What if I told you there were actually certain foods that increase your brain power? Would you change how you eat? If you’re looking for the easiest way to change your mental function, then read no further; this list is for you! Breakfast is a great time to work in any of these foods since breakfast is the most important meal to help you stay focused and energized all day. Most of these foods can be eaten for your first meal or at lunch, which will power you through the afternoon, preventing afternoon slumps. Foods rich in protein, vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants are key for providing your brain with the power it needs, yet certain amino acids and fats in the following foods also play a role in the ability to focus, your memory, and your mood, which all provide you with more brain power than choices such as a sugary pastry or fast food meal. Eat up and increase your brain power with these delicious foods, which are all favorites of mine!
Instead of turning to boring cereal, try cracking open one of the most powerful foods that increase your brain power with eggs! Eggs are such an awesome food for many reasons. First, they’re one of the best foods you can eat for satiety and staying full. Eggs are rich in amino acids and proteins that power your brain to fire neurons to help you focus, stay in a positive mood, and help to keep you full. Eggs are also rich in B vitamins and Vitamin D, which are both great for your energy, your mood, and your brain. Eggs are also a top source of choline, which is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine helps your remember things more efficiently so you won’t forget things as easily. This could come in handy on your boss’s birthday, or for those moments you can’t find your car keys!
Salmon’s protein, Omega 3 fatty acids and B vitamins make it one of my favorite brain foods. If you’re low on energy or in a bad mood, try eating some salmon. It is my personal cure all for a low mood, low energy, or an inability to focus. Salmon’s nutritional composition also calms the nervous system and quells sugar cravings due to the rich amino acids and minerals, such as magnesium, that it contains. Salmon is also a great source of iron so it keeps you energized all day. The Omega 3 fatty acids in salmon power your brain to focus better, prevent depression and tell your body you’re full so you don’t reach for sugary snacks all day. I love having salmon at lunch or dinner if I have a big day ahead, or a long night of work. It works like a charm!
3. Hemp Seeds
If you’re vegan, hemp seeds and hemp protein should be your best friend! Hemp is one of the best foods for vegans, in my opinion. Hemp’s nutritional profile resembles that of eggs and it is a rich source of protein, magnesium, Omega 3 fats, iron, B vitamins and zinc. Each of these nutrients are amazing for your brain. First, hemp seeds’ protein content help to fuel your brain and prevent fatigue, low mood, and sugar cravings. The healthy fats in hemp seeds and hemp protein also help to prevent depression and the fiber in hemp aids in digestion too, as an added bonus. Include some in salads, yogurt, smoothies, or however else you can think of.
Coconut is such a powerful food! Coconut is rich in amino acids, potassium, fiber and most importantly MCT fats, also known as medium-chain tryglyceride fats. MCT fats are amazing for increasing your brain power. They are extremely energizing and used immediately for energy, and not for storage. They also send a surge of energy throughout your whole body and prevent hunger, halt sugar cravings, and prevent depression. MCT fats are excellent at helping your remember things, have a more positive outlook, and be less hungry throughout the day since they keep your blood sugar stable. Coconut’s fiber also aids in healthy digestion, and coconut is nut and grain free, making it easy to digest and versatile for just about anyone.
5. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens, especially spinach, are one of the best brain foods to eat of all fruits and vegetables. Spinach and leafy greens like kale, chard, romaine and collards, are rich in folate, iron, B vitamins and magnesium. All of these nutrients are essential to increasing your brain power. They are also virtually calorie-free, so eat them however you can. I eat them in salads, blend them in smoothies and cook with them at every single meal.
Coffee’s antioxidants have been proven to be one of the most powerful of all antioxidants, especially for brain power. Coffee aids in insulin production, so it keeps your blood sugar stable in small amounts, and coffee has also been linked to prevention against depression in women, and preventing Alzheimer’s disease, along with being great for diabetics. Coffee also contains magnesium and B vitamins, so it assists in nervous system function, helping to quell your nerves. No one can argue the benefits of coffee for helping you focus better and work more efficiently, which is probably why every office out there has a coffee pot in the employee lounge!
Berries are an excellent food for your brain! All berries are rich in antioxidants known as anthocynanins, which aid in prevention against aging and help to increase your memory. Berries are also great for your heart and blood pressure, so eat these gorgeous fruits as often as you like! You’ll be smarter and happier too!
Cacao, or raw chocolate, is one of the richest sources of antioxidants, magnesium, iron and B vitamins. Cacao is also rich in amino acids. Each of these nutrients play a key role in brain power, but more importantly, cacao is rich in certain chemicals that actually promote a sense of euphoria in the brain, and increase a hormone that your body strongly relates to love and happiness. Cacao is great for low energy, inability to focus, and a bad mood. Blend raw cacao powder into smoothies, energy bars, or try some raw cacao nibs in a homemade trail-mix. Cacao, unlike chocolate, is also caffeine-free, making it easier on your adrenal glands so you don’t become as tired as quickly. I find it just as effective as coffee for helping me focus, and it makes a great morning smoothie!
If you need some help starting your day on the right foot, try one of these powerful brain foods that will make you smarter, happier and give you an extra pep to your step! Do you enjoy any of these foods each day?