In this post I share with you my
must eat brain foods
Neurogenesis is the process by which new neurons are formed in the brain. The process is increased by mental stimulation, exercise, intermittent fasting (new blog post coming up; make sure to subscribe), foods rich in flavonoids, DHA and curcumin, and supplements such as Ginko Biloba, Folic Acid and vitamins C, D, B1, B6, B12,and Folic Acid. You may find more information here.
The foods I eat daily and recommend you to consume as well are the following:
- Blueberries. Different studies have showed, and continue to demonstrate, that he flavonoids found in blueberries protect brain cells from oxidative stress and inflammation. Furthermore, according to this published research (1), the regular consumption of blueberries increases the working memory, protects our vision, promote levels of a growth factor called BDNF, which enhances brain cell growth and repair, and fights oxidative stress directly, providing an important layer of additional protection for our brain. (Berries tend to be pricey so I recommend you buying them frozen in bulk.)
- Omega-3 rich foods (avocado, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp, flax); you may also consider supplementing with DHA. Docosahexaenoic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid that is a primary structural component of the human brain, cerebral cortex, skin, and retina. I personally prefer to obtain it through daily consumption of seeds and greens. Just one ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds (2) can meet and exceed your daily recommended intake of omega-3 fatty acids. If you are pescatarian you may also consider eating fish but, if you do so, I recommend you to consume high quality seafood in order to avoid the absorption of Mercury from coal burning and mining of iron that can contaminate water sources. Fish ranked with the least amount of mercury is light tuna, salmon, pollock, catfish and shrimp. Supplementing with fish oil is another possible alternative. The company that I personally endorse and use is 1stphorm (their fish oil is ethically resourced). The vegan/vegetarian option is linked down below. I, personally, use the plant-based option.
- Green Tea (The theanine in green tea is showed (3) to increase levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), serotonin, dopamine, and alpha wave activity, helping to reduce mental and physical stress and produce feelings of relaxation. Theanine may also help to prevent age-related memory decline, and has been shown to affect areas of your brain involved in attention and complex problem-solving. Furthermore, catechins in green tea could help protect you against glaucoma and other eye diseases, as research found that the compounds travel from your digestive system into the tissues of your eye.
- Dark Chocolate (The flavanols in cacao are a form of flavonoids, plant-based substances that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect. According to studies (4), these substances display several beneficial actions on the brain. Flavanols enter the brain and induce widespread stimulation of brain perfusion. They also provoke angiogenesis, neurogenesis and changes in neuron morphology, mainly in regions involved in learning and memory Important to note that, aside of chocolate, many fruits and vegetables are also very rich in flavanols: including apples, red grapes, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, beans, kale, and onions. But a piece of dark chocolate does bring an extra boost of magic and serotonin, I agree!:) I love adding it to my desserts. )
- MCT Oil (As the name suggests, medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil contains medium-length chains of fats called triglycerides. Due to their shorter length, MCTs are easily digested and many health benefits are linked (5) to the way your body processes these fats. including quick source of energy that be used to fuel our brain. On mornings when I need extra boost of concentration, I add a teaspoon of MCT to my coffee, and it does make a difference! I’ve listed the instructions how to use it in my morning hacks article.)
Supplements I recommend