We know that what we eat affects our body but did you know that it also affects our brain? Eating the right foods can help maintain a healthy brain while eating stuff which is bad for your gut will cause what is known as brain fog where your cognitive abilities are negatively affected.
Consuming right food at the right time and with the right method is paramount to the well functioning of the body and mind. We have put together a list of 17 foods that can help boost memory and keep your brain healthy.
Almond is a highly nutritious nut. It contains high amount of protein, potassium, dietary fiber, magnesium, iron and calcium. In addition, it also contains zinc, copper, vitamin E and selenium. The presence of riboflavin and L-carnitine help improve brain activity.
You can consume almonds regularly if you soak them overnight in water and eat them the next morning. Another way to consume almonds is to eat almond butter with your meals. You can also drink almond milk instead of cow’s milk.
Turmeric is a spice packed with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. An active agent in turmeric called curcumin is responsible for these benefits. It is said to improve cognitive function, memory and focus.
Turmeric is widely available and can be consumed in every day food. You can also prepare turmeric tea. It is suggested that black pepper must be added along with turmeric so that it can be absorbed in the body.
Avocados are high in nutrients and healthy fats. They are rich in dietary fiber, vitamin B-6, vitamin C and potassium. Avocados are said to improve oxygen and blood supply to your brain. No wonder they are termed as a ‘superfood’.
Avocados are usually eaten raw in the form of a dip or salad.
We are all aware of green tea’s relaxing properties and that it is the healthiest drink next to water. But did you know that L-Theanine, the amino acid responsible for its relaxing properties also boosts mental performance? It boosts neurotransmitters which lead to sharper focus and alleviates stress.
It is recommended that you drink green tea without sugar.
Broccoli contains high amounts of Vitamins K, C, A, folate and potassium. Check out the USDA report for broccoli.
It contains Vitamin K which helps in enhancing cognitive abilities and Choline which improves memory.
Broccoli can be eaten after lightly cooking it and sprinkling with olive oil and spices.
Rosemary is a spice native to the Mediterranean region. It is known to provide a unique taste and aroma to dishes. It contains calcium, vitamin B-6 and iron. It exhibits anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also useful in improving cognitive performance and concentration according to research mentioned in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology. Click here for more information. Research also suggests that rosemary can slow brain ageing. Check the report here.
Rosemary can be added to salads and other vegetable preparations.
Extra virgin olive oil
It is the highest quality olive oil produced by cold pressing olives. It is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil contains vitamins K and E which help in boosting memory and slowing down brain ageing. Check it out on Harvard.edu.
It is high not only in healthy fat but also anti-oxidants. These natural antioxidants called polyphenols play an important part in protecting your brain from oxidation caused by free radicals.
You can use olive oil for cooking. You can also consume it by seasoning salads with it.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamins C and A. They also contain carotenoids which are powerful antioxidants that protect against cell ageing and inflammation.
Tomatoes can be eaten in salads, sandwiches and other dishes.
Blueberries are indigo-colored berries rich in vitamin C, K and potassium. They are also rich in antioxidants that fight harmful free radicals. Blueberries help boost cognitive performance and memory. You can find the details of the report here.
Shankhpushpi (Morning Glory or Convolvulus Pluricaulis)
It is an herb known for its benefits for the brain. It helps boost memory and improve focus by supporting blood circulation to the brain. It is hailed in Ayurveda as a brain tonic.
You can consume shankhpushpi in powder form with water or milk on empty stomach. There are no known side-effects of this herb.
Spinach is a leafy green vegetable high in vitamin A, C, K, B6, magnesium, iron and potassium. The presence of vitamin K can help in slowing cognitive decline.
You can eat spinach in salads, sandwich or you can whip up a green drink.
Brahmi (Indian pennywort or Bacopa Monnieri or Water Hyssop)
Brahmi is an herb revered in Ayurveda as well as other traditional medicine systems across the world for its numerous health benefits. It can enhance memory and improve concentration. Read full article on nature.com
You can consume brahmi in powder form or tablet.
Beets or beetroot are a highly nutritious vegetable rich in vitamins, carotenoids (antioxidants), iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorous and flavonoids. Beets are anti-inflammatory and protect the heart. They also increase blood flow to the brain.
Beets can be eaten raw, cooked or roasted.
Caution: those suffering from kidney or gallbladder problems should avoid beetroots as they could aggravate kidney and bladder stones.
Walnuts are edible seeds rich in vitamins, essential fatty acids, proteins and minerals. The presence of omega-3 fatty acids helps in improved cognitive performance. View the details here.
You can eat them raw, in a salad or even in a dessert.
Pomegranates are delicious and nutritious fruits packed with vitamins (A, C, E), folic acid, antioxidant and anti-viral properties. They are said to contain as much as 3 times the antioxidants present in green tea. This helps in preventing brain cells from damage. Check the findings.
Kale just like spinach is a nutrient-rich and anti-oxidant rich vegetable. It contains a high amount of Vitamin C which increases the neurotransmitter serotonin. B vitamins present in Kale can slow down brain ageing and memory loss.
Kale can be consumed in salad or as a green juice. Check out the findings here.
Ashwagandha (Winter Cherry)
Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng and winter cherry, is an herb popular in ancient Ayurveda. It is said to boost memory and reduce brain cell degeneration. You can find the details here.
You can consume ashwagandha in powder form with water.
You should consult your physician before deciding to eat a new herb or supplement. They can advise you about allergies and dosage.
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