The correlation between high levels of mental performance and fitness and nutrition was proven by various studies, suggesting benefits for both the cognitive function and well being.
Exercise may increase the flow of oxygen to the brain, self-confidence and may reduce anxiety and depression. Aerobic exercises, like running and swimming, seem to be the most beneficial for brain health. Increased blood flow helps brain cells communicate better. Just 15-20 minutes of daily cardio can lower the risks associated with brain decline.
Nutrition is also important and there are superfoods that are particularly good for the brain health, having benefits such as memory boost, alertness, improved cognition, creativity and the overall brain function. Research shows that our brain’s ability to change can be influenced by our diet and lifestyle choices.
There are superfoods particularly good for the brain function such as:
• Blueberries – have powerful antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress, slow down the aging process and are loaded with vitamins and minerals benefic for the brain health. Blueberries were also found to reverse memory loss. Antioxidants are important mediators in the central nervous system and are linked with the reduction of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
• Avocado – is a fatty fruit having more potassium than bananas. The fatty acids have been associated with a decrease in inflammation and protection at celular level.
• Broccoli – sulforaphane, the main active compound in broccoli, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, promoting the growth and repair of the brain tissue. Broccoli sprouts have even more powerful ingredients.
• Coconut oil – the brain is largely made of fat and the brain cell membrane integrity depends mostly on the quality of the fats you eat. Coconut oil protects the brain against aging, reduces inflammation, combats stress and anxiety and protects against more serious cognitive decline. Take 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil daily for general brain benefits.
• Spinach – offers brain protection due to its nutrients good for the brain like folate, iron, calcium and vitamins E and K.
• Walnuts – are known for their brain-boosting powers, having nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. A handful of walnuts a day can help improve memory.
• Salmon – is rich in omega-3 fatty acids essential for the brain’s function, cognition and overall neurological health.
• Resveratrol – can improve memory and overall brain function, offers cardiovascular support and anti-aging protection.
• Chia seeds – packed with omega 3 fatty acids which have been shown to induce efficient electrical signaling between nerve cells, reduce inflammation and improve mental concentration.
• Water – dehydration can have a huge impact on the brain’s performance. It helps improve your brain’s function and keep it alert. There are studies that explore the impact of dehydration associated with the high health care costs.
Nootropics are superfoods and supplements that may improve the cognitive function, memory, creativity or motivation and boost the brain’s function. They are called „smart drugs” – but do nootropics actually make your smarter? There is promising evidence that some nootropics provide cognitive enhancement.
Superfoods benefits, similar to those of supplements, are cumulative, meaning you need to take them over longer periods of time to experience their full benefits. They can be particularly helpful as an overall strategy to manage stress during very active periods of time. Nootropics can be over the counter supplements or prescription substances. During your most stressful times, consider supplements rich in omega 3 fatty acids and flavonoids, guarana, theanine, magnesium, Lion’s Mane and rhodiola.
Smoothie for Brain Power
Enjoy easy to make recipe to start the day with mental power! In just 5 minutes and with only 6 ingredients, you can have a healthy and delicious breakfast, packed with nutrients.
• 1/2 avocado
• 1 ½ cups of strawberries/blueberries
• Coconut oil
• Mint leaves
• Honey to taste
Mix the ingredients in a blender and decorate with mint leaves. Serve it with ice and enjoy this powerful cocktail full of antioxidants.
Or try another recipe, in 2 layers:
Layer #1: a handful blueberries, one small yogurt with 1-2% fat
Layer #2: a handful raspberries, a handful figs, coconut oil, a few mint leaves
Mix the ingredients in the blender, put the layers in a glass and decorate with mint leaves. Serve within 10-15 minutes to prevent oxidation.
Bon appetit and have a cheerful morning!
Studies and research: