brain and remove toxins from the liver. So, as you sit down to your brain-boosting meal, make sure to chase it down with a tall glass of water.
There are many more foods out there to help boost your brain health. Even dietary supplements can fill in the nutritional gaps when it comes to cognitive health. Modern life is busy, but with a focus on the right foods and nutrients, you can cut through the clutter and chase what’s truly important.
About the Writer
Writer’s Name: Taylor Pulver
Born and raised in Utah, Taylor Pulver grew up fishing, camping, and hiking his way through the Wasatch Range. Now, he lives in Salt Lake City as a writer, gardener, and avid reader of fantasy and science fiction novels.