Your brain burns more omega-3’s than any other organ in your body. Omega-3’s are the nutritional building blocks of the brain. They make myelin, the fatty sheath that surrounds the nerve cell, which helps speed nerve impulses and helps you think faster. Fish is an excellent source of omega-3. Studies have shown that eating two servings of salmon each week can lower the risk of stroke by 50 percent!
Blueberries and blackberries have high levels of antioxidants, which keep the blood brain barrier healthy. Blueberries have been linked to improvements in memory and the reversal of some degenerative changes often seen with aging nerve tissue. They also protect your cells from wear and tear from inflammation and improve blood flow by decreasing excessive blood clotting.
Similar to berries, green vegetables like bok choy, spinach, collard greens and asparagus are rich in folate (or folic acid), a nutrient for preserving neurotransmitter function. While the best sources of folic acid are green leafy vegetables, lentils, kidney beans, avocados, chickpeas and artichokes are excellent sources as well.
4. Smart Carbs
Your brain is a “carbo hog”. It needs a lot of the right carbs to function. Unlike other organs in your body, the brain doesn’t store glucose – it needs a constant supply – and it only uses glucose for fuel, not protein or fat. That means your brain needs a constant, steady supply of the right carbs in order to perform optimally. Think foods that come from nature like fruits and vegetables, not packaged and processed carbs like crackers and cookies!
5. Nuts + Seeds
Walnuts and ground flax seed are an excellent source of omega-3’s and should be included in any brain-healthy diet. Raw nuts are one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. They are high in protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamin E, calcium and many other vitamins and minerals. Go nuts!