Ginseng, Fish, Berries, or Caffeine?
Listen to the rumor about food and dietary supplements, and believe that they can do everything from a sharp focus to improve memory, attention span and brain function.
But do they really work? It can not be denied that as we age, our body ages together with us. The good news is that you can improve your chances of maintaining a healthy brain by adding “smart” foods and beverages to your diet.
Caffeine Can Make You More Alert
There is no magic solution to increase the IQ or make you smarter, but certain substances, such as caffeine, can energize you and help you concentrate. Caffeine, found in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks and some medications, gives you that unmistakable buzz of attention, although the effects are short-term. And more often it is less: exaggerating with caffeine and can make you feel nervous and uncomfortable.
Sugar Can Enhance Alertness
Sugar is your brain’s preferred fuel source — not table sugar, but glucose, which your body processes from the sugars and carbs you eat. That’s why a glass of OJ or another fruit juice can offer a short-term boost to memory, thinking, and mental ability.
Have too much, though, and memory can be impaired — along with the rest of you. Go easy on the added sugar, as it has been linked to heart disease and other conditions.
Eat Breakfast to Fuel Your Brain
Tempted to skip breakfast? Studies have found that eating breakfast may improve short-term memory and attention. Students who eat it tend to perform better than those who don’t. Foods at the top of researchers’ brain-fuel list include high-fiber whole grains, dairy, and fruits. Just don’t overeat; researchers also found high-calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration.
Fish Really is Brain Food
A protein source linked to a large brain impulse is fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are key to brain health. These healthy fats have incredible brain capacity: a diet with higher levels of them has been linked to lower risks of dementia and stroke and a slower mental decline; In addition, they can play a vital role in improving memory, especially as we get older.
For brain and heart health, eat two servings of fish weekly.
Add a Daily Dose of Nuts and Chocolate
Nuts and seeds are good sources of antioxidant vitamin E, which in some studies has been linked to less cognitive decline as you get older. Dark chocolate also has other powerful antioxidant properties, and it contains natural stimulants like caffeine, which can improve focus.
Enjoy up to an ounce per day of nuts and dark chocolate to get all the benefits you need with a minimum of excess calories, fat or sugar.