While many people focus on good heart health, they often overlook the importance of taking those extra steps to keep their brain healthy and sharp. However, that’s a big mistake as the brain controls so many essential functions in the body, such as:
- Cognitive functions
In other words, keeping your brain healthy is vital to keeping the rest of your body in good health. Here are our five common superfoods that can help sharpen your focus and memory.
Berries are an important superfood essential to keeping your brain healthy. They are packed full of key nutrients that aid in keeping you mentally sharp and focused. Some of these include:
These nutrients help promote good brain cell health, as well as reduce stress and anxiety. We recommend trying to eat a half or a single cup serving of berries each day.
2. Dark Chocolate
You might be surprised to learn that extra dark chocolate contains lots of antioxidants and cacao flavonoids that are needed to preserve healthy brain cells. Furthermore, chocolate has fiber that can reduce brain inflammation and cognitive decline. As long as you can have the sugar, you should aim to eat around 45 grams of extra dark chocolate each week.
3. Fermented Foods
Humans have a gut-brain connection. The health of your stomach impacts the health of your brain. Fermented foods – like yogurt and sauerkraut – contain what’s referred to as “good bacteria” that help keep your digestive system healthy.
Therefore, by eating fermented foods that boost gut health, you can also boost your cognitive functions.
4. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are an important brain-healthy superfood that should be part of your regular diet. They contain folate – a type of vitamin B that promotes neurotransmitter function and neurodevelopment. Folate deficiency has been found to lead to higher levels of cognitive decline and depression. Common leafy greens include spinach, swiss chard, watercress, and even dandelion greens.
Lastly, turmeric, the main ingredient in curry powder, includes a compound known as curcumin. Curcumin is a powerful superfood with anti-inflammatory substances. Eating it can help reduce cognitive decline and lower anxiety levels.
Turmeric is even more potent for your brain health when it’s combined with black pepper. Just add a pinch of black pepper to your turmeric – which will activate the curcumin – and provide your brain with a shot of anti-inflammatory nutrition.
In short, you can promote better brain health and wellness by eating a well-balanced diet that includes nutritious superfoods that are key to promoting good cognitive functions and memory. For example, you can eat a bowl of berries each morning for breakfast – or as a side dish with your lunch or dinner. Extra dark chocolate can make both a healthy and decadent snack to enjoy in moderation. Fermented foods like yogurt help promote that important gut-brain connection. Try including leafy greens in your salads and on your sandwiches. When you are looking for a good spice that’s also good for your brain, add a little turmeric with black pepper.
For more information about your overall health, contact us today!