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Enhance Your Brain Power With These Natural Foods

Last updated April 23, 2016

Illustration of a food pyramid

In a study conducted by Colzato (Institute for Psychological Research and Leiden Institute for Brain & Cognition, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands) and others, titled ‘Food for creativity: Tyrosine promotes deep thinking’; it was acknowledged that the kind of food we eat, does influence our thinking style. Some foods seem to have the special ability to overcome any thinking blocks that we may face and to also prevail over dull, uninspired periods, when our creative juices are low.


The brain is a super organ. It has been described as the most complex object in the whole universe. The brain consists of over 100 billion nerve cells or neurons, which interconnect with each other. Even though, the brain is composed of water (75%), proteins, and other chemicals, the human understanding of the brain is almost negligible and hardly significant. But, this has not hindered or reduced its functioning efficiency and output, in any manner.

Nevertheless, in order to keep the brain healthy and ensure its full functionality, we need to eat well, be active, rest well, and also stay healthy. The brain requires good nutrition from the foods that we consume. These include certain complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids (EFAs), amino acids (like tryptophan), vitamins and minerals, and plenty of water.

In a study conducted by Colzato (Institute for Psychological Research and Leiden Institute for Brain & Cognition, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands) and others, titled ‘Food for creativity: Tyrosine promotes deep thinking’; it was acknowledged that the kind of food we eat, does influence our thinking style. Some foods seem to have the special ability to overcome any thinking blocks that we may face and to also prevail over dull, uninspired periods, when our creative juices are low.

The power of the brain may be enhanced by regularly including the following natural foods in your diet.

  • Wholegrain foods:

Wholegrain foods have complex carbohydrates that help keep the brain function stable by the slow release of energy. Such foods include wheat bran, whole-meal breads, etc.

  • Fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids:

In order to maintain a healthy brain, certain oil-rich fishes, such as salmon, sardines, trout, and herring, which are high in omega 3 fatty acids, are highly recommended. EFAs are also good for the bone and joints, heart, etc.

Beetroots can enhance brain power by increasing blood circulation, especially in the brain. Wake Forest University researchers have established in a study that certain nitrates found in beetroots are responsible for this beneficial property of this colorful root vegetable.

The sage is a short woody shrub with oblong leaves. It contains chemical compounds that aid certain neurotransmitters, by preventing their breakdown. These neurotransmitters play important role in promoting learning and memory. Sage is also recommended to delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

It is said that healthy breakfasts are brain foods and having eggs in the morning is very good for the brain. Particularly, the egg yolks are a rich source of choline that enhance and promote cognitive performance.

Just as there are foods that are good for the brain, likewise, foods loaded with salt, sugar, and trans fats are known to be bad for the brain. It is always recommended to take the advice of a suitable healthcare professional, before bringing any alteration to your regular food habits and diet.

References:

Colzato LS, de Haan AM, Hommel B. Food for creativity: tyrosine promotes deep thinking. Psychol Res. 2014 Sep 26. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25257259.

http://www.brainandspine.org.uk/brain-food-nutrition-tips-healthy-brain (accessed on 10/30/2014)

http://www.foodforthebrain.org/ (accessed on 10/30/2014)

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2011/02February/Documents/BTH_Miracle_%20foods_report.pdf (accessed on 10/30/2014)

http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/content/assets/PDF/publications/Feeding-Minds.pdf?view=Standard (accessed on 10/30/2014)

Packer, L., & Colman, C. (1999). The antioxidant miracle.

Wang, C., Szabo, J. S., & Dykman, R. A. (2004). Effects of a carbohydrate supplement upon resting brain activity. Integrative Physiological & Behavioral Science, 39(2), 126-138.

Wurtman, R. (1983). Behavioural effects of nutrients. The Lancet, 321(8334), 1145-1147.

Slemmer, J. E., Shacka, J. J., Sweeney, M. I., & Weber, J. T. (2008). Antioxidants and free radical scavengers for the treatment of stroke, traumatic brain injury and aging. Current medicinal chemistry, 15(4), 404-414.

Hoebel, B. G. (1985). Brain neurotransmitters in food and drug reward. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 42(5), 1133-1150.

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: April 23, 2016
Last updated: April 23, 2016