“How we think plays a significant role in how we feel. The more we focus on the positive things in our life the more likely it will be that you will enjoy a sense of well-being. Positive thinking brings positive responses in your body which can boost your mood and diminish stress“– Paul Ebeling
Having a healthy eating plan can lead you to have a more positive outlook and not just about being healthy.
When you eat real foods, you can raise the levels of serotonin, and this acts as a mood stabilizer. Not only does it boost your mood, it also promotes healthy sleeping patterns. A study has shown serotonin levels can affect mood and behavior, with links to feeling good and chances of living longer.
So, it pays to have an all-around healthy eating plan such as a Mediterranean style diet which provides all the nutrients and vitamins you need on a daily basis.
Our brains are a big deal!
As the control center of the body, it’s in charge of keeping your heart beating and lungs breathing and allowing you to move, feel and think.
That is why it is a good idea to keep our brain in peak working condition.
The foods we eat play a role in keeping the brain healthy and can improve specific mental tasks, such as memory and concentration.
Here are some real foods that boost brain power, as follows:
When people talk about brain foods, fatty fish is often at the Top of the list.
This type of fish includes salmon, trout and sardines, which are all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids
About 60% of your brain is made of fat, and half of that fat is the omega-3 kind
The brain uses omega-3s to build brain and nerve cells, and these fats are essential for learning and memory.
Omega 3-s also have a couple additional benefits for our brains.
For one thing, they may slow age-related mental decline and help ward off Alzheimer’s disease.
On the flip side, not getting enough omega-3s is linked to learning impairments, as well as depression.
In general, eating fish seems to have positive health benefits.
One study found that people who eat fish regularly had more gray matter in their brains. Gray matter contains most of the nerve cells that control decision making, memory and emotion. Overall, fatty fish is an excellent choice for brain health.
If coffee is the highlight of your morning, you will be glad to hear that it is good for you, as the 2 main components in coffee, caffeine and antioxidants help the brain.
The caffeine in coffee has a number of positive effects on the brain, including:
- Increased alertness: Caffeine keeps your brain alert by blocking adenosine, a chemical messenger that makes you sleepy
- Improved mood: Caffeine may also boost some of your “feel-good” neurotransmitters, such as serotonin.
- Sharpened concentration: One study found that when participants drank one large coffee in the morning or smaller amounts throughout the day, they were more effective at tasks that required concentration.
Drinking coffee over the long term is also linked to a reduced risk of neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Blueberries provide numerous health benefits, including some that are specifically for the brain.
Blueberries and other deeply colored berries deliver anthocyanins, a group of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Antioxidants act against both oxidative stress and inflammation, conditions that may contribute to brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases.
Some of the antioxidants in blueberries have been found to accumulate in the brain and help improve communication between brain cells
Broccoli is packed with powerful plant compounds, including antioxidants.
It’s also very high in vitamin K, delivering more than 100% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) in a 1-cup (91-gram) serving.
This fat-soluble vitamin is essential for forming sphingolipids, a type of fat that’s densely packed into brain cells.
A few studies in older adults have linked a higher vitamin K intake to better memory
Beyond vitamin K, broccoli contains a number of compounds that give it anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which may help protect the brain against damage.
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are packed with a few brain-boosting compounds, including flavonoids, caffeine and antioxidants.
Flavonoids are a group of antioxidant plant compounds.
The flavonoids in chocolate gather in the areas of the brain that deal with learning and memory. Researchers say these compounds may enhance memory and also help slow down age-related mental decline.
In fact, a number of studies back this up.
In 1 study including over 900 people, those who ate chocolate more frequently performed better in a series of mental tasks, including some involving memory, than those who rarely ate it.
Chocolate is also a legitimate mood booster, according to research.
Another study found that participants who ate chocolate experienced increased positive feelings, compared to participants who eat crackers.
Doing so is important for brain health, since vitamin C is a Key factor in preventing mental decline.
Eating sufficient amounts of vitamin C-rich foods can protect against age-related mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a Y 2014 review article.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off the free radicals that can damage brain cells. Plus, vitamin C supports brain health as we age.
Eggs are a good source of several nutrients tied to brain health, including vitamins B6 and B12, folate and choline.
Choline is an important micronutrient that your body uses to create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory.
Two studies found that higher intakes of choline were linked to better memory and mental function.
Nevertheless, many people do not get enough choline in their diet.
Eating eggs is an easy way to get choline, given that egg yolks are among the most concentrated sources of this nutrient.
Adequate intake of choline is 425 mg per day for most women and 550 mg per day for men, with just a single egg yolk containing 112 mg.
Furthermore, the B vitamins have several roles in brain health.
To start, they may help slow the progression of mental decline in the elderly
Also, being deficient in 2 types of B vitamins folate and B12 has been linked to depression.
Folate deficiency is common in elderly people with dementia, and studies show that folic acid supplements can help minimize age-related mental decline
B12 is also involved in synthesizing brain chemicals and regulating sugar levels in the brain.
There is research to support the brain-boosting benefits of the nutrients found in eggs.
Many foods can help keep your brain healthy.
Some foods, such as the fruit and vegetable in this list, as well as coffee, have antioxidants that help protect the brain from damage.
Others, such as nuts, seeds and eggs, contain nutrients that support memory and brain development.
You can help support your brain health and boost your alertness, memory and mood by including these real foods in your eating plan, and eliminate all processed foods and sugary drinks.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively