Top 14 Nourishing Brain Foods To Eat Right Away
Boost your productivity with this list of brains foods to eat that help increase focus and attention.
The popular quote by Charles M.Schulz – “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt,” makes a lot of sense in today’s stress-ridden lifestyle.
Our brains are overworked with excessive information floating all around us, top that with work-related challenges, personal issues and all of this put together becomes a Royal Mess as it leads to chronic health issues like obesity, anxiety, stress, fatigue, depression and other mental and physical disorders. The brain, like all other vital organs of the body, needs a nutrient-rich diet.
Brains foods to eat are those that supply is these very nutrients that nourish our brain, enhance memory, help us deal with the daily stresses of city lives, and also control all other cognitive functions of the body. These brain foods are easy and simple to find around in your kitchen, and indulging in these can truly make your productivity shoot up.
Here’s a list of popular foods to nourish your brain so that you stay alert on your next concall or an office meeting and say goodbye to the energy slumping blues.. forever!
Top Brain Foods To Eat | Foods To Boost Brain Power
Green Tea to boost memory
Rich in antioxidants, while it does provide caffeine, green tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which produces a calming effect, thereby increasing the serotonin and dopamine levels known to enhance working memory, cognitive performance and elevate moods. The combination of caffeine and L-theanine in green tea has also shown to optimize overall healthy brain function and lower levels of fatigue.
Find the best green tea leaves and green tea bags for a healthy you.
Dark Chocolate for improving focus
Excellent for both satisfying the sweet cravings and improving overall focus, dark chocolate helps you feel more energetic and focused on the tasks at hand. This is due to the presence of caffeine in it that gives you a little boost without the jitters of having had too much coffee. This comfort food also has excellent health benefits. It is rich in minerals like potassium, zinc, selenium, and iron (over 60% percent of the daily recommended value) and the high content of flavanols help blood and oxygen reach the brain to boost concentration and memory. Dark chocolate is also filled with antioxidants and we suggest 70% cocoa dark chocolate is ideal to enjoy the rich flavor and all the above-mentioned benefits.
Nuts and seeds for quality fats
Nuts are seeds are the most convenient snack to reach out for when you feel the energy levels going down leading to zero productivity. Why? For starters, nuts and seeds are an excellent source of protein and natural fat that your body needs. Secondly, they are an antioxidant, vitamin E, and amino acid-rich food, giving your body the natural increase in memory and brain performance you need to make it through the day. Almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds contain some of the best brain foods to eat. It is always advised to soak the nuts overnight in water prior to consumption, this makes the digestion easier.
Water for improving cognition and concentration
Dehydration is known to exhaust your body and mind and happens when your water intake is low or your caffeine consumption is too high. Keeping the water intake at an optimal level helps in improving concentration and cognition, aids in balancing your moods and emotions, maintains memory function and increases blood flow, thereby providing ample oxygen to your brain. It is also known to prevent headaches and reduce stress. Water is the most humble and easily available nutrient that should be a part of your daily routine, whether indoors or outdoors.
Banana for Tryptophan
Not only are bananas incredibly healthy they are available all year round, making them one of the most convenient snack foods to consume. Being high in two very important minerals- potassium and magnesium, bananas help in maintaining your mental faculties by ensuring enough oxygen is being delivered to your brain. Bananas are also high in essential amino acids, vitamins A, B6, and C. They are known to be great mood boosters that can aid sleep, due to tryptophan (the mood-boosting hormone that aids in the conversion of serotonin, which helps to make you feel more motivated). So whether you consume banana as a fruit, or turn it into a smoothie.. it promises to give you a burst of energy to get you through the most challenging day.
Eggs for a boost of Vitamin B
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and eggs happen to be a very popular option around the world. This is also because eggs are amongst the best sources of choline (a type of Vitamin-B) that is an extremely important nutrient for the brain and cognitive health which most of us do not get enough of. Choline also helps in increasing memory capabilities and speeding up reaction times at work. The yolk of the egg is equally important as it’s a warehouse of tons of nutrients such as protein, antioxidants, vitamin D and amino acids. So whether you like your eggs as a sunny side up, scotched or deviled, make sure these are a regular part of your daily intake.
Caffeine for alertness
Wake up in the morning and the first thing your body craves for is coffee or tea. This is due to the main constituent in these beverages called caffeine. It acts as a mild stimulant to the central nervous system and studies have shown that, depending on level of intake, caffeine can help to improve mental performance, especially on alertness, attention, and concentration. However, drinking too much in a short amount of time can cause unpleasant side effects, including headaches nervousness or anxiety. Experts advise you to stick to a few cups of tea/coffee a day or go for decaf or green tea as an alternative. Although green tea still contains caffeine, it’s a significantly lower amount, and it also brings a variety of health benefits with it.
Multigrains for complex carbs
Not all carbs are bad, and you should know that by now! The days of refined flours are now passe’ and multi-grains are taking the world by storm. Whole grains are essentially classified into two categories- cereals and pseudocereals. Cereal grains come from cereal grasses such as wheat, oats, rice, corn, barley, sorghum, rye, and millet. Pseudocereal grains are cooked and consumed in a similar manner, but they do not come from grasses—grains in this category include quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth. Whole grains are known to provide you with B12 a true focus-boosting fuel. Besides, the brain needs glucose which comes from carbohydrates, and whole grains are a rich source of complex carbs to feed the brain cells responsible for learning and understanding new things every day.
Berries for a rich dose of antioxidants
Antioxidant-rich foods, like berries, are excellent for improving memory function in the workplace and to prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in the future. As a general rule of thumb, the darker the berry is, the higher the antioxidant property it contains. Blueberries, being the popular variety of darker berries are not locally grown in India, hence not easily available. But, Strawberries are the next superheroes to come to your rescue. They are widely available now and are used in a wide array of dishes- salads, smoothies, cakes, jams or just raw, these sweet tangy berries are the favorite across age groups. So go on and indulge, this versatile fruit can play many avatars to boost your brain with fresh energy.
Also Read: Benefits of Mulberry
Avocado for healthy fats needed for the brain
Even though they are available at a hefty price, Avocados are worth the investment. And all you need in a day is half of it anyway, so why not? Being loaded with vitamins that your brain needs for proper functioning, including vitamin C, E, K and B6, avocados are also high in potassium, which further lowers blood pressure, and folate, which helps your body produce and maintain new cells. One of the secrets to maintaining ample levels of productivity is by keeping consistent blood flowing around the heart and through the brain and avocados are a natural stimulant for that very reason. This is another healthy fat for your body that tastes delicious and improves your overall focus. So do not hesitate to add it to your grocery list next time.
Yogurt for a healthy gut and mind
A staple ingredient that is extensively used in many Indian recipes, consumed plain or as raita on the side, to cut down on the spices from the Indian curries and also guzzled by glassfuls as a chilled beverage on a hot sunny afternoon. Yogurt contains the magical probiotics that are known to keep our gut healthy which further activates a sharp mind, keeping anxiety and depression at bay. One can even add fruits, berries, nuts, and oats to make it a parfait and maximize the intake of brain nourishing foods. Interestingly, yogurt mostly goes down well with people who are intolerant to lactose, hence making it a winner in every way possible.
Also Read: Best Packaged Dahi To Buy – Mishry Reviews
Dark leafy veggies for carotenoids
There are many varieties of greens available in the market- spinach (palak), Mustard (sarson ka saag), fenugreek (methi), amaranth leaves (chaulai), broccoli and a variety of salad leaves. Green leafy vegetables are full of antioxidants and carotenoids which boost your brainpower and help protect your brain from degeneration. They are also full of Vitamin B, which helps you focus better, elongates memory and overall brain health. Lastly, they also contain folic acid which improves your mental clarity. Researchers call them ‘the nutrition powerhouse’ as it holds more calcium than a glass of milk, provides you with essential fiber needed for a healthy body and fuels your brain. The best part, most of these greens can be easily grown in your home garden and tended to, leaving you with no excuse to stay away from them.
Raw carrots for beta carotene
Carrots are easily available during all four seasons of the year and are popularly known for being rich in beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A that promotes good vision. But did you know Beta-carotene also helps in improving cognitive function and reduces the risk of age-related memory problems and dementia?
Besides being an excellent source of vitamins, carrots are also packed with many nutrients, carbohydrates, and fiber, but you don’t have to always munch on carrots to receive these nutritional benefits. Drinking carrot juice is an easy way to add carrots to your diet. So whether you are the whole-carrot eater or a juicer, this root vegetable promises to make your day brighter and your brain sharper.
India has a wonderful variety of apples available throughout the year and these crispy, juicy fruits are an instant mood uplifting snack that can be enjoyed during any time of the day. Pre-workout snack or a 3 pm energy booster, apples are rich in quercetin, an antioxidant that helps in protecting the brain from free radicals thereby reducing the potential for cognitive decline. Apples also offer a good dose of Vitamin C, which has been linked to a reduction in stress and anxiety. The sugar from apples also transmits ‘happy signals’ from the brain, giving you an instant push of energy, to help you get through a tough mid-day concall.
Foods That make You Sluggish
According to W.H.O., ‘the right ingredients can help you boost brain power by as much as 20%.’ Food options play a very important role in your daily productivity levels as it is commonly known that one’s efficiency depends on the brain’s ability to receive, send and coordinate signals. Just like your body needs nutrients to energize, so does your brain. Most of us still fall prey to lethargy and fatigue and this further leads to a low attention span and a constant state of inertia.
Simple Carbohydrates- Cereals, crackers, sugary cookies, instant noodles, white bread. The glucose in them spike your blood sugar and create fatigue.
Processed foods- Food items that are packaged, like frozen foods, deli meat or fast-food, can contain more artificial ingredients, nitrates, sodium, and trans and saturated fats, leaving you bloated and mostly parched and dehydrated because of extensive amounts of preservatives.
Sugary Foods & Drinks
Soda, candies, desserts, instant coffee premixes, energy drinks. They may make you feel energized, but a big crash follows which can make you feel low, tired and empty.
Most fried foods may taste delicious but are high in saturated fat which is difficult for your body to digest and can weaken the good bacteria in your gut, leaving you with nothing but acidity and reflux.