If you're feeling a little nervous about your forgetfulness, you might want to consider adding some of the best brain foods to your diet on a daily basis. Your brain is an organ with specific dietary needs, and how you feed it affects how you think. What your brain needs is a well-balanced, low cholesterol, low saturated fat diet. Brain foods include foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, shown to improve brain function and aid in keeping blood vessels in the brain clear of blockages. Along with this, the following healthy foods will help your brain optimally function.
1. Coffee Beans
Psychology Today has good news for coffee drinkers. For years experts have argued over whether or not coffee is good for you. It is, in fact, loaded with antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Recent findings show it to be one of the best brain foods, reducing the risks of mental decline including diseases like dementia and Alzheimer's. However, drinking your coffee loaded with cream, sugar and other chemicals should be avoided.
Blueberries are also regarded as great brain food by Psychology Today. These flavorful little berries, also known as the "brain berry", are considered a superfood when eaten in their natural form. Studies at Tufts University have found that adding blueberries to your diet may slow, and even reverse, age-related brain decline.
Essential fatty acids are important to brain health and function. According to the Franklin Institute, avocados are a good source of healthy fat.
You may be surprised to see water on this list of brain foods, but it actually is important to brain health. Lumosity.com adds water to its list of necessary brain foods because it is important to keep your brain hydrated. If you don't, it can lead to long-term neuronal damage due to continual higher-than-normal levels of stress hormones.
Before you get too excited at seeing chocolate on this list of brain foods, it's important to note that dark chocolate is best because it contains the flavanol epicatechin and antioxidants. The down side is unsweetened chocolate tastes bitter and most candy bars are also loaded with sugar.
Many people think of celery as diet food, but it is more than that. It ranks among the best brain foods because it is a rich source of phytonutrients like quercetin which promotes prostate and brain health.
7. Dark-skinned Fruits and Vegetables
The Alzheimer's Association recommends dark-skinned fruits and vegetables for their high levels of antioxidants. These include: alfalfa sprouts, beets, red bell pepper, blackberries (and blueberries mentioned above), broccoli, brussels sprouts, cherries, corn, eggplant, kale, onion, oranges, plums, prunes, raspberries, red grapes, spinach, and strawberries.
9. Grains and Starchy Vegetables
Whole foods including grains, starchy vegetables (like yams), and legumes all contain loads of B vitamins, antioxidants, trace minerals, and fiber. These complex carbs digest slower than simple sugars and keep blood sugar levels steady which in turn keeps brain energy high for prolonged periods.
The Thinking Business reminds people who take supplements to be sure to include vitamins A, C and E, powerful antioxidants that promote and preserve memory in the elderly.