20 foods to make you smart

A common understanding of how various foods impact on our health has slowly been filtering into the mainstream consciousness over the past 40 years since the hippies first started experimenting with food and health, possibly the first mass movement of its kind in history. The next phase of this, which has been going for 10-15 years, is related to the affect various foods have on our brain, to connect our diets with our mental health and agility.

Following is a list of 20 foods that have been shown to increase mental capacity.

  • 1. Avocado is full of high quality protein and beneficial fats which helps blood circulation and optimal brain function.
  • 2. Blueberries are possibly the best brain food on earth: they have been linked to reducing Alzheimer’s risk, been shown to improve learning ability and motor skills in rats, and they are one of the most powerful anti-stress foods you can eat. Avoid sweetened or dried blueberries. When blueberries are out of season, opt for cranberries, grapes, goji berries, blackberries or cherries to get your brain boost.
  • 3. Wild salmon has Omega-3 fatty acids essential for your brain, linked to improved cognition and alertness, reduced risk of degenerative mental disease (such as dementia), improved memory, improved mood, and reduced depression, anxiety and hyperactivity.
  • 4. Nuts contain protein, high amounts of fibre, and are rich in beneficial fats. For an instant energy boost that does not make you crash later, try nuts. Nuts contain lots of Vit E, essential for cognitive function. Macadamias have more fat than most, and peanuts are not so great due to a less healthy fat they contain. Stay away from sweetened or season nuts, or those laces with preservatives.
  • 5. Seeds are a great source of magnesium which has brain boosting qualities and anti-oxidant.
  • Try sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed, and tahini (made from sesame seeds). Seeds contain a lot of protein, beneficial fat, and vitamin E, as well as stress-fighting antioxidants and important brain-boosting minerals like magnesium.
  • 6. Coffee is good for the brain.
7. Oatmeal is natures scrubbing brush and is one of the best foods for cardiovascular health, plus being packed with fibre, some protein and some Omega-3s.
  • 8. Beans are an amazing food that is sadly overlooked. Beans provide a steady, slow release of glucose to your brain and are loaded with fibre, vitamins, minerals and protein.
  • 9. Pomegranates contain blueberry-like levels of antioxidants, which are essential for a healthy brain.
  • 10. Brown rice is a low-glycemic complex carbohydrate that is excellent for  cardiovascular health.
  • 11. Freshly brewed tea has catechines (antioxidants) that boost your brain.
  • 12. Chocolate has brain-boosting compounds, is loaded with antioxidants and it has just the right amount of caffeine. Chocolate increases serotonin levels which makes you happy. Dark chocolate is also rich in fibre.
  • 13. Oysters are rich in selenium, magnesium, protein and several other nutrients vital to brain health. Oysters boost cognition and mood in men.
  • 14. Olive oil is just one type of beneficial oil, others being nut, seed (except canola which is ultimately engin oil) fish, avocado. A diet rich in healthy fats is essential for clear thinking, memory and a balanced mood.
  • 15. Tuna is rich in Omega-3s and has the highest levels of Vit B6, linked to memory, cognition and mood balancing of any food. Vit B6 also affects dopamine receptors which assist in moods.
  • 16. Garlic is one of the most potent nutritional foods there is. Eat it as much as your significant other can stand. Not only is it fabulous for reducing bad cholesterol and strengthening your cardiovascular system, it exerts a protective antioxidant effect on the brain.
  • 17. Eggs contain protein and fat to provide energy to your brain for hours, and the selenium in organic eggs helps your mood.
  • 18. Green leafy vegetables are high in iron which helps clear thinking, energy levels and mood balancing.
  • 19. Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that is particularly good for your brain helping prevent dementia. However tomatoes have to be cooked to release the lycopene.
  • 20. Cacao nibs are among the top 5 brain foods.

Things that drain the brain

Alcohol, corn syrup, nicotine, the usual suspects.

Summarised by Mark O'Brien for byronbodyandsoul.com from the original article by Sara Ost from EcoSalon entitled 20 Foods That Make You Smarter

Related to - Food and Nutrition

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amanuel March 9, 2012 11:24am

what about fish

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