Have you ever heard the expression, “you are what you eat”? While overused, the phrase holds meaning. Food is fuel and if you fuel your body with the right foods, your body will—in turn—work your body well. Our top five super “brain foods” are easy to incorporate in any meal, day or night, and can help work your Mental Health just in time for May’s Mental Health Awareness Month!
Good, Good, Good for the Heart: Beans are economical and often over-looked. From the iron-enriched lentil, to the high-protein and high-fiber black bean, beans are full of the daily vitamins you need to aid your brain in working to it’s top potential. Beans also stabilize glucose levels, which your brain depends on for fuel. The powerful bean can store and slowly release glucose for a long-lasting effect.
Did you know? Studies have shown that a handful of walnuts a day can boost mental performance, improve function and help reduce memory loss. A study conducted by the British Journal of Nutrition revealed that participants who added a half cup of walnuts to their diet for eight weeks saw an 11% increase in inferential reasoning skills which allows you to use prior experiences to deduce information in the future.
Packed with Vitamin K, broccoli is known to enhance cognitive function and improve brain power. In addition, broccoli contains sulforaphane, which has been found to strengthen and repair the blood/brain barrier following damage from injury or illness.
Strawberries contain polyphenolics and flavonoids. These aid in the cleansing the brain from toxins that inhibit your memory from working in tip-top shape! Based on a survey of 16,000 women, those who ate strawberries had a two and a half year delay in the on-set of memory problems and the development of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Beets (and beet juice) are rich in nitrates. Nitrates are responsible for an increase in blood flow to the brain, which results in better memory, improved attention span, a higher concentration and pin-point reasoning skills.