Most people are aware that eating healthy will lead to good physical health. A healthy diet can prevent disease, provide more energy, increase longevity and generally make us feel great.
What many people don’t know, and what many schools neglect to teach us, is that a healthy diet is just as important for mental health as it is for physical health.
As you age, eating well will improve several bodily and cognitive functions, including your memory, physical health, mental acuteness and your energy levels. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps provide the fuel and nutrients needed for the brain to function properly, which can reduce the chances of developing mental health problems and can increase cognitive ability.
While eating a balanced diet is the best way to ensure cognitive health, there are some foods that stand out above others for people interested in ‘hacking’ their brains. This article will share some of the best foods that you can eat to enhance your brain health and cognition.
Oily Fish, Especially Salmon
Salmon and other oily fish are fantastic for your mental health. You’ve probably heard about how cod liver oil is a godsend for increasing mental health. This is because it’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, one of the most important set of nutrients required for brain function.
Getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet can help ensure that the signals in your brain can communicate effectively. This means that you’ll be able to think clearly and commit things to memory easier.
Eggs not only contain the highest quality forms of protein but they are also the best sources of choline that you’ll be able to find. Choline is turned by the body into acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that is primarily responsible for forming memories and producing logical thought patterns. Without choline, it can become quite hard to think.
Eggs are also rich in vitamin B12, another nutrient needed to ensure healthy cognitive function.
Dark chocolate and raw cacao are rich sources of magnesium, which helps the blood vessels in the body dilate. This brings more oxygen to the brain, allowing it to function better. Dark chocolate also contains theobromine, a sister-compound of caffeine known to promote well-being and energy.
Berries, Especially Blueberries
Blueberries and other forms of berries are fantastic sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants can help to reduce age-related cognitive decline and prevent mental diseases like Alzheimer’s from emerging.
Avocados are the best vegetable-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, and should be an essential on any vegetarian and vegan’s diet plan. Avocados also contain lots of other fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins E and K, which can be hard to obtain for vegans who don’t eat a lot of fatty food.
Green tea contains caffeine, which is known to make people alert and focused. However, green tea is undeniably a bit different than the more common caffeinated beverage, coffee.
The main reason for this is because green tea contains l-theanine, an amino acid that helps to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Paired with caffeine, this makes green tea a fantastic option for anyone hoping to enhance their cognitive abilities without becoming anxious or overwhelmed.
If you want to have a healthy brain and body, then the best thing you can do is have a healthy diet. “You are what you eat,” so if you eat a diet consisting exclusively of fresh, high-quality foods like vegetables, fruits, and grains containing nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, you’ll feel pretty great.