As an entrepreneur, you need every ounce of brain power you can get! And yet between managing your team, overseeing the business and coming up with new ideas, it can often feel like your mental tank is on ‘empty.’
The cause of your foggy mind might be what you’re feeding your body. To boost your memory and sharpen your thinking, reach for these 9 edibles next time your stomach starts to rumble.
Often described as nature’s “most perfect food,” eggs are the whole package: protein to fill you up, Vitamin D for strong bones, and choline, a nutrient that’s believed to have powerful implications for cognitive performance.
Our brains use choline to make acetylcholine, which brain scientists believe may help maintain memory and enable better communication among brain cells. Researchers at Boston University studied 1,400 people for a decade and found that those with a higher regular choline intake displayed better performance on certain memory tests.
This oily fish isn’t just oh-so-yummy, it’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for optimal brain performance. Omega-3’s are not only believed to aid in memory, they keep us healthy on other fronts by lowering our risk for chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
If you don’t get enough of these fatty acids? Doctors say the symptoms of deficiency include fatigue, foggy memory, mood swings and even depression.
At the most basic level, your brain needs fuel to function. That fuel comes in the form of blood sugar, or glucose.
Unlike more sugary breakfast options like many cereals, oatmeal is low on the glycemic index. That means in terms of energy it’s a “slow burn,” providing your brain with a steady stream of high-quality fuel rather than the spike and crash that comes with a quick intake of straight sugar.
Skip the salt and butter and opt for brain-protecting olive oil to cook and enhance your food. O
live oil is high in polyphenols, chemical compounds that go after free radicals that cause damage to the brain’s cells. It’s also rich in brain vitamins E and K, which are believed to slow memory loss and boost your brain’s processing speed, respectively.
But don’t just grab any bottle of oil off the supermarket shelf; experts say to reap olive oil’s full health benefits, you’ll need to do your homework and choose a high-quality olive oil of the extra virgin variety. It’s not as simple as it may sound—there’s actually a highly lucrative black market surrounding the import of fake extra virgin olive oil to the United States!
Every tried kimchi? It’s a traditional (and super delicious) Korean dish made of fermented vegetables like cabbage and radish, and it’s among the healthiest foods for your noggin.
Kimchi is filled with probiotics, a type of good bacteria that aid in digestion. But that’s not the only benefit; researchers now believe fermented foods like kimchi contribute to overall brain health in addition to keeping our digestive tracts running smoothly.
Iron deficiency has long been linked with impairment of our cognitive, language and motor skills. Even being mildly deficient in this mineral can affect our memory and attention spans.
Beans are one of the best foods to make sure you get plenty of iron. They’re also rich in Vitamin B, which helps our cells produce energy and “talk” to one another.
Nearly any bean will do the trick, so try swapping your typical hamburger for a black bean burger, sprinkling some chickpeas on top of your salad, or making a homemade 3-bean chili.
When it comes to superfoods, kale tops all the charts. It’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, can be grown and purchased almost anywhere and fits in nicely with a variety of dishes and flavor profiles.
Our brains depend on vitamins and minerals to do their best work, and there’s almost no better supply of these ingredients than this leafy green. A single serving of kale packs a mighty dose of Vitamin C, pro-vitamin A and Vitamin K, all of which help protect and nourish the fats that make up 60% of our brain.
Blueberries are wonderful for both your waistline and your overall health, but when it comes to your brain, blueberries are outdone by their lesser-known cousin, the blackcurrant.
Researchers studied the dark berry’s impact on cognitive function by giving a group of study participants either a placebo drink or one of two blackcurrant beverages. They found that participants who drank either of the two blackcurrant drinks displayed lessened mental fatigue, higher attention levels and better moods than their placebo-drinking counterparts.
When a snack attack strikes, it can be hard to eat smart. Keep a stash of these brain-boosting seeds on hand for the next time you’re hit with a craving.
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of both Vitamin A and the aforementioned omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the brain from the oxidative stress that occurs as we age.
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