While we may not all be Bradley Cooper’s character in Limitless, we’ve definitely thought of taking the “Limitless pill” before. The film’s seemingly magical brain-boosting drug isn’t necessary, however, if we properly nourish our minds. There’s a whole host of foods that contribute to cognitive function, and these are some of the most helpful ones out there. Eat these on the regular, and you’ll definitely feel like a superhuman.
Eggs are one of the best dietary sources of choline on the planet. Choline is a key part of brain transmission and helps form multiple key compounds in the brain. These include acetylcholine, one of the brain’s most important neurotransmitters, and phosphatidylcholine, a component in cell walls. Roughly three eggs will get you your necessary choline content for the day, so those eggs in the morning are definitely helping your brain stay on point.
Blueberries are linked to memory improvement because of their insane level of flavonoids. These antioxidant, anti-inflammatory compounds improve memory, coordination, balance, and can even help nerves regenerate. A recent study showed that diets rich in blueberry flavonoids activated the brain better and boosted cognitive function. Thus, it’s definitely important to include these berries as a part of your meal.
Algae oil may not be a part of your regular diet, but it’s definitely something to look into. Many milks are fortified with this amazing oil, which is high in DHA. DHA is one of the essential fatty acids the brain needs to function, so you need to make sure to get this in your diet. Eggs and fish are other great options, but if you’re a vegan, algae oil is the way to go.
Cauliflower is one of the few foods that contains a precursor to citicoline, another important brain compound. Like choline, citicoline also converts into phosphatidylcholine and helps with brain cell membrane growth and function. It’s definitely important to get these nutrients, so eating more cauliflower is always a plus.
Grape juice is one food experiments are currently being conducted on for its potential brain-boosting power. While it’s not clear yet as to why grape juice is a great brain food, the heavy polyphenol content, known for its antioxidant properties, is a good guess. Grape juice is superior to grapes for this nutrition because you get the nutrients from way more grapes than you can eat concentrated down into a single glass. Spatial memory and motor skill performance both increase when drinking grape juice, so try incorporating some into your diet and see if it helps you out.
Like grape juice, sage also contains a decent amount of polyphenols inside of it. These compounds protect nerve cells, increase neurotransmitter levels in the brain, and fight oxidative stress. Thus, adding some of this fragrant herb into more of your meals could help with your memory and nerve functions.
Dark chocolate lovers rejoice, because you’re eating one of most beneficial brain foods out there. Apart from antioxidants to prevent radical compounds from messing with your brain, dark chocolate also contains some caffeine, which can improve focus and memory. Furthermore, eating dark chocolate triggers the release of endorphins, or feel-good hormones, in your brain to boost mood. A good mood can help your mental acuity increase, so why not consume more dark chocolate?
In general, nuts and seeds are good brain foods because they help prevent mental aging. This is thanks to Vitamin E, a micronutrient that combats against brain deterioration. While any nut or seed will do, almonds are one of the better sources of this vitamin amongst this food group. Sunflower seeds are another great alternative if you’re not down with this tree nut.
Tomatoes are in tons of foods we eat already, so it’s good to know that a brain food can be as commonplace as this fruit. The biggest contribution these can give to our brain health is lycopene, the red pigment that also prevents free radical compounds from attacking and potentially damaging the brain. As such, it’s a great antioxidant that we can easily incorporate into almost any diet.
The favorite food of millennials is also a great brain food. Avocados contain healthy fats like monounsaturated fats that promote blood flow to areas like the brain. The more blood flowing, the more oxygen is getting to your brain, which means you can think clearly and react better. As such, that expensive avocado toast we all love and consume is actually going to help our brains in the long run.