Do you feel like your brain is tired and overworked? Are you constantly tired, stressed out, or depressed? You might be surprised to learn that the food you eat can actually affect how well your brain functions. That’s right! After years of research on the topic of nutrition in general and cognitive function specifically, scientists have discovered that certain foods can help boost brain power while others may actually hurt it. Here are five foods that are thought to improve cognitive function:
Probiotics are live, beneficial bacteria. They’re found in your gut and on your skin, and they help you digest food and fight off infections. Probiotics can also help you absorb nutrients from the food you eat by making it easier for them to pass through your digestive system.
If you have an autoimmune disease or other chronic health conditions like Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), probiotics may be able to ease some of your symptoms by calming down inflammation in the body. Studies show that people who take probiotic supplements have fewer colds than people who don’t take them–and when they do get sick with something like influenza virus A H1N1 pandemic flu virus outbreak strain 2009 (H1N1v2009) influenza type A pandemic flu strain 2009 (H1N1v2009), their symptoms aren’t as severe as those experienced by non-supplement users
Flaxseed is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to help lower cholesterol, improve digestion, and prevent cancer. Flaxseed also contains lignans which can reduce the risk of breast cancer in women (1).
Flaxseed should be consumed with water or juice as it can block absorption of other nutrients if taken with food containing phytic acid like breads or cereals (2).
Omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of a healthy diet. They can help improve memory, concentration, and mood. Omega-3s have also been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. This may explain why people who eat more fish have lower rates of cardiovascular disease than those who don’t eat fish regularly (1).
The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:
- Fish such as salmon, tuna or mackerel (2)
- Plant foods like chia seeds and flaxseed oil (3)
Green tea is a good source of antioxidants and catechins, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Its active ingredient is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been studied for its ability to improve memory, boost your immune system, lower cholesterol levels and even prevent diabetes.
Green tea has also been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. Studies suggest that drinking green tea regularly may help prevent heart attacks by lowering blood pressure, improving the flexibility of arteries (which reduces stress on the heart), reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) levels while increasing good cholesterol (HDL), as well as helping control blood sugar levels in people who are at risk for type 2 diabetes or already have it.
Protein is essential for building muscle, and it’s important to get enough of it in your diet. The best sources of protein are fish, chicken, turkey and eggs–but don’t go overboard with your portion sizes! Protein should be consumed in moderation because it can contribute to heart disease if you eat too much of it at one time.
To reduce the risk of heart disease while still getting enough high-quality protein in your diet, try combining proteins with carbohydrates at each meal or snack (such as a peanut butter sandwich). This combination may help control blood sugar levels and reduce cravings for unhealthy foods such as sweets or fried foods
Dark chocolate (unsweetened).
Dark chocolate (unsweetened) is a great source of antioxidants and can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s also been shown to improve mood, which is important if you’re feeling stressed or anxious.
Dark chocolate contains flavanols that have been found to improve cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that stimulate the growth of good bacteria in your gut. They’re found in onions, garlic, bananas, asparagus and artichokes–and some foods add them to their product as a food additive.
Prebiotics help keep your digestive tract healthy by promoting the growth of beneficial microbes (like lactobacilli) while inhibiting the growth of harmful ones (like Clostridium difficile). The result: You have fewer digestive issues like gas or bloating as well as fewer tummy troubles like diarrhea or constipation.
Eating the right foods can help boost your brain function and improve your overall health.
There are many foods that can help boost your brain function and improve your overall health. Here are some of the best choices:
- Probiotics – These good bacteria help support your immune system and digestion, as well as promote healthy brain function by lowering stress levels and improving moods. Foods with probiotics include yogurt (make sure it’s full fat) and kefir (a fermented milk drink).
- Flaxseed – This seed contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation has been linked to a variety of health issues including heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease–so keeping an eye on this is important! You can find flaxseed in ground form at most grocery stores or online retailers like Amazon; just add some into your morning smoothie for an added boost!
- Omega-3 fatty acids – Another way to get more omega-3s into your diet is through fish such as salmon or tuna steaks; however if these aren’t available locally then consider taking a daily fish oil supplement instead since it provides all three types of omegas (EPA/DHA) needed by our bodies without any mercury contamination risks associated with eating seafood itself.”
We hope that this article has given you some ideas on how to improve your brain function. Remember, it’s never too late to start eating right! Even if you don’t feel like your mental health is suffering, these foods can still be beneficial for overall health and wellness.