Natalia Lusinski
May 08, 2016 9:41 am
NBC

We could all use a mental boost sometimes, right? And one of the easiest and best ways to do so is through food. Yep, food! If we up our intake of products containing antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, it turns out it may keep our brains healthy and increase our focus. Here are five things to start adding to your diet now, because being told to eat blueberries “for your health” is the best remedy.

1. Eggs

You’ve probably heard it before, how eggs are high in protein, but the yolks also contain choline, a building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. The latter helps with memory, according to Patricia Bannan, a dietician in L.A. specializing in nutrition and health communications. Plus, there’s so many ways to eat them — who says they’re just for breakfast?

2. Berries

Next time you’re at the grocery store, don’t pass up the berry section. Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and acai all have a lot of antioxidants and help with memory and learning. Plus, they can help guard against anti-aging health issues down the line, like dementia.

3. Walnuts

Walnuts can help with cognitive functioning, memory, and how fast we process things, a study from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA found. Not only are walnuts a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, but they also have alpha-linolenic acid, aka an omega-3 fatty acid, more so than other nuts, the study discovered. You can also mix the walnuts with your berries — and can add some Greek yogurt for added protein — and your brain should be good to go!

4. Sunflower Seeds

Looking for a boost of vitamin E (which helps keep your brain and heart healthy)? Look no further than sunflower seeds. Even just an ounce will provide you with about one-third of the recommended daily intake. They also contain other important nutrients, like vitamin B1, manganese, and selenium. Like eggs, sunflower seeds contain choline and will help your memory. And, the little seeds can help you relax — the magnesium in them is great against anxiety and migraine pain.

5. Fatty Fish (Like Tuna)

If you’re a fan of fish, there’s nothing like tuna or salmon (or other kinds of fatty fish, like sardines) to help give you the omega-3 fatty acids you need, which is great for your brain functioning (memory and performance) and helps your heart, too. Fish like tuna has a lot of protein, too, but is not high in saturated fat according to the American Heart Association. They recommend two servings a week. Seems simple enough, yes?

Advertisement