Top 5 foods to boost your brain power

Why when you think a lot, you constantly feel hungry?

Like other organs in our body, our brain constantly needs fuel. Brain cells (neurons) are very greedy for fuel. Scientists measured that the total number is equal to 1/51 of the total mass of the human body.

20% of oxygen and 25% of glucose are required for brain cells every day. The more intensive the brain works, the more energy it spends. Now it is clear why we have sugar cravings when we work hard with our brain.

However, we should be cautious because a high glucose level is as detrimental as a low level. Glucose fluctuations do not improve brain cells functions and reduce activity.

This is especially dangerous in high brain activity, for example during studying and exams. For this reason, the leading nutrition specialists recommend having carbohydrates for breakfast.

Best foods for your brain

Five foods promote better brain function.

Cereals.

Cereal is ideal for breakfast. Good cereal is made from whole grain oats retaining all valuable nutrients. Cereals are easy to make and they do not require cooking. They contain:

  • oats = 67%;
  • fast sugars = 1.1%;
  • fiber = 12%.

The rest is starch which is essentially glucose molecules and glucose is virtually the sole fuel for our brain. Starch is also good as it is slowly broken down and gradually delivers fuel to our body without sharp fluctuations.

Oat is also a source of beta-glucan which breaks down in the presence of intestinal bacteria, gets in the blood and becomes beneficial for the whole body. It is recommended when people have intensive physical activity, for example sportsmen or people after serious diseases. Oat is a source for such nutrients as:

  • zinc;
  • iron;
  • B vitamins.

Other grains such as buckwheat, wheat, barley an others have similar properties. But oat is loaded with important nutrients.

Recommended daily intake

Experts recommend eating 30 g of oats every day. You can eat both oat flakes and cereals. A recommended daily intake of grains for an adult is 170 g.

Nuts

You probably noticed that a walnut looks like a brain and it is not a coincidence. It seems that nature tells us why walnuts are so useful.

Studies with rodent models were conducted. The animals were given up to 15% of food daily ration of walnuts a day. The results of the study showed that rodents had a better memory and better learning abilities. In early 2015,  this study showed that 10.3 g of nuts every day improved the results of cognitive tests. The experiment confirmed that eating walnuts every day is beneficial for the brain functions and the nervous system both in adults and children.

Recommended daily intake

Nutrition specialists recommend eating 20 g of walnuts every day. A weekly intake for an adult is 140 g.

Almond

Like any other nut, almond is a natural source of valuable nutrients. It stimulates the work of the brain cells, improves memory, learning abilities and increases performance.

Scientific studies with rodents found that almond improves all body functions that are involved in mental activity. Besides, animals with type 2 diabetes who ate at least 57 g of almonds a day, had a lower level of toxins in the body.

Recommended daily intake

Nutrition specialists recommend eating 15 g of almonds every day which is approximately three teaspoons.

Fish

There is evidence that 60.01% of the brain is fat and we need to eat fats to maintain its normal functioning. The most useful are omega-3 fatty acids and there are three types of them:

  • docosapentaenoic;
  • eicosapentanoic;
  • docosahexaenic.

The human body cannot produce these acids and these substances are believed to be unique. The richest sources of these acids are seafood:

  • anchovies;
  • mackerel;
  • tuna;
  • herring;
  • sardine;
  • salmon;
  • haddock.

According to the world largest experiment that was conducted in 2009 in Switzerland, eating fish every day improves brain functions. In the context of this experiment, teenagers aged 14-16 years old who regularly consumed seafood were interviewed.

Three years later, the results of intelligent tests were compared. Those teenagers who ate fish more than once a week had better results. Fish is rich in proteins, phosphorus, Vitamin D and other valuable elements essential for the optimal work of brain cells.

Recommended daily intake

Nutrition specialists recommend eating fish, at least 2 times a week. The portion for an adult is 151 g. A daily intake of seafood should be, at least 30 g for an adult.

Chocolate

Researchers found that dark chocolate with at least 60/01% of cocoa is the most useful and gives us energy. It has been used since ancient time. Dark chocolate contains a variety of vitamins and valuable nutrients.

Active component

 

 

Selen

 

Potassium

 

Zinc

 

Phosphorus

 

Magnesium

 

Iron

 

Manganese

Amount in 100 g of dark chocolate, µg

 

6.9

 

722

 

3.3

 

311

 

230

 

12

 

2

% of a recommended daily intake

 

10

 

21

 

22

 

31

 

58

 

67

 

98

Besides, dark chocolate contains:

  • 811 g of theobromine;
  • 82 g of caffeine;
  • 45 g of carbohydrates;
  • 24.1 of sugar.

A group of young and healthy people participated in a study where they were given 151 g of cocoa every day for five days. The results showed better brain functioning. All participants had significantly improved circulation in the brain areas responsible for the thought process. This year results show that 21 g of dark chocolate every day significantly improves memory in healthy people aged 17-29 years old.

Recommended daily intake

A daily intake for an adult should not exceed a bar of chocolate (100 g) a day.

Conclusion

All the foods we mentioned, should be present in a daily diet of all adults. However, you do not want, of course, to restrict your diet to these foods only. Be especially cautious with nuts and reduce the amount of other fatty foods if you eat nuts.

Be aware of your diseases and individual intolerance or allergic reaction to one or several foods in this list. If you have any doubts, consult your doctor.