Best Foods for Your Brain

167314167

167314167

Photo by: Tijana87

Tijana87

Whether you’re cramming for midterms, or just trying to buckle down and focus on your work, it’s important to keep your brain sharp. Good nutrition is valuable for many parts of your health, and brain health is no exception. Find out 6  foods to eat to keep your brain focused and healthy:

Dark leafy greens: Veggies are a big category of brain foods. It’s important to get a variety in your diet, but for an extra brain boost, make sure to eat plenty of dark leafy greens (e.g., spinach, kale, collards and mustard greens). Try this Massaged Kale Salad to fuel your brain.

Whole grains: Eating fiber-rich whole grains for breakfast can help your brain stay more sharp throughout the day than if you eat refined grains (white bread, corn flakes) or no grains at all. Top 100% whole-grain toast with nut butter or have a bowl of oatmeal on mornings when you need to buckle down and focus.

Coffee: There’s good news for coffee lovers. This breakfast brew does make most people feel more alert (some people are ultrasensitive to caffeine, though, and feel jittery — not the best for concentration). And if you like a little bit of sugar in your tea or coffee, that actually may enhance caffeine’s effects, according to a 2010 study.

Salmon: Oily fish like salmon or trout is excellent brain food. It’s rich in EPA and DHA — two types of Omega-3 fats that are important for brain health. Ellie Krieger's Salmon Florentine features salmon and spinach — a win-win.

Iron-rich foods: If you’ve ever been iron-deficient (and 10% of women are), then you’re familiar with the foggy-headed feeling that’s characteristic of anemia. Focus on iron-fortified cereals, lean red meat, dark leafy greens and beans.

Blueberries: Berries are a rich source of antioxidants, which help mop up the free radicals that cause cell damage in your brain and elsewhere. Many other fruits and veggies are loaded with antioxidants, too: citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, winter squash and pomegranates are some of the best sources. Top your morning cereal with blueberries or blitz them into a smoothie (try Bobby Flay’s Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie for a double dose of antioxidants).

Kerri-Ann is a registered dietitian and nutrition coach who writes on food and health trends. Find more of her work at kerriannjennings.com or follow her on Twitter @kerriannrd or Facebook.

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