It is easy to think the foods in your diet don't matter THAT much... especially if you're exercising, sleeping, meditating, and checking off other healthy actions.
But to upgrade & optimize brain function, certain foods and nutrients need to be in your nutrition plan.
So here are 5 of my favorite foods to improve cognitive function, performance, & productivity: (Plus, I share my favorite way to incorporate them all simultaneously. Make sure to check it out below.)
1. Avocados naturally stimulate a consistent blood flow around the heart and through the brain, which is the secret to productivity. They're also loaded with fiber (11 to 17 grams per avocado), which helps decrease hunger pangs.
2. Antioxidant-rich foods, like berries, are excellent for increasing memory, and to prevent Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in the future. General rule of thumb: the darker the berry ⇒ the higher antioxidant property ⇒ more brain power ingredients. I also use a stellar supplement to stimulate my primary antioxidants and you can message me for that.
3. Water may not be “food,” but since we’re made up of more than 70 percent water, every function depends on water to work smoothly. Water stores slowly deplete throughout the day so if you don't drink enough to replenish it, your brain and productivity suffer. Drinking ½ your body weight in ounces every day can give your brain the power it needs to be more focused, think more clearly and quickly. If you live in desert climate like I do, you will want to consider an form of hydration called bone broth or soups. Your body is just like a big bag of broth with bones and a complex cellular make-up. So when you want to get super hydrated, adding water to the broth can actually dilute it. Feel free to message me if you have further questions especially those of you who may keep to a lower sodium diet.
4. Beets contain high concentration of nitrates which are naturally-occurring compounds that increase blood flow especially to the brain. A study in Nitric Oxide found that a high-nitrate diet rich in beetroot juice increased blood flow to regions of the brain responsible for attention and self-regulation. I am known for making my homeade beet kvass, which is a fermentation process that increases the nitri oxide even more. It is a wonderful social drink as it looks identical to red wine. Let me know if you need the recipe or check it out in the probiotic / store section of my website. www.wisdomandwellness.us
5. Broccoli is rich in choline, an essential nutrient with powerful benefits in cognitive performance, brain development and memory function. It also has great fiber content and tons of important vitamins and minerals.
BONUS: Dark Chocolate (at least 70% cacao, above 80% is even better!). It's a good source of magnesium, which has been shown to enhance learning and memory in animal studies, and stimulate the release of endorphins and serotonin, which heighten your mood. (Also has small amount of caffeine.) Use it in small doses to improve your focus; don’t eat huge amounts everyday.
The nutrition strategy (ie "brain health-hack") I use EVERYDAY to incorporate foods like these into my life is with snacks and smoothies!! I love using smoothies as snacks, but I also like other healthy snacks too.
If you’re like me, healthy snacks are a critical part of our diet. So choosing brain healthy options is essential for my performance and productivity.
Here's the thing though... I don't like thinking too much about new recipes so I rely on cookbooks. And one I've been using a lot lately is Dr. Nandi's eCookbook with 77 Smoothies & Snacks.
Not only is Dr. Nandi a full time, practicing gastroenterologist and internal medicine physician.