If you want to improve your cognitive performance...start with your diet. Why? Because the brain needs certain nutrients to stay healthy and function properly. Luckily, certain foods, or so-called brain foods, can have positive effects on cognitive performance.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 best brain foods for memory, concentration, and overall brain health.
Did you know that your brain alone require 20-25% of your daily calory intake?
Top 10 best brain foods
1. Whole Grains
The brain gets most of its energy from glucose, a simple sugar. You should strive to keep your glucose levels as constant as possible so that the brain is continuously supplied with energy. If the blood sugar level fluctuates too much, it can lead to mental exhaustion, dizziness, or cramps.
Oatmeal, whole grain bread, brown rice - the complex carbohydrates in these foods ensure that the energy is released into the blood more slowly and therefore lasts longer. This keeps your blood sugar level constant and your attention high!
Bananas contain the messenger substance tryptophan, which the body converts into the good mood hormone serotonin. They are also rich in magnesium, which is essential for your metabolism and protects the nervous system from stress.
Legumes such as lentils, beans, or peas are powerful plant-based proteins that help support your energy levels.
Proteins play an important role in our brains as suppliers of amino acids. The amino acid tryptophan, for example, is converted in the brain into the hormone serotonin, which among other things ensures a good mood and helps to keep your sleep rhythm regular.
Omega-3 fatty acids from:
4. Algae and 5. Seeds
The brain and nervous system are made up of over 50 percent fat, which is why essential omega-3 fatty acids are particularly important for the performance of our brain. A study carried out by the Federal Ministry found that omega-3 fatty acids have a positive influence on the structure of the brain regions that are responsible for memory performance. These effects were particularly evident when it comes to adapting to new situations as quickly as possible and performing new tasks quickly and correctly (1).
Chlorella and Spirulina algae contain a particularly high proportion of these valuable fatty acids. Hemp or chia seeds are also ideal, as rich omega suppliers.
Probably the most famous brain food includes walnuts. But, other (tree) nuts such as cashew nuts and almonds are also a perfect natural brain snack. They are rich in B vitamins, which have a positive effect on the psyche and nerves, are full of vitamin E for healthy cells, and provide plenty of unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, the primary building material of our brain.
7. Pumpkin seeds
These kernels are a real nutrient package: They not only contain a lot of unsaturated fatty acids but also supply the brain with essential minerals such as magnesium and zinc.
Avocados contain important B vitamins. These are primarily involved in the formation of neurotransmitters and play an important role in the provision of energy.
9. (Dark) berries
Whether local strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries or exotic maqui and acai berries, berries are full of important vitamins and antioxidants. Anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that gives berries their dark color, protects cells from free radicals.
10. Leafy greens
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sprouts, spinach, or moringa support cognitive functions thanks to the nutrients they contain. Green vegetables also contain antioxidants - in the form of chlorophyll to help fight off free radicals.