The 10 Best Superfoods for the Brain
For every meal you consume, about 20% of the calories go to your brain. That might not seem like a lot, but when you consider that the brain is only one of the 78 organs in the body, that’s a significant amount of energy.
The human brain needs constant power to function normally. Eating the right foods can make a huge difference in your brain health, and using superfoods for the brain helps to keep it in top condition.
Discover how to feed your brain with this comprehensive guide. Here are 10 of the best superfoods for your brain that you should include in your diet to keep your mind sharp and healthy.
The Brain Explained
Before going into feeding it, here are some essential facts about the brain that you should know:
- An adult's brain weighs three pounds (about 1.36 kilograms), or 2% of body weight
- The brain is not a muscle; it's 60% fat, 40% protein, water, minerals, and carbohydrates
- Brain tissue contains blood vessels and nerves that extend to the spinal cord to create the central nervous system
- The brain is the body's control center, processing signals that determine speech, breathing, learning, movement, heartbeat, hormones, vision, etc.
- Brain foods contain nutrients that nurture brain cells (neurons), cell membranes, and molecules that support cognition
Which Nutrients Support Brain Health?
It's vital to choose high-quality foods rich in nutrients for your overall well-being. However, the brain loves certain foods that support its structure and functions. Look for superfoods for the brain containing the following healthy compounds:
- Vitamin B: aids metabolism and creates new brain cells
- Vitamin E: supports healthy immunity and cell signaling
- Omega-3: lowers the risk of neurological diseases, improves memory, and fights depression
- Choline: supports cell structures and neurotransmitters in the brain
- Antioxidants: protect cells from harmful free radicals linked to brain inflammation and memory loss
10 Best Superfoods for The Brain
The best brain-boosting foods come from whole, organic ingredients combined with a healthy green powder supplement to elevate your nutrition. If you eat the following superfoods mindfully and strategically, you may reap tremendous benefits for your brain health.
Turmeric is more than a vibrant yellow-golden food coloring or spice. It contains curcumin, which is among the best superfoods for the brain. Curcumin moves easily through the blood-brain barrier to deliver its health benefits directly, such as increasing serotonin and dopamine, improving memory, and boosting brain cell growth.
The best way to improve brain health with turmeric is through supplements. Of course, you can add turmeric to your food and beverages, but they contain only 6% of curcumin, which is inadequate for brain-boosting effects.
Peanuts, walnuts, and almonds are excellent additions to your brain’s diet. These crunchy superfoods contain vitamin E, which improves cognition and prevents Alzheimer's disease.
In addition, nuts have healthy fats and compounds that are good for your heart and memory. But remember that nuts also have high-calorie content, so be mindful of how you eat them.
A handful of nuts in your protein shake, smoothie, yogurt, salad, or stir-fry boosts nutrients and flavor. They're also great as everyday snacks, but watch your portions to manage your calorie count.
3. Whole Grains
Another source of vitamin E is whole-grain foods. Choose whole wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, and barley over their processed counterparts to maximize their nutritional value for your brain.
Milling removes the nutrient-rich core of the grains to make more affordable flour that lasts longer in stores and is easier to cook. Whole grains lose none of their nutrients, so they improve your overall health, from supporting your immunity to managing blood pressure and diabetes.
Sardines, trout, salmon, and tuna are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. For plant-based alternatives, consider adding soybeans, chia seeds, and flaxseed to your diet. Individuals with low omega-3 intake struggle with memory, depression, and learning challenges.
Increasing omega-3 intake improves your nervous system, preventing mood disorders and mental decline.
Eggs are superfoods for the brain because they have crucial brain nutrients: vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and choline. These compounds help your brain in the following ways:
- Improving mood and memory by generating neurotransmitters
- Maintaining chemical balance in the brain
- Reducing the effects of aging on the brain
Choline is worth noting as most people don't get enough of it in their diets. Experts recommend 550 mg and 425 mg of choline daily for men and women. However, one egg yolk has 112 mg of this nutrient, which means consuming up to 5 eggs per day.
If you have dietary restrictions, are allergic to eggs, or have limited access to them, a green powder supplement can help reach your intake requirements.
Healthy, unsaturated fats from avocados improve brain health by managing blood pressure. This roundabout benefit comes from the connection between hypertension and brain disorders.
Remember that the brain comprises blood vessels that transport oxygen and nutrients, so elevated blood pressure harms the brain. Avocados and other monounsaturated fat sources like nuts and fish can lower blood pressure, keeping your brain healthy.
All berries are good for you, but blueberries are at the top of the antioxidant list. They contain anthocyanins, which fight inflammation in the body. Add blueberries to smoothies and cereal, or eat them as a calorie-free snack. Eating more blueberries can boost your brain by:
- Keeping memory loss at bay
- Preventing tissue damage from oxidative stress
- Reducing the risk of age-related mental decline
8. Pumpkin Seeds
Remember that the brain's composition includes minerals that help create hormones and enzymes. Pumpkin seeds contain essential minerals like zinc, magnesium, iron, and copper. These minerals prevent brain fog, control nerve signals, and improve learning and memory.
Consuming pumpkin seeds and other minerals from whole foods and supplements may prevent brain-related conditions like depression, migraines, epilepsy, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's.
9. Green Tea
Green tea is a brain-boosting beverage not just because of its caffeine content. It contains L-theanine, an amino acid known to reduce anxiety and help you relax. It counters the stimulating effects of caffeine in green tea and calms the brain.
The polyphenols in green tea also fight inflammation in your brain and body. You can take green tea as a simple hot brew sweetened with honey or as a base for smoothies and iced drinks.
10. Green Vegetables
All vegetables are healthy and nutritious, but green vegetables are the ideal superfoods for the brain. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and kale have vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids, which combine to renew your immunity, manage stress levels, and fight against age-related brain diseases.
How to Take a Holistic Approach to Brain Health
These ten superfoods for the brain are only one part of improving brain health and preventing degenerative diseases. The other part of the equation is to support your diet with beneficial lifestyle choices. Here are the top 5 proven ways to maintain excellent physical and mental shape.
1. Stay active in mind and body
To stimulate your neurons, challenge your brain with activities like arts and crafts, math problems, and puzzles. Keep your brain engaged in generating new, healthy cells that sharpen your focus, memory, and learning abilities.
Physical exercise also contributes to a healthy brain by regulating stress, cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure.
2. Prioritize your sleep
Sleep is not a luxury but an essential component of a healthy brain. When you're sleep-deprived, you feel fatigued and lose focus, and even worse, you increase the chances of chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension, which affect brain function.
Sleep for at least 7 hours daily to improve your quality of life.
3. Stop smoking and drinking
The addictive nature of tobacco and alcohol makes them challenging to quit. However, they also heighten your risk of dementia, heart and lung diseases, and cancer.
Given these choices, it's infinitely better to reduce and ultimately stop these harmful habits for the sake of good health.
Social distancing, fear, and stigma made socializing difficult, if not impossible, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. But as we adjust to the "new normal," we should find every opportunity to socialize.
Meeting new people, engaging with our communities, and spending family time all contribute to a healthy brain.
5. Manage your weight
Maintaining an optimum weight often translates to great health, but it is easier said than done. Make a conscious effort to eat nutritious foods, manage stress, and sleep enough hours to keep your weight consistent.
If the diet is challenging, consider taking a super greens powder in your food and beverages. If exercise is a challenge, try low-impact activities like walking, gardening, or doing household chores.
Stay mindful of your weight, and your brain will reward you.
Fortify Your Superfoods for The Brain with Ensō Supergreens
Now that you know the ten best superfoods for the brain and how to achieve excellent health, you can get even more nutrition with Ensō Superfoods.
This 100% organic green powder fits all diets and lifestyle preferences. Add Ensō Supergreens to smoothies, salads, fruit juice, soup, coffee, and many other recipes to enhance your body and mind today.