If you could protect your brain from degeneration, feed your neurons, and even boost the production of neurotransmitters just by consuming more delicious whole foods… would you? Good news for those who answered yes… it is undoubtedly possible to boost your intellectual performance through your diet. And if you’re wondering which foods are best for your brain, take a look at the top 9 below.
9 super foods to promote for your intellectual performance
- The curry
Curry contains turmeric, a spice that itself contains curcumin, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Curcumin is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, which is one of the reasons that makes it a promising neuroprotective agent for many neurological disorders.
Curcumin also stimulates memory and the production of new brain cells, a process called neurogenesis.
A word of advice… some curry powders contain very little curcumin compared to pure turmeric powder, so favor the latter, you will get more benefit from it.
- The celery
Celery is a rich source of luteolin, a plant compound that can calm brain inflammation, the main cause of neurodegeneration. Luteolin is also associated in mice with a decrease in age-related memory loss. Apart from celery, bell peppers and carrots are also good sources of luteolin.
- Broccoli and cauliflower
Broccoli and cauliflower are good sources of choline, a B vitamin known for its role in brain development. In animals, choline intake during pregnancy “supercharged” brain activity in utero, indicating that choline may boost cognitive function, improve learning and memory. It may even decrease loss of age-related memory as well as the brain’s vulnerability to toxins during childhood, and even confer protection for later life. Eggs and meat are among the best sources of choline.
Walnuts are a good source of plant-derived omega-3s, phytosterols, and natural antioxidants, and have been shown to reverse brain aging in old rats. DHA in particular, is a type of omega-3 fatty acid that has been shown to boost brain function and even promote brain healing, although the original omega-3 sources animals, such as krill, contain more than nuts.
- The crab
One serving of crab contains more than your daily requirement of phenylalanine, an amino acid that helps make the brain-boosting neurotransmitter dopamine, adrenaline, norepinephrine and thyroid hormones, and may help fight disease of Parkinson’s. Crab is also an excellent source of brain-boosting vitamin B12.
Chickpeas are one of the best dietary sources of magnesium (apart from kelp and leafy green vegetables). Magnesium citrate helps brain cell receptors to speed up the transmission of messages, while relaxing blood vessels, which increases blood flow to the brain.
- Red meat
Red meat, especially pasture-fed beef, is an excellent source of vitamin B12, essential for good brain function. People with severe vitamin B12 deficiencies are more likely to score low on cognitive tests and have smaller total brain volume, suggesting that a lack of the vitamin can lead to brain shrinkage.
- The blueberries
The antioxidants and other phytochemicals in blueberries are associated with improved learning, thinking, and memory as well as reduced neurodegenerative oxidative stress. They are also relatively low in fructose, which makes them particularly healthy fruits.
- The good fats
Among the beneficial fats that your body – and your brain in particular – needs to function optimally, we find for example organic raw butter, organic raw clarified butter (made from milk from pasture-raised cows), olives , organic virgin olive oil and coconut oil, pecans and macadamia nuts, free-range eggs, wild Alaskan salmon and avocados.