What are Superfoods?
We’ve all heard of “superfoods” but do certain foods actually have the power to supercharge your brain, mind, and body? Not necessarily, but there are foods that are linked to better overall brain functioning. At Elumind, we can look at your brain functioning through our QEEG Brain Mapping Technology. Because let’s be real, your brain is the most important part of your body. It is the vessel for you! Everything your body does comes from your brain, so of course, we want it to be in top shape. Let’s take a look at what Harvard Medical says are the best foods for better brainpower.
Foods you can eat for better brain health:
1. Green, leafy vegetables
Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli are rich in brain-healthy nutrients like vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene. Research suggests these plant-based foods may help slow cognitive decline. Our favorite way to include these in our diet is by either throwing some kale and spinach into our morning smoothie (no taste whatsoever, just a nice green color!), or by shopping them up super finely and adding them to omelets, pasta, curries, or whatever else you can think of.
2. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish are abundant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, healthy unsaturated fats that have been linked to lower blood levels of beta-amyloid—the protein that forms damaging clumps in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Try to eat fish at least twice a week, but choose varieties that are low in mercury, such as salmon, cod, and pollack. If you’re not a fan of fish, ask your doctor about taking an omega-3 supplement, or choose terrestrial omega-3 sources such as flaxseeds, avocados, and walnuts. We love baked salmon with salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika – add a side of broccoli and your favorite card and you’re set!
Flavonoids, the natural plant pigments that give berries their brilliant hues, also help improve memory, research shows. A study done by researchers at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that women who consumed two or more servings of strawberries and blueberries each week delayed memory decline by up to two-and-a-half years. This is another great food that you can throw into smoothies, add to oatmeal, cereal, or even just have as a snack at your work desk during the day.
4. Tea and coffee
The caffeine in your morning cup of coffee or tea might offer more than just a short-term concentration boost. In a 2014 study published in The Journal of Nutrition, participants with higher caffeine consumption scored better on tests of mental function. Caffeine might also help solidify new memories, according to other research. Our favorite way to enjoy caffeine is with a yummy matcha latte or peppermint tea. Substitute oat milk to lower the fat and calorie content and increase fiber!
Nuts are excellent sources of protein and healthy fats, and one type of nut, in particular, might also improve memory. A 2015 study from UCLA linked higher walnut consumption to improved cognitive test scores. Walnuts are high in a type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Diets rich in ALA and other omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to lower blood pressure and cleaner arteries. That’s good for both the heart and brain. Walnuts are a great food to add on top of oatmeal, cereal, salads, or baking!
So why eat superfoods for better brain health?
Eating healthy really does contain a host of benefits for your brain, body, and quality of life. Integrate these foods into your daily diet to support your functioning, mental health, and overall enjoyment. At Elumind we offer a variety of services to aid with your brain, body, and overall life. We want to know how you decide to work these foods into your life and have any unique recipes? Show us! We’d love to feature you on our social media pages.