Have you ever noticed that there are times when you are extremely focused and whipping through that to do list, when there’s other times you can’t seem to concentrate for more than 5 minutes? It turns out that the nutrition we intake plays a role with how our brain functions. Nutritionists and scientists have been learning more about how what we eat effects our brain. So yes, there is such a thing as “brain food”.
So why do those times happen when we can’t focus or concentrate? The problem lies inflammation. Inflammation is what happens to our body when we are stressed. At times inflammation can be a good thing. It helps us heal when we are cut. But it can also be linked to autoimmune diseases and other concerns such as hypertension and anxiety.
So what does the nutrition we intake have to do with our focus? The food we eat keeps our immune system and our inflammation levels under control. Hormones also play a role in our ability to stay focused and to be able to comprehend new information. And foods that are rich in antioxidants also help us in protection against brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s. When we decide to give our body good nutrition we are benefitting both the gut and our brain.
As you all ready know not all calories are created equal. Some foods are better for your brain than others. We have compiled a list of the top 10 brain boosting foods we should be eating. There is sure to be something in this list you enjoy!
- Parmesan Cheese
Parmesan cheese is a cheese many people love. It is made from cow’s milk and a great addition to some homemade spaghetti sauce. Parmesan cheese is one of the highest sources of leucine. Leucine is one of the most important nutrients that helps our brain function better – which helps us stay focused. Just 100 grams of Parmesan cheese contain 3452 mg of leucine content in it that is equivalent to 121% D.V. So, add this amino acid to your diet by adding cheese to different foods and recipes you cook.
2. Egg Whites
Egg whites are one of the best brain foods out there. Eggs are also high in leucine, the amino acid that gives our brain a boost of nutrition. Just 2 egg whites contains 6000 mg of leucine
Spirulina is one of the most concentrated super foods. It is low in calories, high in protein and contains an amazing nutrient panel. Taking just 1 tablespoon of spirulina a day provides a huge boost to your brain’s health. 1 tablespoon of spirulina contains 3460mg of leucine – the amino acid that is the ultimate brain food.
Avocados are one of our all time favorite fruits. Avocads are higher in fat and calories than other foods, but they contain the monosatured “good” fat, which helps keeps your skin glowing and your blood sugar in check. Avocados contain both vitamin K and folate, which helps prevnt blood clots in the brain and protects against strokes. These nutrients also help improve cognitive function, especially with concentration and memory.
Beets may not be on your weekly grocery store list, but these root vegetables are some of the most nutritious vegetables you can consume. Beets help reduce inflammation, they help the body eliminate toxins, and they contain antioxidants which help fight against cancer. Beets also contains naturally found nitrates which boost blood flow to the brain, improving mental performance.
Blueberries are one of the most nutrient dense fruits we can consume. They have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber levels of any other fruit. Blueberries contain high levels of gallic acid, which helps protect the brain from stress and inflammation. Gallic acid also has an anti-anxiety like effect on the body.
These little trees that we were told to eat as kids were some of the best advice that your mother gave you. Broccoli is high in vitamin K and choline – 2 nutrients that will keep your brain top notch. Broccoli is also filled with vitamin C. Just 2/3 cup of broccoli will give you 100% of the recommended intake of vitamin C.
Not only is celery extremely low ccalorie, it contains a massive amount of nutrients. Celery is high in antioxidants and polysaccharides. These compounds help with reducing inflammation in the body and in the brain. A must for keeping your brain functioning at max capacity.
You’ve probably cooked with the rosemary plant before, but you may not be aware of the benefits that the essential oil has. Rosemary oil contains carnosic acid, which helps protect the brain from neurodegeneration. Carnosic acid protects the brain against free radicals which can cause neurodegeneration, aging, and strokes.
10. Dark Chocolate
Not all chocolate is the same, so be careful. Dark chocolate that is high in cocoa and low in sugar is actually really good for you! Chocolate is very high in flavonols – compounds that contains antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. Dark chocolate can also help reduce high blood pressure and reduce flow to the body. So go ahead – have that piece of dark chocolate. Just make sure it has a high % of cocoa and is not mostly sugar.
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