Smarter people tend to eat healthier than others; it’s true, and it begs the question: which came first? Is it because of your intelligence that you choose healthier foods or are the foods helping to increase brain power? Interestingly, evidence shows eating natural foods early in life leads to higher intelligence in adulthood. While eating a plate of blueberries before a test might not boost your scores, your diet can help prevent degenerative brain conditions, improve memory, and increase attention span.
6 Foods to Increase Brain Power and Help Make You Smarter
The following six foods are great to increase brain power and help you to think more clearly.
- Kale and Spinach: Dark green, leafy vegetables like these are an excellent source of iron. Iron deficiency has been linked to irreversible, altered brain development in infancy and childhood, and attention problems in adolescents and adults. It’s also said to be one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world.
- Chocolate: Is chocolate good for you? Dark chocolate is a great source of Vitamin E, associated with less cognitive decline with age.
- Salmon: Salmon and other fatty fish (as well as flax seeds and walnuts) are a great source of Omega 3 fats. A lack of these essential fats has been associated with cases of ADHD. Also, sufficient Omega 3 intake is linked to a decreased incidence of Alzheimer’s disease later in life.
- Avocados: Avocados are a rich source of monounsaturated fats, known for improving blood flow. Increased blood flow keeps all organs and body systems running smoothly, including the brain. The health benefits of avocados also include the reduction in the risk of plaque build-up in blood vessels.
- Blueberries: Berries are rich in antioxidants, which protect the body from damage by free-radicals. They also prevent brain degeneration and can boost memory dramatically. In one study, test subjects who ate the most blueberries and strawberries “delayed their memory decline up to 2.5 years when compared with those who did not report eating berries.”
- Steel-cut Oatmeal: Complex carbohydrates are perhaps the most reliable source of long-lasting energy available. Steel-cut oatmeal is far less processed than the oats you find in the little packets and even has a decent amount of protein in it. A healthy breakfast means less chance of a midday crash and a more steady stream of brain power.
What you eat doesn’t just affect your waistline; it affects every single facet of your being. When eating to increase brain power and improve overall mental health, many of these foods should be included in your diet every week. Not only do they have long term effects, like the avoidance of cognitive decline, but they also have immediate benefits like beingnatural energy boosters, helping to improve focus, and helping to improve attention.