10 Superfoods to Boost Your Brain

Disclaimer: Even though Ruby is wonderful and smart she is not a qualified nutritionist or a medical professional. The information in this piece is meant as a guide only, and you should consult a doctor or nutritionist if you are looking to alter your diet in any way!

 

If you’re anything like me, your brain is in need of a serious boost. This post is the first of a ‘Boost Your Brain series’ – stay tuned for more posts sharing tips so you can perform at your best!

 

At this point in the semester, you’re probably behind on lectures, and swamped with assignments and MSTs. Because of this, as well as time constraints and various stresses, you’re also probably hungry and/or broke. Am I right?

Unfortunately I cannot fix your financial situation, or grant you those H1s. But semester isn’t over yet! It’s not too late to give your brain the boost it needs to help you get through the next marathon.

Need help with memory, mood, or energy (or all three)? Today is your lucky day!

1. Seaweed

Definitely your first stop for a memory boost.
It’s a common misconception that fish produce omega 3 fatty acids. Do you know where the fish get it from? Algae, seaweed and phytoplankton. So, the most efficient way of packing those good fats into your diet is to go straight to the source!

How to eat?

• Straight from the packet (dried, crunchy seaweed)
• Seaweed sushi
• Seaweed salad (wakame)
• Spirulina powder (put in your smoothies)
• Sprinkle it on ramen/noodles, salads, or soups (dried)
2. Chia and flax seeds

Amongst the healthiest seeds on the planet.
They’re high in memory boosting omega 3s, and are tasty and easy to use. They can help slow the absorption of sugars and cholesterols, while giving your brain those good fats needed for efficient functioning.

How to eat?

• Chia pudding (so easy and so good!)
• Blend them into smoothies
• Sprinkle on museli or cereal
• Use flaxseeds as an egg replacement in recipes
• Bake them into bread, muffins, or muesli bars
3. Walnuts

These bad boys are packed full of healthy fats.
They contain omega 6 fatty acids which are not only said to improve your working memory, but also improve your cardiovascular health, which is crucial for getting that blood flow to the brain. It’s recommended that you have about a handful per day.

How to eat it?

• Straight from the jar
• Blended into a smoothie
• On your muesli or cereal
• On top of salads
• Bake into bread, muffins, or muesli bars
4. Blueberries

Berry good for you.
Berries, especially blueberries, contain antioxidants (flavonoids). These compounds help protect your brains from damage, and improve communication between neurons, therefore boosting memory and cognitive function. As well as this, they also contain omega 3 fatty acids.

How to eat them?

• Straight from the packet
• Berry smoothies
• Blend up frozen to make sorbet (don’t even need to add sugar!)
• On your muesli or cereal
• Bake into muffins or muesli bars
5. Dark leafy greens

Popeye had the right idea.
My favourites of these are baby spinach and kale. They are packed full of vitamins, such as C, E, and K, which help improve your brain and cognitive functioning, as well as your overall health.

How to eat them?

• Salads or salad sandwiches/bagels
• Cooked into lasagnes, pasta sauces, or soups
• Throw them into stir fries
• Blended into smoothies
• Bake them into chips (eg. kale chips)
• On top of pizzas (cooked or fresh)
6. Avocado
Probably the best food of all time.
High in vitamins and healthy monounsaturated fats, this fruit is fantastic for your circulation; which means it also helps promote good blood flow to the brain.

How to eat?

• Smashed onto toast or in sandwiches/bagels
• Make guacamole to dip in corn chips or veggies
• On top of baked potatoes with sea salt
• Blend with garlic and lemon for a pasta sauce
• Avocado chocolate mousse
• Avocado fries
• Replace for butter in cakes

7. Broccoli

Both nutritious, and delicious!
High in choline, and vitamin K, this vegetable helps promote the growth of new brain cells and neural connections as well as boost memory and overall cognitive functioning.

How to eat?
• In stir fries and soups
• On top of pizza
• Bake them into broccoli chips
• Raw, dipped in guacamole
• As the base of a pasta sauce, with oil (or avocado!) and garlic

8. Dark chocolate (70% and above)

Because everyone needed an excuse to eat more chocolate…
As in blueberries, the compounds in dark chocolate, flavonoids, have the ability to boost memory and problem solving skills by improving neural connections and protecting the brain against damage.

How to eat?

• Ummm… more like how not to eat?

9. Turmeric

Peppery, warm and comforting.
This potent little spice is said to have effects on the growth of neural stem cells. This means that it can help promote the growth and protection of neural pathways, and help keep your brain active and sharp!

How to use?

• Toss it into roast vegetables
• Add it to rice to give it flavour
• Add to soups and stir fries
• Blend it into smoothies
• Combine with almond, soy, or coconut milk for a Golden Latte

10. Rosemary

For remembrance, of course.
This one isn’t just an old wives tale. Scientists have found that smelling rosemary during study time can help increase your memory by up to 75%.

How to use?

• Smell fresh sprigs of it
• Use on top of baked potatoes or other vegetables
• On top of poached fruits
• Rosemary, olive oil and sea salt popcorn

Happy snacking!

– Ruby

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