Super foods are packed with nutrients that have health-enhancing properties ranging from prevention of heart disease and cancer to improving skin tone and boosting memory and brain function. Their health benefits may be overstated but they do provide the recommended nutrients when included as part of balanced diet. Here are 10 super foods that help boost brain function and improve memory.
Here are 10 Super foods that you an easily introduce into you diet to improve memory, reduce attention deficit and increase clarity:
Acorn squash also called the winter squash, is a species of the Cucurbita family which also includes pumpkins and zucchini. This vegetable reportedly helps prevent spikes in blood sugar and even cancer. The folic acid in acorn squash (and kidney beans and black eyed beans as well) combined with vitamin B12 helps prevent nerve damage and brain shrinkage. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, folic acid plays an important part in the development of fetus' spinal cord and brain. Deficiency of folic acid can cause birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.
Potato may seem to be the least likely food for improving memory or brain function, but in fact the baked potato with flesh and skin and without salt is a very healthy, low calorie, high fiber food. It is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese – all of which are beneficial to brain health. 100g of baked or raw potato supplies 16 percent DV (daily value) each of vitamin C and vitamin B6, 15 percent DV of potassium and 11 percent DV of manganese. Vitamin B6 plays an important role in the production of serotonin (lack of which is linked to depression), melatonin (hormone for a good night's sleep) and GABA (needed for normal brain function).
Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable from the cabbage family, is a super food because scientists have found that it can protect the brain following injury. Broccoli contains a chemical called sulforaphane that helps strengthen the protective network of capillaries called the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The BBB is a semi-permeable lining made of tiny capillaries; it protects the brain from 'foreign substances' which may injure the brain. The BBB also maintains a constant environment for the brain.
Mango is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and vitamins K, A and E. Fruits like mangoes and banana are high in vitamin B6 content and are therefore good for brain health. It is erroneously believed that mango is a food source of amino acid glutamine which is involved in the production of DNA and is also responsible for determining mood and changes in sleep pattern. Glutamine is synthesized by the body from another amino acid glutamic acid with the help of vitamin B6. It is not found in food.
Honey is the oldest natural sweetener known to man. Honey is made up of equal parts of glucose and fructose and it contains a variety of B-vitamins, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and anti-oxidants – all of which are good for brain health. The fructose in honey fuels the brain, which is the most energy demanding organ in the body. Thus, honey protects the brain from mental exhaustion and keeps the brain perked up.
Spinach is high in potassium, which helps to maintain the electrical conductivity of the brain. That conductivity helps produce lightning-fast signals between neurons that make us think more clearly and respond more quickly.
The magnesium in Brazil nuts could help the brain function better. Science Daily reported on a 2010 study in the journal Neuron that found boosting brain magnesium improved learning and memory in rats, leading researchers to suggest that taking in more magnesium could be one way to improve cognitive function. Brazil nuts are a great source of magnesium and also contain healthy monosaturated fat