Brainpower Foods: What You Eat Can Affect Your Decision-Making Ability

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Eating healthy foods can boost brainpowerAny little boost to help boost brainpower is probably welcomed by most entertainers and businessmen who have to constantly think on their feet. Well, there is no secret medicine to doing this. Merely eating certain foods can help you think sharper and focus better.

Fish

According to Dr. Barry Sears, creator of the Zone Diet, high purity fish oil is the top food to push brainpower. “The Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil help treat chronic diseases, improve athletic performance, and enhance emotional well-being by reducing inflammation to increase blood flow throughout the brain and body,” he explains.

One fish to be sure to eat is wild salmon. “Arguably one of the best foods for the body, salmon packs a power punch of nutrients that do wonders for brainpower,” says certified nutritionist and personal trainer Mike Clancy.

Fruits and Vegetables

“Colorful carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables) are great because they contain polyphenols that reduce oxidation,” says Dr. Sears. Among the colorful carbs are blueberries, which, says Chris Mittelstaedt, founder and CEO of home/office fruit delivery service The FruitGuys, “are one of the best fruits you can eat to boost brainpower, especially during work hours. The antioxidants in blueberries stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain and, in turn, keep the mind fresh. “Furthermore, a study at the University of Cincinnati found that blueberry-supplemented diets improve memory function and mood in older adults with early memory decline,” he says.  

Another must-eat fruit is bananas. “Bananas have great brain power benefits. They have a high level of vitamin B6, which studies show improves cognitive function,” notes Mittelstaedt.

And an apple a day does more than keep the doctor away. It can help you brainstorm ideas. “Apples have a rich source of antioxidants and are relatively high in a flavonoid called quercetin, which is known to keep mental juices flowing by protecting brain cells,” says Mittelstaedt.

According to Mediterranean diet expert Stella Metsovas, olives and avocado should also be on your list. ”The monounsaturated fat from both fruits sustain energy throughout the day and provide the brain with polyphenols for that extra boost,” she says.

On the veggies side, add spinach to your diet says personal trainer Diana Antholis, author of Unleashed: Live the Balanced, Centered, and Sexy Life You Deserve. “Spinach is a rich source of omega-3s and folate, water-soluble B vitamins (helps reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis) and lutein (fights eyesight degeneration),” she notes. Of course, spinach is vitamin-packed, too: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and Vitamin E.

Grab a salad for lunch, suggests Laurie Erdman, the Get More Energy Strategist. “Mixed green salads have a variety of antioxidants that protect the brain from free radicals. Add purslane to your salad for an added boost of omega-3 fatty acids which are critical for better brain functioning,” she explains. And use cilantro. “Toxins can contribute to significant damage to your brain and cause more free radicals and promote inflammation, as well as fatigue,” says Erdman. “Cilantro is a known chelator (detoxifier) of heavy metals. Adding cilantro to your diet can help remove toxins from your body and brain tissue for better brain function.”

The Wonder Seed
Quinoa has been growing in popularity. While many think it is a grain, it is actually a seed that can be prepared like such whole grains as rice and barley. “Quinoa is a grain-like seed that helps with concentration and focus because of the amount of energy this food provides. As an added bonus, quinoa is one of the only plant proteins to have a complete amino-acid profile, while also being loaded with antioxidants,” offers Clancy. You can find quinoa at health food stores. Use instead of rice with your next meal.