When you hear us talk about feeding your body with good healthy foods, what might NOT come to mind is feeding your brain.
But in fact, your brain cells require two times the amount of energy than other cells in your body!
In order to work efficiently throughout the day, this energy level must be kept high enough. That way you don’t get mentally exhausted and peter out before you accomplish everything on your to-do list.
First and foremost, a well-balanced diet with plenty of veggies, fruit, good protein, healthy fats, and fiber is essential. No one special food or foods is going to work its magic if your everyday diet is kinda crappy.
That being said, there are a handful of foods that have an edge when it comes to enhancing mental clarity, focus, and concentration. And today, we are here to share them with you!
Check out our quick 3 minute video here or read the below for three “brainy” foods. Our Brandout gives you a few tips and recipes for how to incorporate them into your diet. Enjoy.
1). Dark Leafy Greens are absolute superstars when it comes to brain power. For one thing, they contain the pigment lutein. Lutein plays a neuroprotective role and may help with attention and the ability to focus.
Additionally, study results suggest that people who eat even one serving of green, leafy vegetables a day may experience a slower rate of decline on tests of memory and thinking skills than people who rarely or never eat them. To boot, older adults who eat at least one serving of leafy green vegetables show an equivalent of being 11 years younger cognitively.
2). Walnuts rank number one as the top nut for brain health. Due to their omega 3 and other polyphenol (anti-oxidant) compounds, walnuts appear to help brain cell communication and actually enhance the growth of new neurons(1).
The National Health and Nutrition Examination surveys (NHANES), representing over 10,000 individuals, was the first large analysis of walnut intake and cognitive function. Results indicated that eating walnuts may improve performance on cognitive function tests, including those for memory, concentration, and information processing speed in adults. This was regardless of age, gender, race, education, BMI, smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity.
Walnuts are also packed with brain boosting omega 3 fats and loads of antioxidants known as polyphenols. Just ¼ cup per day has been shown to have a positive impact.
3). Mushrooms are rapidly gaining ground as some of nature’s greatest brain foods. Though white button and portobello are wonderful for immunity, you’ll find immune plus brain boosting properties in other varieties such as shitake, maitake, reishi, and especially Lions Mane. Lions Mane in particular is being studied for its role in cognition and focus.
These potent varieties contain ergothianiene (often referred to as ergo), a powerful antioxidant has only been found in nature from these non-yeast fungi, a few bacteria, and some algae. Epidemiological studies are showing that countries with the highest ergo intake have the lowest rates of dementia.
3 mg of ergo per day has great benefits and can be found in only 1 ounce of shitake, porcini, or maitake mushrooms (you would need about 3.5 ounces of white button or Portobello to get enough). If you are not a fan or can’t find Lions Mane fresh or dried, you can get a powder form from companies like Four Sigmatic.
Don’t forget to download our Brandout for links to our some brands we approve of, along with a few tasty recipes highlighting these three brain superstar foods.