Eat Smart: Top Brain Boosting Foods
With the multitude of mind-numbing reality television shows that I can't stop watching and people like this parading around the internet, it's become blatantly obvious; I'm getting
stupider more stupider just more freaking dumb by the second. Luckily, research has shown that what you eat plays an important role in your everyday brain skills. Since I still remember how to type and surf the web, I've used my last remnants of intelligence to put together a list of brain-boosting foods.
Simply munch on these items and continue to enjoy your daily Wendy Williams Show fix...you're welcome.
Coffee: Mind can't function in the morning without that cup of joe? That's because caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant. In moderate amounts, it can improve attention span, reaction time, alertness and focus. Just don't go overboard -- suggested caffeine intake is 300 to 400 mg (an 8-ounce cup of coffee contains about 100 mg).
Green Tea: If you aren't a fan of coffee, try green tea. In addition to caffeine, the antioxidant-rich tea leaves contain EGCG, a compound that has been linked to the reduction of the same harmful protein build-up in the brain that is associated with memory loss and nerve damage in Alzheimer's patients. While nothing is conclusive, it's hard to ignore the growing number of studies boasting the potential health benefits of green tea.
Salmon: Salmon and other fatty fish like mackerel, albacore tuna, and sardines contain copious amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats are important to brain function and have been linked to increased memory. Try to incorporate these fish into your diet at least twice a week, but make sure to limit albacore tuna to 6 ounces a week to minimize mercury exposure.
Whole Grains: Unlike refined grains, whole grains like wheat and oats are loaded with fiber, which helps to maintain stable glucose levels in the body. This prevents an energy spike and subsequent crash and supports alertness and concentration over time. Whole grains are also rich in vitamins. They contain Vitamin E, which is thought to aid cognitive function as you age, and vitamin B-12, which can increase the brain's ability to focus.
Dark Chocolate: Any study that tells me chocolate may be at all good for me is enough for me to immediately indulge in my extremely unhealthy addiction. Some research has suggested that the flavonoids existing naturally in bitter cocao may boost both eyesight and brain health by improving blood flow to the brain. Look for good-quality dark chocolate that is at least 70 percent cocoa to ensure the potential benefits aren't outweighed by sugar and fat.
Avocados: Go ahead and get your guac' on. Avocados are an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fats, which increase blood flow to the brain and allow for increased memory and cognitive performance.
Curry: Spice up your life and potentially protect your brain health. Curry contains the spice turmeric, which in some studies has shown possible benefits in preventing Alzheimer's disease.
Dark Leafy Greens: Leafy greens like kale, bok choy, and spinach are packed with antioxidants like vitamin C and plant compounds called carotenoids, which protect the brain from harmful free radicals produced when the body uses energy. They are also rich in iron, which has been linked to increased memory, concentration and overall cognitive functioning.
Blueberries: Blueberries are full of powerful antioxidants that have in some cases shown to help reduce age related illness. Research from Tufts University and published in the Journal of Neuroscience has even suggested that blueberry extract can improve short-term memory loss.
Nuts: Nuts like almonds, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, and peanuts are excellent sources of Vitamin E, a brain-healthy vitamin that can help to prevent memory loss due to aging. Doctors recommend eating one ounce of nuts per day.
Oysters: Oysters are an excellent source of zinc, vital to enhancing memory skills and thinking. Plus they've been considered to be an aphrodisiac...and ain't nothing wrong with that.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.