Whether you need brainpower for your studies or your demanding job, your brain consumes about 20% of your calorie intake daily. Therefore, certain nutrients are vital to ensuring ultimate brainpower and brain health, and you should include them in your daily diet.
Research indicates that people who eat healthier foods over many years have improved brain health and protection from neurodegeneration. The foods with the most significant impact on concentration, memory, and overall brain health include those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, flavonols, and polyphenols.
5 Cheap Foods You Have to Include in Your Diet to Boost Your Brain Power
We all know about the brain benefits of adding oily fish, leafy green vegetables, and nuts to our diet for brainpower. Here are five other cheap foods that you can also include in your diet to help boost your brainpower.
Eggs are a popular breakfast dish worldwide. They are cheap, but they also contain health benefits, particularly for brain health and function, like vitamin B12, vitamin B6, folic acid choline, and selenium.
Choline plays a significant role in brain development and assists with the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter required for memory storage. Selenium is a mineral that assists with memory, coordination, cognition, and motor performance. Vitamin B12 helps with neurological health; low levels can impair brain function. Finally, eggs also contain a carotenoid pigment called lutein, assisting with better mental processes and vision. You must eat whole eggs to get all these super brain nutrients.
2. Citrus Fruits
We all know that citrus fruits have immense health benefits because of their vitamin C content. However, one of the health benefits you may not have read about is their role in promoting brain health.
All citrus fruits, including grapefruits and oranges, fall into the same category as berries, another brain food. They are the source of super-nutrients like flavonoid compounds like hesperidin, naringin, quercetin, and rutin. These have several functions, including promoting memory and learning. They also protect the nerve cells from the wear and tear that causes mental decline.
According to one study, participants drinking 500 ml of pure citrus juice every day showed improvements in number and symbol performance thanks to the enhanced blood flow to the brain.
Other researchers showed in their study that consuming 500 ml of pure citrus juice improved overall brain function significantly after just eight weeks in participants who took part in assessment tests.
You don’t only need to drink citrus fruit juices to reap their benefits, even though they contain more concentrated flavonoids. Instead, you can eat whole citrus fruits as a snack or pair them with your preferred nuts (walnuts are particularly beneficial) to add the benefits of their healthy fats and protein.
Beets and their by-products contain a good source of nitrates, converted by the body into a molecule called nitric oxide. The role of nitric oxide includes proper nerve cell communication, improved blood flow, and better brain function.
One of the best ways to include beets into your diet is by drinking fresh beet juice. Studies have shown that just 150 ml daily increases blood nitrate concentrations, with participants showing improved reaction time on mental tests.
In another study, consuming beet juice has also shown improved blood flow to the brain. You don’t need to drink beet juice to enjoy its benefits; you can also eat them raw or roasted in salads or together with meals.
4. Whole Grains
Whole grains are packed with vitamin E, the antioxidant that protects from the cognitive decline and memory loss caused by free radical damage. In addition, whole-grain foods mean that these products are as unrefined as possible, therefore including the husks. Consuming grains like oatmeal, brown rice, barley, bulgur wheat, whole grain pasta, and bread made from full-grain flour is the best way to increase your intake o vitamin E. Whole grains are often slightly more expensive than refined grains. However, they are still a cheap source of food that improves your brainpower.
No, peanuts are not nuts; they are a legume. However, just like nuts, they contain unsaturated fats. In addition, they are packed with proteins, vitamin E, and resveratrol that help keep your energy levels high when you need your brain to function at its ultimate.
Resveratrol is a non-flavonoid antioxidant found mainly in peanuts, mulberries, and rhubarb. Research is still underway, but so far, evidence shows that resveratrol may protect against inflammation, cancers, and neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. So why not include some peanuts into your diet daily? They are inexpensive and delicious.