If you suffer from poor concentration and the inability to focus during the day, try eating certain superfoods that increase your brain power and help you function better mentally and physically. Certain foods possess special qualities that increase your memory, enhance your cognitive thinking skills, keep you from becoming easily distracted and suffering brain fog. That's what makes them a superfood! Of course, we all know coffee can give you an energy boost, as well as green tea or even yerba mate tea, but don’t just rely on beverages alone for energy. Oh, and please don’t rely on those nasty energy drinks either! They’ll just make you crash later and are terrible for your body and brain. Instead, reach for some of my favorite superfoods that increase your brain power. As a bonus, many of them aren’t just good for you, but also for the planet too!
Cacao is probably my favorite of all superfoods that increase your brain power. I mean, hello, it is chocolate! Yet, beyond the taste of cacao, I’m in love with this magical ancient food for what it does for my brain. Cacao helps me focus when I just can’t seem to clear my head or get with the program. Cacao is rich in antioxidants that fuel the brain, but also rich in over thousands of chemicals that aid in enhancing memory, focus, attention span, and it increases your dopamine production, which puts you in a good mood. Some people warn against eating cacao since it is considered a natural stimulant, but overall, cacao is rich in so many nutrients like vitamins and minerals, it is actually higher in antioxidants than many fruits and veggies. I’m not saying not to eat your fruits and veggies of course, but do try to add a little cacao nibs in your oatmeal, smoothies, homemade treats or have some hot cocoa made with cacao powder. I also love cacao powder in my smoothies, along with the raw nibs. Cacao is the raw form of chocolate, which makes it nutritionally superior to processed chocolate.
Have you heard of maca root yet? Maca root is a powder you can buy in most health food stores, and it originates from Peru. It has a delicious malty texture to it, and it reminds me of butterscotch in flavor. Maca is rich in amino acids and adaptogenic properties, which means it wards off a bad mood, low energy, stress, high cortisol levels, hormonal imbalances and adrenal fatigue. I use about 1 tsp. per maca per day whether in my smoothies, raw energy bars, or in homemade puddings. I also like to buy my maca online to save money and prefer an organic brand for the best nutrition.
3. Leafy Greens
Never underestimate the power of leafy greens, ladies! They may be common, but they definitely deserve the superfood status! Leafy greens are so excellent for you. Rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, and even omega 3 fatty acids, leafy greens are some of the best foods you can eat for your brain and body. You’ll notice immediate changes in your thinking when eating leafy greens, such as clarity of mind, lower rates of depression and brain fog, and increased satiety, which can help prevent you from not functioning your best mentally. As a bonus, leafy greens are rich in fiber that stabilizes your blood sugar so you don’t get that exhausting crash later in the day from low blood sugar levels. I love spinach, romaine, kale, chard and arugula, but there are many others you can try too.
4. Certain Fish
Most fish serve as a great source of lean protein, and are overall good for you, but some stand out above the rest. Certain fish can increase your brain power due to their fatty acid makeup, and their B vitamin content. The top contenders include wild Alaskan or wild sockeye salmon, wild trout, wild halibut and low mercury brands of tuna such as Wild Planet Foods brand. When buying fish, it is extremely important to first buy from a sustainable source, free of mercury and produced in waters that are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. This ensures you’re getting the safest fish possible, which is extremely important for you and the fish you’re eating. Healthy sources of fish are a great alternative to meat, and when eaten twice a week have been shown to improve inflammation, prevent depression, and even increase your heart health.
5. Chia Seeds
My favorite vegan source of omega 3 fats are chia seeds, but not just because they’re a great source of omega 3s. I also love to use chia seeds to energize me since they are high in B vitamins and help increase my ability to focus. They also prevent low blood sugar, which can cause you to think poorly and suffer fatigue. Chia seeds are great to use in so many ways, and they are tasteless, which makes them easy to put in a variety of foods.
6. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are another food I suggest adding to your list of brain power foods to eat. Hemp seeds are great for boosting alertness, enhancing your energy, preventing depression, and helping you focus. They are rich in protein, which is essential to good brain function and cognitive thinking skills like memory and recall. Hemp seeds are also rich in omega 3 fats which stabilize your mood and increase your focus. Another great reason to eat hemp seeds is not only that they taste deliciously nutty, but they are also very high in magnesium, which calms you down, assisting with reducing stress that can interfere with your ability to think clearly. All you need is 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds per day to get your fill.
Don’t you just love blueberries? These beautiful little purplish blue gems are just so tasty! Plus, blueberries are available all year round, and feel free to use frozen, which in my opinion are tastier anyway. Why should you eat blueberries to increase your brain power? For starters, blueberries have a special type of antioxidants linked to enhanced memory. These antioxidants are known as anthocyanins. They help to reduce stress, reduce inflammation to the brain and body, and can help with memory recall and focus. While blueberries alone won’t give you perfect attention skills, when added to a healthy diet rich in other brain power foods, they have been linked to decreasing memory related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Blueberries are also low-glycemic so they won’t spike your blood sugar, which could cause you to crash later.
There are so many wonderful superfoods that can increase your brain power and these 7 I’ve mentioned are only the beginning! That being said, I’d love for us all to share some more of our favorite brain power foods that are healthy. What are your favorite superfoods that help increase your focus, improve your mood, and aid in reducing your stress levels? Share with me please!