The 8 Best Brain Foods
Food for your brain isn’t just a saying, it’s a fact! However, we spend so much time watching our waistlines we often forget about nourishing the most important organ in the human body. When our brains aren’t working at an optimal level, it makes healthy weight management much more challenging.
The National Stem Cell Institute (NSI) sees it all the time, especially when weight is a particular issue with diseases like diabetes. Patients are surprised when NSI doctors recommend diet regimens that are brain food-heavy as a way of stabilizing blood sugar levels and maximizing healthy weight.
So what types of food are fit for the brain? There are many, in fact, and most are easy to incorporate into delicious recipes. But let’s focus on 8 particular foods that many experts consider the best for your brain.
Brain Food Basics
Brain foods tend to multi-task, which is why many foods that directly nourish the brain also nourish other parts of the body. They influence energy levels, boost productivity, enhance memory, and help keep mental focus. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that focusing on proper nutrition and addressing micronutrient deficiencies can raise a person’s level of productivity by as much as 20 percent!
When you give this a little thought, it makes perfect sense. Unless you work in a physically strenuous profession, the reason your body is tired isn’t from a lack of exercise, it’s because your brain lacks the nutrients to keep it energized. You’ve probably also noticed that focus and concentration wanes, too. Being smart about choosing food for your brain throughout the day can overall boost productivity, sharpen focus, and keep you energized while everyone else is dosing up on too much caffeine in a desperate bid to overcome that midday lull.
The 8 Best Foods for Boosting Productivity
Whether you like them scrambled, poached, or lightly fried in heart-healthy oils, eggs remain breakfast royalty for a reason. They are the consummate brain food, full of protein that stays with you virtually all day long. Eggs are packed with an essential nutrient called choline, which cranks up your cognition levels.
Starting your day with a high-protein breakfast like eggs isn’t just good for your brain, it’s great for your waistline too. Breakfasts that are rich in protein do a better job reducing ghrelin than those that are high in carbohydrates.
Ghrelin is a peptide hormone that stimulates hunger.
When ghrelin production is suppressed, you feel fuller for longer. That alone allows your brain to concentrate more effectively. So beginning your day with a high-protein food like the egg is a kind of one-two punch against fatigue and poor focus. After all, it’s pretty hard to think about the task at hand when your belly is grumbling!
- Green Tea
Green tea can be enjoyed hot or iced. Adding it to your breakfast is a great way to fuel your brain and kick the day off right. Don’t forget to make it a part of your midday reboot as recent animal studies point to green tea extract having an affect on chronic fatigue.
Meanwhile, a 2017 scientific review published on PubMed.gov had some very impressive things to say about green tea’s positive effects on the brain. Among its many benefits are:
- Reduced anxiety
- Improved memory
- A noticeable increase in attention
- Dark Chocolate
For many people, the news about great brain food doesn’t get any better than this. Dark chocolate is at the top of the list of foods that increase productivity. One reason why is that dark chocolate contains caffeine, which everyone knows helps boost energy levels, concentration, and alertness.
But it just gets better. Dark chocolate also has magnesium, an essential mineral that animal studies have linked to enhanced learning and memory. Of course, the key to reaping the brain benefits of dark chocolate is moderation. With that in mind, most people can enjoy a square or two of this sweet treat guilt-free.
Here’s one that’s not just powerfully nutritious, it even protects the brain against aging! This is because almonds are rich in vitamin E. A single-ounce serving provides 37% of most people’s daily requirement of the vitamin. Almonds, too, are great for natural appetite and craving control. Use them for a midday snack and you’ll feel the result almost immediately.
Animal studies have linked almonds to increased acetylcholine levels in the brain. Acetylcholine is a type of neurotransmitter associated with learning and memory. And if you’re a woman from the Baby Boomer era, the news just gets better. A 2014 Brigham and Women’s Hospital study connected increased nut consumption with improved attention and cognitive function in older women.
Beetroot is more commonly known as the beet, and this versatile veggie is only now beginning to get the respect it deserves as a powerhouse food for your brain. Beets are loaded with productivity-boosting benefits. The source of all this goodness is the beet’s concentrations of nitrates. Nitrates are compounds that are essentially natural vasodilators. They promote exceptional blood flow to certain areas of the brain related to attention and self-regulation.
Beetroot juice is the perfect way to get the right amount. For many people, however, the best way to drink beet juice is to use it in a blend with other juices like apple, cherry, pineapple, or orange. The blends do the flavor trick, making the drinking of beet juice a true delight. Don’t have a juicer? There are many naturally flavored beet juice powders of good quality online, as well. Just add water!
By now, who hasn’t heard of salmon’s remarkable megadoses of omega-3 fatty acids? Omega-3s are at the top of the foods list that fuels the brain for mental energy and focus. Omega-3s have a long pedigree of health benefits that go beyond these, including:
- Lowering “bad” cholesterol blood levels
- Memory enhancement
- Rheumatoid arthritis relief
- Infant visual and neurological development
- Relieving depression
Broccoli is already known as a great source of vitamin C that builds collagen which is essential for forming tissue and bone. Collagen also helps heal cuts and wounds. But more importantly, broccoli is also packed with choline, which cranks up your cognition levels and is involved in brain development and memory function!
Lastly, broccoli is also rich in fiber which helps in maintaining a healthy weight while keeping the digestive tract running smoothly. When it comes to a brain food that multi-tasks, broccoli is one of the best!
- Sweet Potatoes
The sweet potato is a trifecta of healthy brain and body goodness. These tasty tubers are nutrient dense, including vitamins A and C, both of which have been shown to play a positive role in brain function. They also contain complex carbohydrates (“good” carbs), which are digested and absorbed slowly.
That means if you make sweet potatoes part of your lunch several times a week, you will feel fuller which helps you avoid that mid-afternoon energy slump. Finally, the complex carbs in sweet potatoes help stabilize blood glucose levels, something essential for both short and long-term good health.
Remember: Your Body Knows!
The secret behind the benefits of these 8 great brain foods is consistency. Slathering a few broccoli florets in ranch dressing a couple of times a month or gobbling up a full bar of dark chocolate at the end of the day isn’t going to get you the pay-off in brain and body benefits you’re looking for. The same way your car needs a consistent flow of quality fuel to get you where you want to go, your brain and body need consistent fueling with quality foods to avoid “running out of gas” at the end of the day.
You’ll notice a certain level of benefits almost immediately when changing to healthier eating habits. To reap the true rewards and to really notice a super-charge in brain function and overall energy, means putting a long-run focus on dietary balance and daily nutrition.
Fuel isn’t the only thing your body needs, however.
Let’s go back to that car analogy. To run properly and last longer, your vehicle needs more than just a quality fuel source. It needs regular maintenance, too, right? Likewise with your brain and body. Good “maintenance” for the brain and body includes:
Getting plenty of quality sleep
Getting regular physical activity
Develop habits that keep your life organized
Take a few short breaks every day
Developing a consistent diet that provides food for your brain as well as your body will boost energy levels, concentration, memory, and alertness in ways that are bound to amaze you. You’ll be surprised at the variety of nutritious foods that are flavorful and satisfying, and chances are high that you’ll find yourself preferring these to your choices of old. That’s because these great foods are literally giving your brain and body what they crave for energy.
You’ll notice some benefits almost immediately, but will be amazed by how much your ability to focus increases, how energized you feel, and the level of your cognition and attention as you stick with the right nutrition month in and month out.
But, remember, great brain food is just one leg of the full health/full energy stool.
Adding good practices like quality sleep, the right amount of physical activity, and adopting quality-of-life habits will all raise energy and drop anxiety levels.
One final thought. Don’t beat yourself up if you “fall off the wagon” as many do early on. Every time you hop back on the healthy brain/body wagon the longer you’ll ride. One day you may find yourself looking around and realize just how far you’ve traveled from those old, unhealthy habits!
About the National Stem Cell Institute (NSI)
The physicians and staff of the National Stem Cell Institute (NSI) believe in an integrative approach to health and treatment. NSI is a leading regenerative medicine cell clinic based in the United States that specializes in stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma therapy. From diseases like diabetes and COPD to injuries of the spine and joints, NSI has helped patients recover from disease, heal from injury, and improve quality of life.
NSI is a fully licensed regenerative medicine facility that strictly adheres to FDA guidelines. NSI encourages the public to call with any questions regarding stem cell therapy and how it may pertain to any health concerns. Below, NSI offers tips on selecting the right stem cell clinic for you.
What to Look for in a Stem Cell Medical Clinic
When searching for a qualified stem cell therapy center it’s important to remember that not all of them are created equal. Stem cells, when used properly, are your body’s most powerful means for healing that can repair everything from ligaments, tendons and cartilage to organs including your liver, pancreas and lungs and even neurological tissue like your brain, nerves and spinal cord.
Unfortunately, the majority of so-called “regenerative medicine clinics” in the world aren’t trained in the latest, most technologically advanced procedures and will, therefore, provide poor results if any.
The good news is the National Stem Cell Institute (NSI) has established the most advanced stem cell and platelet rich plasma procedures. This has drawn in patients from around the world including professional athletes and celebrities.
What makes NSI Stem Cell the top stem cell clinic in the world is demonstrated in 5 key areas:
1. Highly trained and experienced, board-certified doctors and team members who have performed stem cell procedures on thousands of patients with incredible results.
2. Cutting edge procedures utilizing all that regenerative medicine has to offer for many chronic degenerative conditions.
3. Leading scientific researchers who follow the advanced guidelines to maximize the healing potential of your stem cells and to maintain compliance and ethics
4. Use of only the most potent and viable resource of living, viable stem cells and harvested on the same day. No vial that you can purchase will contain living stem cells. If there is no harvest then there are no stem cells.
5. Post-operative guidance for supporting stem-cell growth including rehabilitation, diet and supplement protocols. NSI is a full-service healthcare center focused on patient outcomes. Stem cell therapy is only one tool used to help improve patients’ lives.
Patients have raved about their experience at NSI Stem Cell Clinics testifying that it was their unique cutting-edge procedures that helped them experience a breakthrough when nothing else worked.
If you want to learn more about NSI Stem Cell Clinics, you can set up a complimentary consultation today to see if you are a candidate. You can contact the National Stem Cell Institute at (877) 278-3623.