Did you know that our brain is responsible for about 20% of our body’s energy use? Your brain actually burns more energy when you are thinking extra hard, although the increase is not enough to account for any weight loss. Even so, what you feed your brain is especially important — especially for the workaholic that wants to impress your colleagues and bosses!
Try these brain-boosting foods for an extra push at work.
1. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish contain loads of omega-3. Our brain needs these healthy fats to build and maintain brain cells that are involved in learning and memory. There are even some studies that suggest its possible benefit on preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Pick out the fish that are low in mercury, which includes salmon, canned tuna or cod, and have it at least twice a week. If you’re not into fish, you can also try omega-3 supplements or obtain the nutrient from other vegetable sources.
Nuts are abundance sources of protein, healthy fats and vitamin E, which are great for the brain. They also contain essential oils and amino acids that help with focus and learning. Walnuts, in particular, have been reported to potentially cause improvements in memory and cognition levels.
Go nuts about nuts. Healthy nuts such as walnuts, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds or even nut butters would do the trick.
3. Dark Chocolate
Cocoa is an excellent source of flavanols, the substance that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The food has been found to increase blood flow to your brain, which helps to boost memory, focus and even mood.
The darker the chocolate, the more flavanol it contains, so try those that contain at least 85% or more cocoa. With that said, don’t go the other extreme and consume too much sweet milky chocolates as a high amount of sugar can offset the benefits.
Broccoli is filled with vitamin K and choline, powerful substances that help to keep your brain sharp and focused. Research has shown that broccoli can promote cell growth, which means it may play a role in preventing or treating brain conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
Since it’s the particular substance in broccoli, sulforaphane, that’s responsible for these effects, other vegetables like brussel sprouts may be great for your brain as well.
Studies have shown that strawberries, blueberries and acai berries may help delay natural brain ageing and memory loss. Particularly, blueberries were reported to cause an improvement on memory and focus, as well as guard the brain against stress and inflammation.
Like fatty fish, avocados are packed with omega-3s which boost brain function. It also contains at least 20 different vitamins, which help regulate blood pressure and improve eye health.
Avocados are no doubt delicious and healthy, but they contain a high amount of calories. You might want to limit your intake to a quarter or half of an avocado for each meal.