Ginseng, Fish, Berries, or Caffeine?
If you listen to the buzz about foods and dietary supplements and believe them they can do everything from sharpen focus to enhance memory, attention span and brain function.
But do they really work? There's no denying that as we age, our body ages right along with us. The good news is that you can improve your chances of maintaining a healthy brain through adding smart foods and drinks into your diet.
A Daily Dose of Nuts and Chocolate
Seeds and nuts are good sources of the antioxidant Vitamin E which has been linked in some studies to less cognitive decline as you age. Dark chocolate also has other other powerful antioxidant properties while containing natural stimulants like caffeine which can enhance focus.
Your limit should be around an ounce a day of nuts and dark chocolate each to get the optimum benefits you want with little excess calories, fat or sugar.
Eat Breakfast to Fuel Your Brain
Breakfast being the most important meal of the day has been spoken about for many years, but did you know that eating breakfast can improve your short-term memory and attention? Still tempted to skip breakfast? Well students who eat it tend to perform better than those who don't. Foods at the top of researchers' brain-fuel list include high-fiber whole grains, dairy, and fruits. Just don't overeat; researchers also found high-calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration.
Fish Really is Brain Food
A protein source linked to a great brain boost is fish -- rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are key for brain health. These healthy fats have amazing brain power: A diet with higher levels of them has been linked to lower dementia and stroke risks and slower mental decline; plus, they may play a vital role in enhancing memory, especially as we get older.
For brain and heart health, eat two servings of fish weekly.
Add Avocados and Whole Grains
Each organ in the body is dependent on blood flow, especially the heart and brain. A diet which is high in whole grains and fruits like avocados can cut the risk of heart disease and lower bad cholesterol. This reduces your risk of plaque build-up and enhance blood flow, offering a simple, tasty way to fire up your brain cells.
Whole grains such as popcorn and whole wheat also contribute dietary fiber and vitamin E. Though, avocados have fat, it's the good for you, mono-unsaturated fat that helps with healthy blood flow.
Super Nutritious Blueberries
Research in animals shows that blueberries may help protect the brain from the damage caused by free radicals and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Studies also show that diets rich in blueberries improved both the learning and muscle function of aging rats, making them mentally equal to much younger rats.