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13 Best Foods To Improve Your Brain And Memory

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  • 13 Best Foods To Improve Your Brain And Memory
  • Brain Health Is So Important To Your Overall Health - Here's How To Look After It


Give Your Brain What It Needs Not What It Wants

Your brain is literally the 'brains of the operation' and is the organ in control of everything.

Whether it's your thoughts, emotions, senses, vision, breathing, blood flow the list really does go on and on for this remarkable control center.

It would therefore make sense for people to prioritise the health of this important organ but few know what foods are good for it.

Here is a list of the most important foods to help you brain function and improve things like your memory and concentration.

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1Fatty Fish

When you think about food that is good for the brain, fatty fish is somewhere near the top of the list.

Fatty fish refers to fish such as salmon, trout, tuna, herring and sardines. If you like fish you will be relieved to know these are some of the best tasting ones.

FACT: 60% of your brain is made of fat and half of that fat is omega-3 fatty acids.

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Your brain uses the omega-3s to build brain nerve cells which are essential for learning and memory.

The power of the omega-3s should not be underestimated.

They have been linked to helping slow age-related mental decline and studies have shown a link between those who are deficient in omega-3s and learning impairments.

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2Coffee

Coffee is the morning drink of choice for millions around the world for their daily shot of caffeine.

There are a number of benefits that coffee will give your brain including the increase alertness that it is known for.

Caffeine keeps your brain alert by blocking adenosine, a chemical that makes you feel sleepy. This helps your ability to concentrate on any given task at hand.

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Caffeine can also help improve you mood as it boosts your 'feel-good' neurotransmitters like dopamine.

But that's not just it.

Drinking 3-4 cups of Coffee over the long term has also been linked to a reduced risk of neurological disease such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

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3Blueberries

Blueberries not only offer a variety of health benefits for your body but can also have a powerful effect on your brain.

Not bad for something that tastes so good!

One of the main properties of blueberries are the powerful antioxidants they deliver, called anthocyanins.

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Not only does this compound reduce stress levels and inflammation around the body but they have been shown to help improve communication between brain cells.

Another great thing about this fruit is that it goes with a lot of things so there is no excuse to start including them in your diet.

Try them in a smoothie or on top of your morning oatmeal.

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4Turmeric

Turmeric is the deep yellow spice that originates from tropical south Asia.

It is often used in south asian cuisines as a key ingredient in curry powder.

One of the main ingredients of turmeric is Curcumin which has been shown to cross the brain-blood barrier - meaning it can directly enter the brain.

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Curcumin is a powerful anitoixidant and anti-inflammatory compound that has been linked to an improved memory, reducing depression as it boosts the production of serotonin and dopamine both of which improve your mood.

The compound can also help new brain cells grow which helps to hinder age-related mental decline.

Whilst the studies that made these claims used amounts of turmeric that were higher than the average consumption adding it to your diet may may be beneficial.

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5Broccoli

Broccoli really is a super veggie when it comes to helping your body and brain function.

Not only is it high in antioxidants but it is also very high in vitamin K and delivers more than 100% of the recommended intake in one cup.

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Vitamin K is an important part of of producing something called sphingolipids.

Sphingolipids are a type of fat that is tightly packed into brain cells.

Studies have shown that people with higher levels of vitamin K typically have better memory levels and cognitive status.

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6Pumpkin Seeds

Similar to many of the foods on this list Pumpkin seeds are also powerful antioxidants which protect the brain from free-radical damage.

In addition to this they also provide a good natural source of magnesium, iron, zinc and copper which all play a part in improving you brain health.

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Zinc and copper play a major role in helping with brain nerve signalling whilst magnesium is essential for memory and learning.

If you are deficient in all four of these elements (zinc, copper, magnesium and iron) then you may be increasing the risk of developing neurological diseases in later life including, Alzeheimers, Parkinson's and depression.

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7Dark Chocolate

Chocolate is consumed by billions of people worldwide every year as it is one of the most popular sugary treats in the world.

And whilst many prefer milk chocolate to dark chocolate the benefits of the latter for your mind are astounding owing to their higher amounts of cocoa powder.

cocoa powder includes flavonoids, caffeine and antioxidants which are all powerful brain boosting compounds.

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Flavonoids are a group plant compounds which gather in areas of the brain that deal with learning and memory. Research has indicated that they may help enhance memory whilst slowing down age related mental decline.

According to one study that tested over 900 candidates, those who ate chocolate more frequently saw a superior performance in a series of mental tasks some of which tested their memory.

And not only can it lead to improved brain function but it was also improve you mood.

Now you have a healthy reason to eat one of your favourite treats but make sure its the dark chocolate version!

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8Nuts

Nuts are not often linked to having a healthy mind but they are linked to having a healthy heart.

But isn't this list about improving brain function and drive?

Yes of course, but like all things in the body, they are linked.

Having a healthy heart has shown to be linked to having a healthy brain.

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In 2014 a study found that women who ate nuts consistently over a number of years had a sharper memory and cognitive ability than those who didn't.

Researchers believe that this is because of the healthy fats, antioxidants and high levels of vitamin E that are in this natural ingredient.

Vitamin E protects brain cells against free-radical damager and has been linked to slowing age related mental decline.

Walnuts also have a higher level of omega-3 fatty acids than most nuts which as we have seen with fatty fish is important from brain health.

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9Oranges

Not only are oranges a juicy and tasty fruit, they also provide almost all of your daily vitamin C requirement in one medium sized orange.

Vitamin C is a key component in preventing mental decline and has also been associated with increased performance in mental tasks such as focus, memory, attention and decision speed.

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Not only that but increased levels of vitamin C have also been linked to protecting against conditions like anxiety, schizophrenia and even Alzheimer's.

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10Eggs

Another superfood that has made it on to the list and this times it's the egg.

Not only are they a great source of protein there are also a number of essential nutrients that eggs can give you including vitamins B6 and B12, folate and choline.

Choline is an important micronutrient that helps the body in producing acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory. This has been backed up by two studies which linked choline to better memory and mental function.

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The B vitamins that are abundant in eggs also play a large role in your overall mental shape.

They may help slow the rate of age related mental decline by lowering the levels of homocysteine, which is an amino acid linked to dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Vitamin B12 is also involved of regulating the sugar levels in the brain.

Note: There is little research on the link between eating eggs and brain health but there is research to support the brain boosting benefits of specific nutrient found in eggs.

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11Green Tea

In a similar vein to coffee, the caffeine that is present in green tea can also have similar beneficial effects on your brain.

These effects include an increase in alertness, performance, memory and focus.

But green tea also has other benefits that coffee doesn't have.

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One of these benefits is L-theanine, which is an amino acid that can cross the blood-brain barrier and directly interact with brain cells.

L-theanine makes you feel more relaxed without making you feel tired and reduces your anxiety.

Green tea is also rich in polyphenols and antioxidants which as we have established can protect the brain from mental decline and mental issues in old age.

It's an acquired taste but once you get used to it you won't go back to black tea.

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12Avocados

Avocados a great source of healthy fats which will help support you overall brain function.

As we mentioned early 60% of your brain is made from fat and the monounsaturated fat from avocados is linked with the reduction in cognitive decline in old age.

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High blood pressure has also been linked to an increase in mental impairments and avocados could help reduce blood pressure.

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The Bottom Line - Take Good Care Of Your Body And Mind

There are a number of foods and drinks that can be beneficial to your overall brain health.

Whether it's for improved cognitive function or increased alertness and memory they all play a role in keeping a healthy mind and it's definitely something you should be aware of.

Having a healthy, functioning mind can have such a positive impact on your life and is something that we don't really focus on.

Start including these foods or drinks in your diet today and see the impact it has on your mind and wellbeing.

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