Boost Your Brain Power with Powerful Smart Foods

Memory decline is a common complaint as we move through the aging process. The typical 60-year-old is not as sharp mentally as they were in their 40s. That said, some people do age slower than others. There are 80 year olds with the mind and body of people decades their minor. There are 70 year olds who can easily match wits with 40 year olds.

Would you like to put the brakes on brain rot? You can, simply by adding a handful of "Super Brain Foods" to your daily diet. The "You are what you eat" adage most definately applies to mental function. To slow the aging process and provide continued brain strength, an anti-oxidant, nutrient rich diet will keep your body and brain functioning at more youthful levels.

"Oxidative damage" is the most common blame for brain decline. The brain is highly sensitive to oxidative, free radical damage. Foods high in antioxidants counter that damage and protect the brain. "Brain starvation" is another common cause of mental decline. The brain is the greediest organ in your body and its dietary requirements are high. Feed the brain with the protective nutrients it needs and it will peform better.

If you want to slow down the hands of time and boost your brain's ability to retain and recall information, grab a handful of blueberries and read on. The following list of foods are shown to boost brain power;

Blueberries: Studies show that diets rich in berries, and most specifically blueberries, greatly improves motor skills and learning capacity. Research also shows that blueberries help reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia and protect the brain from oxidative stress. The most interesting news is that blueberries not only slow brain decline, they can actually reverse it and improve memory. Wild Blueberries, with regular blueberries behind that, are shown to have the highest antioxidant capacity per serving. Cranberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries are also extremely high in brain-boosting benefit.

**Recommendation: Add at least 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries or other berries a day to your diet.

Wild Salmon: Salmon and other deep,cold-water fish are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega- 3s are essential for brain function and also contain anti-inflammatory substances. Other oily fish that provide the benefits of omega-3s are sardines and herring.

**Recommendation: Add a 4-ounce serving of salmon or other Omega-3 rich fish to your diet two to three times a week.

Citrus Fruits and Colorful Vegetables: Because of their antioxidant properties, citrus fruits and colorful vegetables are high on the list of "brainy" foods . The more colorful the better. Brightly colored yellow, orange, red, purple and green fruits and vegetables are antioxidant rich. Go for orange with carrots, apricots, cantaloupe, mango, papaya and oranges. Blueberries, blackberries, prunes, red grapes and eggplant add a blue/purple hue to your plate. Add red to your diet with cherries, tomoatoes and red pepper. The best antioxidant source of green vegetables are found in the dark green vegetables - spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, brusell sproats, broccoli.

**Recommendation: As many colorful vegetables as you can, with an absolute minimum of five servings daily. Since colorful fruits are higher in calories, add two to four servings daily to your diet.

Avocados: In promoting brain health, avocados are almost as powerful as blueberries . It is true that the avocado is a fatty fruit, but it's a monounsaturated fat, which contributes to healthy blood flow. Healthy blood flow equates to a healthier brain.

**Recommendation: This is another high calorie "Less is More" food. Just 1/4 to 1/2 of an avocado daily will do the trick.

Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of the power antioxidant Vitamin E. Studies show that higher levels of vitamin E correspond with less cognitive decline. Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed, walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, filberts, almonds, cashews, peanuts and unhydrogenated nut butters all provde benefits.

**Recommendation: Add an ounce of nuts or seeds to your daily diet. Be careful that you do not overdo this brain-booster. Too much of this higgher calorie food will add to your waistline.

Beans: Beans stabilize glucose (blood sugar) levels. The brain is dependent on glucose for fuel yet cannot store glucose. Beans provide steady stream of energy, as well as a high amount of fiber. With so many varieties - black beans, lima beans, pinto, kidney, garbanzo,Great Northern, Navy and others - it's easy to add variety in this under-recognized super food section. Peas and lentils, other foods in the legume family, also provide benefit.

**Recommendation: Add at least a 1/2 cup of beans or other legumes to your diet every day.

Whole Grains: Oatmeal, brown rice, whole-grain breads, popcorn and barley prmotoe cardiovascular health and good blood flow throughout the organ system, which includes the brain. Wheat germ, though not technically a whole grain, also goes on the "superfoods" list because wheat germ adds fiber, Vitamin E and some omega-3s.

**Recommendation: Add three slices of whole grain bread, a 1/2 cup of oatmeal or other whole-grain cereal, or two tablespoons of wheat germ to your daily diet.

Freshly Brewed Tea: Whether it's hot or iced, freshly brewed tea contains a modest amount of caffeine which, when used in moderation, can boost brain power by enhancing memory, focus, and mood. Tea also has potent antioxidants, especially the class known as catechines, which promotes healthy blood flow. Green tea contains chemicals that enhance mental relaxation and alertness and is especially good for brain function.

**Recommendation: Two to three cups a day of freshly brewed tea. Note that bottled or powdered teas don't count.

Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate contains several natural stimulants, including caffeine, which enhance focus and concentration, have powerful antioxidant properties and stimulate the production of endorphins to helps improve mood. Like nuts, seeds and avocado, this is another brain-boosting super food to be used in moderation.

**Recommendation: Enjoy 1/2 ounce of dark chocolate daily. Note that the more processed chocolate varieties such as milk chocolate and white chocolate do not provide the same amount of benefit as darl chocolate.

Water: Water, technically, is not a food. However, it is am absolute must for brain performance. The brain is about 80 percent water and a primary rule of brain nutrition is hydration. As a general rule, if your urine is pale yellow and almost odorless, you are drinking enough water.

**Recommendation: Drink pure water and plenty of it - at least eight glasses daily. The two to three recommended cups of fresh-brewed tea count toward this brain hydration requirement. Higher activity levels will increase this requirement, as will hot and humid weather, illness, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

BIO:

Jeannine Virtue is a freelance writer who focuses on health related issues. For information about effective and natural treatments for Attention Deficit Disorder and Depression in adults and children, visit the Attention Deficit Disorder Help Center at http://www.add-adhd-help-center.com

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  • Name: Jeannine Virtue
  • Date: 03/27/07 at 13:36
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