Boost Your Brainpower with Your Food Choices


It’s not like you’re anywhere close to a mid-life crisis, but, still, your brain might not be quite what it used to be. The rigor of working 40-hour weeks for the first time and probably getting little to no sleep (by the time you go to the gym and get drinks with friends) can really drain your brain power. If you haven’t already, incorporate these superfoods into your diet to give your brain an edge:

  • Olive oil. By now, you’ve probably jumped on the olive oil bandwagon. Is it really a bandwagon, though, if chefs have been using olive oil for hundreds of years? Even before they understood the chemistry behind it, chefs knew that olive oil was the best choice for cooking because it carried a distinct flavor and made eaters feel good. Today, we contribute the latter effect to the vitamin E in olive oil and other veggie-based oils. A potent antioxidant, vitamin E can help protect your brain from free radicals. It’s also available via nuts and seeds.
  • Fatty fish. “Omega-3s” is a term tossed around a lot today, especially in the food blogosphere, but what does it really mean? Omega-3s are fatty acids found in high concentrations in fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel. Your body can’t make omega-3 fatty acids, so you have to eat them, and you should want to if you know anything about their anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation in the body can trigger a slew of other issues, including trouble in the brain.
  • Dark leafy greens. Like olive oil, dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach are especially rich in vitamin E. But the antioxidant isn’t the only nutrient you’ll get from slurping down a green smoothie. Dark leafy greens also contain folate, a powerful B vitamin that could potentially protect nerve cells in your brain from certain death.
  • Avocado. Just like in the case of fish, fat isn’t necessarily bad. The type of monounsaturated fat that exists in an avocado actually boosts heart health and blood flow which, in turn, supplies enough blood to your brain to keep it firing on all cylinders. What’s more, the fat in avocados can help lower blood pressure—which also slashes your chances of getting hit with cognitive issues anytime in the near future.
  • Blueberries. Blueberries are practically synonymous with brain health. They’re chock full of so many powerful antioxidants that some medical professionals say a dose a day could cut down your chances of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. Even with Alzheimer’s out of the picture, blueberries have still been shown to keep the mind sharp into old age, at least in rats who ate them regularly in a clinical trial.
  • Tomatoes. Lycopene is another antioxidant, and it shows up in ample amounts in tomatoes. If you’ve been thinking about starting your own garden this summer, begin with tomatoes and fight cancer while you enjoy fresh salsa.

  • September 23rd, 2015
  • Posted in: AVA