Feeling satisfied after meal isn’t enough to have healthy brain, but taking the right foods. Check out our top 10 foods that will make you think faster, and active if you continue to add one or two of them in your daily meal.
10 Brain Boosting Foods You Should Be Taking Daily
1) Vegetables (Pumpkin leaf or Ugu)
Our best choice here are “Ugu” vegetable (very rich), Nigerian local water leaf, which can be found virtually anywhere that hasn’t been hit by weed control chemicals, and the local one called “woorowo” in the south west Nigeria, which grow predominantly in cocoa plantation.
The above vegetables grow naturally, “ugu” seed can however be planted and watered everyday to get a better green.
Official name: pumpkin leaf
Popular name: Ugu
Scientific name: Telfairia occidentalis
Greens like the above natural vegetables, according to research, might be able to help boost your brain cognitive powers, and also help and keep your brain sharp for as long as possible.
Researchers say vegetable contain high folate (a type of B vitamin) which help to boost brain health.
Not just that, green, leafy vegetables are also loaded with vitamins A and K, which help fight inflammation and keep bones strong.
Draxe.com quoted Dr. Drew Ramsey as saying, “Leafy greens are a great base. You swap out a lot of the empty carbohydrates you get from things like pastas or breads, and you can use some leafy greens.”
Mr. Ramsey is a psychiatrist and author of The Happiness Diet and Eat Complete: The 21 Nutrients That Fuel Brainpower, Boost Weight Loss, and Transform Your Health.
For old people, nutritionist advised that they should eat more vegetables than carbohydrate food, because “people who eat more vegetables in general tend to have better brainpower longer in life,” dailyhealthpost.com says, and research has proven it.
According to the new study, eating habits and mental ability of more than 950 older adults for an average of five years were evaluated.
It’s discovered that those adults who consumed green vegetables once or twice a day experienced slower mental deterioration than those who ate no vegetables, even when age, education and family history of dementia were used as factors.
This is particularly to those who consumed more of carb daily. Just yam as breakfast, eba as launch and rice as dinner, let vegetables full your plate at every meal. It helps.
I feel more energised when I consumed vegetables, and it improved my metabolism, particularly when it’s prepared in its natural state.
I’ve found out that most of the vegetables sold in the market were grown with the aid of fertilizer, and weed control chemicals. The naturally grown ones are great!
If you have a small space in your compound, consider planting vegetables and make its consumption your daily meal.
How I prepare my vegetable
Whenever I cooked rice, I cut small vegetable, watch with lukewarm water, add little salt, depending on the quantity, slice a small onion, mix it with it, and pour it on top of my cooked rice, cover it to allow it for some minutes (maximum of 10minutes) to steam.
Then serve with some stew and an egg or fish. It’s affordable and easy to prepare.
2) Egg Yolks
There has been misconceptions about egg yolk. Some have claimed that white part of egg does more good to the body than yellow part.
However, it’s been found that egg yolks contain large amounts of choline.
Nutritionist says choline helps in fetal brain development for pregnant women.
You also want to be happy? Then eat egg yolk daily because it breaks down bethane, “a chemical that produces hormones related to happiness.”
So you’ve been told to avoid eggs because of cholesterol?
Other studies have shown that eating eggs had “no effect on the cholesterol levels of healthy adults and might, in fact, help raise good cholesterol levels,” draxe.com says.
Organic eggs are better anyway. In fact I prefer eggs by Nigerian local hen. They are rich in all nutrients.
The yolk is deep yellow, while egg yolk by the hybrid (broilers) is light yellow.
Next time you want to eat egg, try the local ones, they are small but rich and its yolk will enhance your brain productivity.
3) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
If you think extra virgin olive oil is exclusively for the Catholic faithfuls or for prayer, it means you’ve not really dig deeper into nutritional value of this oil.
The original extra virgin olive oil contains powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols, which can improve learning, boost memory, and able to reverse the old age related diseases.
It also helps fight against ADDLs, proteins that are toxic to the brain and induce Alzheimer’s.
Some used this as substitute for cooking, but research has shown that extra virgin olive oil “hydrogenizes and begins decomposing at high temperatures.” It’s not the best for cooking.
Serve it cold of at room temperature is considered the best. Two tablespoons is okay in one of your daily meals.
4) Raspberries and strawberries
Just like real extra virgin oil that contains polyphenols, so do berries, which are rich in polyphenol called ellagic acid.
Apart from its brain health nutritional values, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) have also found out that that berries ellagic acid prevented cancers of the bladder, lung, breast, esophagus and skin.
“Ellagic acid fought cancer by deactivating certain cancer-causing substances and slowing cancer cell reproduction,” the AICR says.
Black walnuts are know as ‘Ukpa” in Igbo language, and “Awùsá” or “Àsálà” in Yoruba language here in Nigeria. They’re seasonal nuts.
Research has shown that walnuts have greater nutritional values than most nuts in its category.
They are rich in an omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid, also with high amount of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). They are considered to have the highest omega-3 content of any plant food.
While growing up our grandma would bring these nuts in large quantity , and we would eat every minute. We took some to school, and ate as much as we wanted.
We were unconscious of its health benefits. We ate it just like every other fruits and nuts little did we know that we were unconsciously getting several vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamin,riboflavin , niacin, and other nutrients.
“Walnuts have been considered as a symbol of intelligence, leading to the belief that they actually increase one’s intellect,” organicfacts.net and indeed they do boost the brain and improve body stamina.
It’s Omega-3s, and other antioxidants reduce inflammation in the brain and have been found to have the nutritional capability to safeguard against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
You want to have more healthy brain? Consider taking walnuts as your diet partner.
Apart from the fact that it’s one of the best food for the brain, organicfacts.net in its research has also found that walnuts have the following health benefits:
- They can control the growth of cancer cells in the body.
- They can help prevent damage to the liver as a result of their rare powerful antioxidants like quinone juglone, the tannin tellimagrandin, and the flavonol morin.
- For men who want to improve their sperm quality, quantity and vitality, walnuts should be one of your favourite nuts.
- They are also good for diabetes control because they containn high amount of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. “Researchers say that the intake of nuts is inversely proportional to the risk of developing type-II diabetes.”
- Walnuts are rich source of vitamin B complex, pregnant women are you reading? During your ante-natal you’re told that you need vitamin B-Complex for fetal growth.
Carrots contain a compound called luteolin, which can reduce inflammation in the brain and help reduce age-related memory decline, scientists say.
Carrots are always available in the markets, stores, making them one of the most accessible ingredients you can add to the list of your daily meal, particularly your salad, or rice.
And carrots can also be eaten ordinarily.
This fruit, called “Piha” in Nigeria, is one of the fruits we consumed while growing up. In fact we loved it on top of our mildly hot rice back then, and we’d watch it melt while consume.
Avocados have been found to have high (for keeping blood sugar levels regulated), and help prevent blood clots in the brain because of its vitamin k and folate components.
With their lowest sugar content, these fruits are one of the best brain foods.
With calcium, vitamin D3, vitamin B complex, and folic acid, tea is a brain booster . It boost mental alertness, and boost memory function, and clear eye sight.
In a short term, a cup of coffee or tea can boost cognition.
The most recommended fish in this regard is salmon, because it’s one of the nature’s best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which is a brain booster.
As pointed out in some of the brain foods above, omega-3s help fight age-related forms of cognitive decline.
Natural sea food that hasn’t been preserved with chemicals should be your choice.
10) Coconut water
This is another nature’s water that is good for your brain; and have you been wondering why tourists love this natural, delicious and refreshing low-calorie beverage?
Coconut water, especially the tender ones, is rich in antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C and minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and zinc.
Is there any other brain foods you know which aren’t included in this post, share with us.