The 10 Best Brain Boosting Foods

What if you heard you could easily protect your brain from degeneration and nourish your neurons – heck – even increase the productions of neurotransmitters, those chemicals that communicate information throughout your brain and body, simply by eating delicious natural foods? You’d be ready to slap on a bib and get to eating wouldn’t you?

If you said yes and are wondering which foods boost your brain’s power, check out the list below:

Red Meat

Red meat, especially grass-fed beef, is a fantastic source of vitamin B12, which is critical for healthy brain function. Studies have shown people with B12 deficiencies are far more likely to score lower on cognitive tests. They also have been shown to have smaller total brain volume which suggests a lack of B12 might actually lead to brain shrinkage.

Celery

Celery contains high levels of luteolin, a plant compound that scientists feel may have the ability to calm inflammation in the brain. This inflammation is a primary cause of neurodegeneration. Luteolin deficiencies have also been linked with decreased rates of age-related memory loss in mice.

Broccoli and Cauliflower

If you didn’t like them as a kid, hopefully your adult taste buds now love broccoli and cauliflower because they are both an excellent source of choline, a B vitamin known for its role in brain development. Choline intake during pregnancy was found to “super-charge” the brain activity of animals in utero.

Studies have suggested that choline may even have the ability to diminish age-related memory decline as well as your brain’s susceptibility to toxins during childhood.

It may even diminish age-related memory decline and your brain's vulnerability to toxins during childhood. If you don’t like broccoli or cauliflower don’t worry, eggs and meat are another great source of choline.

Walnuts

When it comes to finding a plant-based source of omega-3 fats, natural phytosterols and antioxidants, which have been shown to reverse brain damage in older rats, you can’t beat walnuts. DHA is a specific type of omega-3 that has been found to boost brain function and promote healing.

Curry

Good news for Indian food lovers, curry contains turmeric, which is a spice that contains the anti-inflammatory antioxidant curcumin. Curcumin has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, making it a good candidate as a neuroprotective agent in a variety of neurological disorders.

Research suggests that curcumin may inhibit the accumulation of destructive beta amyloids which are found in the brain of Alzheimer's patients. They also have the ability to break up existing plaques. Curcumin has even been shown to boost memory and stimulate the production of new brain cells, not too shabby for something so incredibly delicious.

Garbanzo Beans

Also known as chick peas, garbanzo beans are one of the best food sources of magnesium (the others being kelp and green leafy vegetables). Magnesium citrate helps relax blood vessels, which in turn allows more blood to get to the brain and helps brain cell receptors speed transmission of information.

Blueberries

Blueberries contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants and other phytochemicals than almost any other food on the planet, and these antioxidants and phytochemicals have been linked to improvements in thinking, learning and memory, along with reductions in neurodegenerative oxidative stress.

Healthy Fats

In order for your brain to function at its optimum best you need to give it healthy fats from sources such as olives, high-fat dairy, olive and coconut oils, nuts, eggs, avocado and salmon.

Crab

Seafood lovers rejoice, just one serving of crab contains more than the daily requirement of phenylalanine, an amino acid that helps make the neurotransmitter dopamine, brain-stimulating adrenaline and noradrenaline and thyroid hormone, and, on top of all this, may even help fight Parkinson's disease. Crab is also a rich source of brain-boosting vitamin B12. That’s a win/win.

Foods to Avoid for a Healthy Brain

Now that you know what foods you should be eating more of, let’s take a look at the foods you should avoid if you want to protect your brain from degenerative diseases. And the big foods to avoid are sugars and carbohydrates, including gluten.

Though many people, doctors included, feel it’s okay for people who don’t suffer from celiac disease to eat gluten, gluten has the ability to affect most people’s health in a negative way because eating gluten makes our gut more permeable, which allows undigested proteins and the content of your gut, such as bacteria, to make its way into your blood stream. This then promotes inflammation and autoimmunity. Gluten essentially causes the contamination of our immune system with proteins it has never been exposed to before, and this wreaks havoc on or overall health, not to mention on the health of our brains.

There are numerous things you can do to help maintain a sharp mind - such as reducing the amount of stress in your day and doing more physical exercises - but the most important thing will always be to provide your body with the right nutrients it needs for a healthy mind. By simply giving your brain the help it needs to stay healthy, you can easily stay away from cognitive health conditions, such as dementia and Alzheimer's.

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