Archive for the ‘top brain foods’ Category

Top Brain Foods

July 23, 2015

Study after study has found a relationship between what we put in our mouths and how well we can perform important thinking and memory tasks. There are indeed some foods that have been shown to improve brain function, protect against age-associated cognitive decline, even Alzheimer’s disease, and encourage focus and clarity.

avacado1Avocados—High in fiber and free of sodium and cholesterol, avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids widely acknowledged as the secret to a healthy heart and brain.

Beets—Beets are a good source of naturally-occurring nitrates, which help open blood vessels in the body, increasing blood flow and oxygen to places lacking in oxygen.

Berries—The high antioxidant content of berries helps protect brain cells from damage by harmful free radicals. Also, berries change the way the neurons in the brain communicate with each other. These changes can prevent inflammation that can lead to brain cell damage and thereby improve movement control and function.

Caffeine—The mild stimulant found in coffee has been shown to improve mental acuity, in addition to coffee’s antioxidant richness which helps maintain brain health. Some research suggests that drinking coffee can actually stave off depression in women.

Dark chocolate—In addition to the caffeine content in dark chocolate, which is thought to play a role in maintaining mental acuity, chocolate is rich in flavonoids, a class of antioxidant that helps to improve blood flow (and thus brain health) by regulating cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.

Fatty fish—The omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, in sardines, salmon and other fatty fish are well-known brain boosters, which have been linked to lower risk of dementia, improved focus and memory.

Garlic— Garlic’s inflammation-reducing properties may be beneficial for your brain. Researchers have found that the organo-sulfur compounds in garlic actually worked to kill glioblastoma cells, a type of malignant tumor cell. Aged garlic extract, known as AGE, may play a part in protecting against brain function loss, as indicated by its ability to increase memory, cognitive functions and longevity.

Olive oil—great source of monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to actually slow brain aging.

Spinach—Leafy green and cruciferous vegetables such as spinach are rich in the antioxidant lutein, which is thought to help protect against cognitive decline.

Walnuts—Full of heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory nutrients, walnuts are the only good nut source of alpha linolenic acid. They means they help promote blood flow, which in turn allows for efficient delivery of oxygen to the brain.

Water— Our brains depend on proper hydration to function optimally. When you lose too much water, brain tissue actually shrinks. Dehydration can affect cognitive function, and impair short-term memory, focus and decision making.

Wheat germ—Foods such as wheat germ and eggs are rich in choline which is involved in the body’s production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that boosts memory.

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