Total Recall: Here Are Some Awesome Brain Foods That Will Get You Firing On All Cylinders
Have you ever had one of those heavy lunches in the middle of the work day where, upon returning to the office you just never were able to get your head working right again? You felt logy, not in the best mood, and mentally dragged down–in sports terms you were a half step behind.
Well, there good reason for that. Some foods help activate your brain and body, some cause you to feel like you’re moving–and thinking–through quicksand.
Here then are a few amazing brain foods that have been shown to help keep your mind sharp, boost your mood and mental energy, and assist your focus throughout the day.
• Anchovies – These oily little guys may have a strong flavor that takes some getting used to, but they pack a powerful nutritional punch. Anchovies actually contain 10 times the omega-3s that tuna has–fatty acids your brain needs to work properly. And because they aren’t a top predator species like tuna, you don’t run anywhere near the risk of ingesting mercury and other toxins that can accumulate in the bodies of larger fish. Anchovies also contain mood and immune-boosting vitamin D.
• Asparagus – Studies have shown that folate, a substance found in abundance in asparagus, is a vital nutrient that is lacking in nearly half of people who suffer from depression. And while correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation, it can’t hurt to beef up your folate levels to try to stave of bad moods and depression, both of which can weigh on your mind and detract from your focus and efficiency. Bonus tip for imbibers: a 2009 Korean study found that asparagus extract boosted levels of a critical enzyme that helps break down alcohol. So maybe add an asparagus stalk to that hangover bloody mary…
• Avocado – Vitamin E has been shown to help protect your brain from Alzheimer’s disease, but critically, it has been demonstrated time and again that the vitamin E one gets from food not supplements is far and away the better choice. One side by side study found that people who got their vitamin E from food rather than supplements lowered their risk of Alzheimer’s by a whopping 67 percent.
• Beets – Beets are a great source of vitamin B, which your brain needs to quickly process the information it is presented with, and to process and catalogue memories for later access. And remember the aforementioned folate? Beet greens are an excellent source.
• Berries – The little seeds found in strawberries and raspberries do more than just get stuck in your teeth–they contain phytochemicals called ellagitannins, which are being researched as an exciting new antioxidant as well as a cancer-fighting compound. Blueberries especially have tons of antioxidants which are great for improving memory.