Brain food has been a buzzword for decades, and we’re on the lookout for foods that benefit us mentally. Today, we’re looking at several easy-to-find brain foods that you can enjoy as snacks and drinks.
Everybody loves snacks. They are great to eat quickly between meals or the follow up to a great meal. What if you could eat something small that’d have long-lasting boosts for your brain? Well, here are a few.
Blueberries are the ultimate brain food according to Steve Pratt, MD, author of Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life. So much so that he calls blueberries “brainberries.”
Blueberries can improve your short-term memory, while also delaying short-term memory loss. They can even reduce the effects of degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s. This is due to the high antioxidant, vitamins C and K, and fiber content.
We may call a crazy person “nuts,” but eating nuts is one of the best things you can do for your brain. The high vitamin E content helps to prevent cognitive decline as we age. This is especially true in seniors.
Walnuts and peanuts are top picks for these benefits. Walnuts are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for our brains to function well. Peanuts are a good source of healthy fats and provide a healthy amount of proteins and minerals.
Desserts like dark chocolate also offer several benefits for your mind. Woah, slow down! Drop that Twix. This is only for dark chocolate (generally 70% or higher). Other chocolates are too processed for most of the benefits dark chocolate offers.
So, what does dark chocolate do? Chocolate is filled with flavonols (we know, it sounds fake). Flavonols have antioxidants and lower blood pressure.
Dark chocolate also has caffeine, which increases focus and boosts your mood. Dark chocolate is still high in calories, so don’t go overboard. You can get the benefits of dark chocolate from .5 to 1 ounce a day.
Snacks are great, but, after a while, you’re going to get thirsty. Luckily, there are some drinks that are healthy for your brain.
It may be time to switch from coffee to tea. Caffeine, when taken in moderation, boosts memory, mental sharpness, and mood. Tea has a more moderate amount of caffeine than coffee and provides a slew of antioxidants that benefit your brain and your entire body.
This doesn’t include canned iced tea, though. Stick to fresh brewed tea like loose leaf or bagged tea.
Red wine is another brain food best taken in moderation. Researchers have long said that moderate amounts of wine can lower your risk of stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and cognitive decline as you age. Red wine is also linked with preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s and lessening stress.
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The study of how food effects our bodies is entering its infancy, but we learn new benefits of healthy eating every day. How our diet affects the brain is a hot topic for buzzword-wielding gurus looking to sell this month’s trend-food.
Despite this, science is proving that certain foods pose real mental advantages. So, sit yourself down with a cup of fresh brewed tea, some blueberries, and maybe a bar of dark chocolate. Your brain will thank you for it.
Lifehacker — What ‘Brain Food’ Actually Does for Your Brain
Medicareful Living — Brain Foods: Dinners That Make You Smarter