Foods For A Stronger, Healthier Brain

Oysters

Oysters are great source of selenium, magnesium, protein, and many other nutrients which promote brain health.


Olive oil

You may be questioning the fattening influence that olive oil can have on your diet, but avoiding fat can increase confusion, mood swings, and insomnia. A diet rich in the right amount of “good fat” is essential to clear thinking, improved memory, and a balanced mood. People who consume the processed vegetable fats found in salad dressings, snacks, and prepared foods have dramatically higher rates of mental degradation than people who eat healthy fats. Most processed foods and fast foods are made with low quality oils and Omega-6 fats, which are more unhealthy than saturated fats. Choose healthy fats like those present in olive oil, and avoid processed fats found in junk food.

Tuna

Tuna is another rich source of Omega-3s, however it also has the highest level of vitamin B6 of any food. Studies suggest that B6 is directly associated with memory, cognition, and long term brain health. The B vitamins in general are very important for balancing your mood. B6, specifically, influences dopamine receptors, helping you feel happy.

Garlic

Garlic is one of the most powerful nutritional weapons at your disposal. Garlic helps reduce bad cholesterol and strengthens your cardiovascular system. It also has a protective antioxidant effect on the brain and has been known to fight bacteria more effectively than standard antibiotics.

Green, leafy vegetables

Vegetables like spinach, kale, chard, arugula, and romaine are high in iron and manganese. Iron deficiency, which is rather common among Americans, has been linked to restless leg syndrome, fatigue, bad moods, confusion, and other cognition issues.

Tomatoes


Tomatoes contain lycopene, a red pigment also found in berries and fruits. It is also an antioxidant that is particularly good for your brain — it can help prevent dementia and lower your risk for certain cancers. Tomatoes have to be cooked to get the lycopene, which means that ketchup can be good for your brain. However, other sources of lycopene containing less sugar, like fresh tomato sauce, are recommended.

Sara Thompson is a blogger for neurosurgeon Dr. Todd Kuether in Portland, Oregon.

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