Do you ever wish you could be just a little bit smarter? Like, if your brain worked a little better –If you were more focused and clear-headed – maybe you wouldn’t be forced to work on the weekends to make up time.
Or, better yet, you might be able to leave work early and catch up with the people you love instead; or make your boss happy; or get a raise… There’s not much that can’t be fixed with more brainpower.
What if I told you there’s a proven, science-backed way to maximize your intelligence and focus levels? And before you say it… No, I am not talking about partaking in a certain medication. *cough, cough.* I’m talking about good old-fashioned healthy eating!
If you want to learn how to optimize your diet for maximum brainpower, according to science, you’ve come to the right place, my friend.
Keep reading to discover 6 powerful foods you should eat, proven to make you smarter!
What does your diet have to do with your intelligence?
A whole branch of science called nutritional neuroscience1 studies the link between your brain health, psychology, and nutrition. Although it’s a relatively new discipline, they’re sure about a few things:
- Your diet influences the health and diversity of your gut microbiome, which impacts your brain’s health in many ways2. A healthy and diverse community of gut bacteria…
- Reduces inflammation;
- Improves your immunity;
- Produces hormones and neurotransmitters identical to those your body produces on its own (e.g., serotonin);
- Directly sends messages to your brain via the vagus nerve.
When your gut bacteria are happy and healthy, so are you. Through the mechanisms I’ve just mentioned, your gut microbiome affects sleep, stress, memory, mood, and brainpower.
- Some nutrients and minerals in healthy foods directly impact your neurons (your brain’s specialized cells), leading to greater brain health and improved cognitive ability.
Which foods should you eat to promote your brain’s health?
Consuming daily probiotics is a great way to diversify and multiply your gut bacteria. Remember what we said? A diverse microbiome means more happy hormones and increased mental clarity – So this is a very good thing.
Pro Tip: No need to buy expensive probiotic supplements3 – Tons of real foods contain more than enough probiotics to help you feel your best. Incorporate yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, miso, or sauerkraut into your routine instead!
Feed your gut bacteria with prebiotics
Your gut bacteria need to eat, too! So feed them by eating more fibre4, also known as a prebiotic. You’ll find fibre in fruits, vegetables, unprocessed grains, nuts, and seeds.
Pro Tip:Every plant food contains its own type of fibre, which feeds specific types of gut bacteria. The more varied forms of fibre you consume, the healthier and more diverse your gut microbiome will be!
Eat more chocolate
Yup, you read that right – The flavonoids found in cocoa have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, improving blood flow to the brain and increasing heart health. Some studies5 have even found that these flavonoids protect your neurons and enhance your mood and brainpower!
Add curcumin to your diet
Curcumin is a polyphenol that has a similar effect to those found in cocoa, protecting your neurons against degeneration and inflammation. This increases neuron formation, leading to better cognition and mood.
Don’t forget the Omegas!
Omega-3s are crucial in optimizing your brain’s structure and function. In fact, a 2016 study6 published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that increased fish consumption actually increased the volume of grey matter in certain parts of the brain, improving cognition and memory.
They also protect you from the cognitive decline that happens during aging, reducing your risk of developing dementia.
Antioxidants! Antioxidants! Antioxidants!
We can’t stress this one enough. Your brain is highly susceptible to oxidative damage, which leads to premature cell death and aging, impacting your cognition and memory. Antioxidants are the best way to combat oxidative damage and maintain a healthy mind.
Pro Tip: The highest levels of antioxidants are found in foods like berries, broccoli, spinach, carrots, pumpkin, and potatoes.
Take your brain’s health into your own hands!
You’ve just learned that you can maximize your productivity, memory, and mood by eating the right things. And the truth is, all these healthy foods have one thing in common – They’re all healthy, unprocessed, REAL FOODS. So incorporate more real foods into your diet now, and watch your physical, mental, and cognitive health sky-rocket!
Today’s Daily Action
Be conscious of what you eat today. How can you incorporate more brain-boosting foods into your daily routine? Think of a plan and stick to it! Not only will your mind thank you, but so will your overall health.