7 Brain Boosting Foods You Will Love

Have you ever wondered if what you eat influences the way you think, and react? Did you know that there are certain foods, fruits and vegetables we overlook everyday when we go shopping that could improve brain power, ward off sluggishness, and boost memory?
In this article, i will pin point those Naija foods you should include in your diet to support a healthy mind:

Green tea
The bio-active compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on cells of the brain and may reduce the risk of both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, the two most common neuro-degenerative disorders. Swap one of your daily cups of coffee with green tea as it contains an amino acid called theanine, which produces a calming effect on the body while promoting an alert mental state.

Fish is a great source of omega 3 essential fatty acids, which is very important for healthy brain function. In fact, the brain is naturally rich in omega 3, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). To support cognitive function and memory, it’s recommended to eat fish two to three times a week and, or take a fish oil supplement. 

Dark Chocolate
Eating Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain, improves cognitive function and also helps reduce the risk of stroke. Dark chocolate also contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on your mood and cognitive health. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you're falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release endorphins, so eating dark chocolate will make you feel happier.
Dark chocolate also contains caffeine, a mild stimulant. However, dark chocolate contains much less caffeine than coffee. A 1.5 ounce bar of dark chocolate contains 27 mg of caffeine, compared to the 200 mg found in an eight ounce cup of coffee.

Walnuts are a great plant source of omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Walnuts contain vitamin E, folate, melatonin( a hormone that helps regulate sleep). Research shows walnut consumption supports brain health,  increasing reasoning ability in young adults.

Whole grains
Brown rice, whole-grain breads, oats and barley are all complex carbohydrates, which help guard against cognitive decline and memory loss because they’re packed with beneficial dietary fiber. A study on the dietary patterns of nearly 4000 men and women found that higher intakes of whole grains were positively associated with better brain function. An explanation for this is that whole grains provide a slow release of glucose to the brain, which is used as brain fuel as compared to refined grains(white rice, sugary junk foods such as biscuits, white breads and pasta) which robs your brain of the vital energy and nourishment it really craves.

Healthy unsaturated fats in avocados including omega 3 is important for healthy brain function. It helps to keep your brain cell membranes flexible. Avocados improve blood supply and oxygenation to your brain thereby preventing stroke brought about by high blood pressure.

Legumes (beans, peas)
Legumes like beans, and peas are a rich source of folic acid. Studies have shown that folic acid can improve verbal and memory performance, and may delay onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Getting enough folic acid while pregnant is important for fetal brain development too—especially in early pregnancy. It can help prevent neural tube defects—a leading cause of infant mortality. 

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