Foods That Help Boost Brain Power

They say you are what you eat. Following are some foods that researchers have determined can help you improve mental performance.

beets1Beets—Nosh on this root vegetable to boost brain power. Scientists at Wake Forest University determined that natural nitrates in beets can increase blood flow to the brain, thereby improving mental ability.

Sage—They don’t call it “sage” for nothing. A study published in Pharmacological Biochemical Behavior found that young adults who took sage-oil extract (50 micro liters) before cognitive tests performed better than those given a placebo. Sage contains compounds that prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory.

Iron—A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women with healthy iron levels performed better on mental tasks and completed them faster than those with poor iron status. Iron helps transport oxygen throughout the body and to the brain. In addition to red meat, choose iron-rich dried fruit, cereals and grains, egg yolks, spinach, and beans.

Eggs—The yolks of eggs are a leading source of choline. Choline is a precursor for acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in helping you remember things like where you left the car keys. Eating protein-rich foods like eggs for breakfast can improve overall cognitive performance.

Walnuts—When crunch time comes along, pop a handful of walnuts. Scientists at Tufts University in Boston found that a diet rich in walnuts may improve mental performance. A synergy between the specific type of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids in this nut might be at work here to boost brain power.

Vegetables—Harvard Medical School researchers found that women who ate the most vegetables experienced a slower rate of cognitive decline than women who ate the least vegetables. High on the list were green leafy vegetables (spinach and romaine lettuce) and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower).

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. Learn more about Optiminds’ customized tutoring programs by calling Dr. Stewart today at (248) 496-0150 or email her at: jstewart@optimindsct.com. And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at: optimindsct.com.

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