Newhousefood’s Blog

Brain Food

Posted on: November 18, 2008

It’s that time of the year again. With never-ending projects, papers and finals, our brain needs to be fed to keep the productivity going, but what is the right kind of food to stimulate your brain? For most college students, the default energy source is coffee from the nearest Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts. But with coffee, the reality is that the caffeine only stimulates your brain for a couple hours before you need another cup.

1) What your brain really needs is carbohydrates. The good kind. These kind of carbohydrates can be found in fruits. Unlike artificial sugars, the complex carbohydrates in fruits break down slowly, proving more energy for a longer period of time. Blueberries are at the top of the list. 

2) One of the most important fuels for the brain is water. So ditch the Starbucks and buy some Dasani. Drinking the recommended amount of water (about 9-13 cups a day) can reduce stress hormones. 

3) Rather than cereal for breakfast, have an egg. Eggs contain choline, a nutrient that speeds up the sending of signals to the nerve cells in the brain. 

4) Fish. You’ve probably heard a million times that fish is full of Omega-3 fatty acids, which builds brain cells. 

5) Stay away from soft drinks. The high amounts of sugar will only boost your energy for a short time. And as far as your brain goes: “After drinking [or eating] something high in sugar, your pancreas starts to secrete insulin which triggers cells throughout your body to pull the excess glucose out of your bloodstream and store it. This sucks glucose from the brain which leaves it without energy, known as hypoglycemia. As a result your ability to focus decreases, leaving you weak and confused, unable to think properly.”

6) Nuts: provide the brain with Vitamin E, which has been linked to “less cognitive decline”. 

7) Avocados: Although technically high-calorie, avocados contain mono-saturated fat, which improves blood flow, which in turn, improves brain health. 

8) Dark Chocolate: It no longer has to be an indulgence to enjoy some chocolate. Dark chocolate contains nutrients that improve focus and concentration. 

So in the next couple of weeks when you are crunched for time, energy, and focus, try one of these foods instead of coffee. 

For more brain foods, check out BBC’s list of brain foods here.

Sources:

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifehack/brain-food-eat-for-productivity.html

http://www.add-adhd-help-center.com/newsletters/natural_brain_food.htm

http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/NU/00283.html

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2 Responses to "Brain Food"

Fish oil, esp. cod liver oil is great. Very good at combatting depression as well

I don’t know if I feel any smarter for eating them some days, but blueberries and avocados are two of my favorites.

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