Food is delicious. No getting around that. Food is nutritious. We all know that as well. But can food make you smarter? Sure can, homey. That’s why I grab my Oreos before every test.
Certain food choices we make can enhance brain function in various ways. Some foods affect the chemistry of the brain in positive ways, and can increase the release of serotonin. Even Hippocrates knew that the gut and the brain were intertwined, and when the father of modern medicine talks we should listen. So what are these magical brain foods? Well, let’s take a look at a few, and how they can affect our noggin.
A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that eating blueberries can lead to reversal of nerve cell damage. They have also been linked to improved short-term memory and coordination.
Fish containing high fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are a brain’s best friend. DHA is found in large concentrated amounts in the brain, and is considered an essential nutrient for enhancing learning ability and mental development. Fish high in fatty acids include salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel.
These delicious beauties have plenty of fat, but a big portion is the good, healthy, unsaturated kind. Unsaturated fats help brain cell membranes stay flexible. They also protect nerve cells in the brain and improve muscle strength.
Ever heard of choline? Choline is a component of the following two molecules in the brain: phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin. Get that? Good. These two molecules account for a lot of the brain’s total mass, making choline important for brain function. And egg yolks? They’re lousy with choline!
Aside from the aforementioned choline, broccoli also has vitamin K, which helps to strengthen cognitive abilities. The folic acid contained in broccoli helps reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and prevent depression.
Another food that helps the brain (and even looks a little like one!) is the walnut. Rich in fatty acids that help cognitive function, a few walnuts mixed in with cereal or as a snack makes for a smart meal.
But if your bar is out of avocado-blueberry-broccoli egg-smothered fish, don’t say I didn’t warn you.