Sunday, August 5, 2012

5 Brain Foods I wish I would've started eating earlier :)

1.  Blueberries

Just one cup of these tiny berries a day packs a wallop in terms of nutrition for the brain.  Studies have shown that they help protect the brain from the negative chemical effects of stress that may assist in reducing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Doctors also believe blueberries can improve both learning capacity and motor skills!  So, go ahead and toss a handful of blueberries into your yogurt or cereal each morning.

2.  Almonds

Almonds have been shown to be another potent brain food.  Just an ounce a day of almonds provides you with a healthy treat that your brain will thank you for.  Scientists also believe that a diet rich in almonds may have a positive effect on memory function.

3.  Wild Salmon

Fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon are terrific treats for the brain!  Salmon has been shown to reduce inflammation in the brain, improve moods and contribute to overall healthy brain function.  Numerous studies have shown that eating about 4 ounces of wild salmon 2 to 3 times per week significantly reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s!  Wild salmon is preferred due to its lowest traces of environmental toxins.

4.  Green Tea

Okay, I’ll admit you usually drink tea instead of eating it.  However, the benefits of green tea to the brain are too great to leave it off the list on a technicality.  Studies have shown that green tea boosts dopamine levels which is critical for positive mood states and smooth muscle function.

5.  Dark Chocolate

I saved the best for last!  I’m a chocolate fanatic so this one really excites me.  A half ounce to one ounce of dark chocolate a day will give you the maximum benefit.  The small amount of caffeine in dark chocolate will help your concentration and focus.  It is a great mid-morning pick-me-up!  In addition, dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins in the brain which improves mood.  It also contains powerful antioxidants which aids blood flow critical to peak brain performance.

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