I could while away the hours/conferrin’ with the flowers/consultin’ with the rain/And my head I’d be scratchin’/ While my thoughts were busy hatchin’/If I only had a brain.
-Scarecrow, Wizard of Oz
A financial planning practice, several websites, a super awesome wife, 3 rambunctious boys, a very needy dog, 4 days a week of Crossfit workouts- is there no wonder that I need to boost my brain power any chance I get?
Sucking down a 5 Hour Energy might be temporary fix, but the reality is that you need real foods to boost your brain power to perform at maximum capacity.
Otherwise you’re left in a zombie-like state and your 3 boys are running circles around you like mini Tasmanian Devils.
On top of keeping up with the daily grind, a healthy diet rich in brain boosting foods will help your brain to fight off fatigue and diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Foods with naturally vibrant colors and Omega-3 Fatty acids are full of amazing preventive and healing properties, antioxidants and essential minerals for maximum brain potential.
Note: You’re going to see some heavy influence from Tim Ferriss’ book 4 Hour Body in this post. Ask my wife, I’m kinda Tim obsessed. 🙂
Here’s a look some of the best foods to boost your brain power and one bonus supplement that I love. Enjoy!
10 Food Superstars for Your Brain
Blueberries have unique healing powers and are loaded with vitamins and minerals that prevent and heal damage to cells caused by oxidative stress. Blueberries contain anthocyanin which allows the brain to react quicker and more effectively to stimulation and signals.
I realize that blueberries aren’t your common grocery store purchase and initially you might find it difficult to fit into your meal plan. One way that I found worked really easy was to buy frozen blueberries (blackberries, too) and mix it in a protein shake. I think my protein shake is quite delicious in case you want to give it a try: healthy and nutritious protein shake.
2. Wild salmon
My wife could order (and usually does) salmon every time we go out to eat. Personally, I’m a red meat guy when we eat out, but I do love to eat salmon when were at home.
Wild Salmon is a fatty fish rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids. These fatty acids are similar to the ones already found in the brain. Salmon has anti-inflammatory qualities and is abundant in DHA, critical for brain development and recovery.
All I can say is that I can eat me some almonds. I average at least one to two handful of almonds per day.
These nuts are full of nutrients which can help achieve high intellectual level by developing the brain. Almonds have high levels or antioxidants and Vitamin E which are important in decreasing memory loss associated with aging.
What makes almonds even better is the next brain boosting super food.
4. Dark chocolate
This is my sinful guilt free pleasure. How you ask? Simple. Dark chocolate covered almonds.
It doesn’t get much better than that.
Qualities and benefits have been found in dark chocolate that have not been discovered in any other form of the delectable treat. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and naturally contains caffeine. Caffeine improves your focus and your mood by stimulating endorphins.
Combining the two together not only boosts your brain, but also stimulates your taste buds, too. 🙂 #yumilicious
Okay, before you think I’m scarfing down dark chocolate covered almonds by the droves, I do moderate how many you eat. My trick is that I mix some of the dark chocolate covered almonds with the unsalted ones. I’ll usually strive for 2 dark chocolate covered almonds for every 4-5 others.
5. Green leafy vegetables
These green vegetables contain Vitamin E to help keep the brain sharp and Vitamin B to encourage the production of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine to keep the brain balanced and focused.
My favorite choice is Popeye’s favorite: spinach. Before Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Body, I hated spinach. Hated it! After reading, love it!
What I discovered is that I had to find a way on how to prepare it. All I use is some organic butter, olive oil and minced garlic sauteed in a skillet for about 10 minutes. Perfection!
Vitamin C, Vitamin A and protein are packed into this super fruit, and are all critical building blocks of neurotransmitters.
I wish I was a bigger fan of tomatoes. The time I enjoy them the most is when they are on an In-N-Out Burger. 🙂
Avocados contain high levels of folate. People enjoying diets full of folate are less likely to suffer a stroke than those who do not. Not sure an easy way to incorporate Avocado in your diet? Head over to Subway and “Eat Fresh” and add avocado to your sandwich for only $.50.
8. Black beans
This preferred legume of choice is full of calcium, magnesium, potassium and folate (Vitamin B). It has been discovered people with Alzheimer’s likely had low folate levels in their diets.
I’ve you’ve read 4 Hour Body then you already know how much Tim LOVES beans. Almost every meal he suggests consuming some sort of legumes. High in fiber, low glycemic and boosts your brain power – trifecta!
9. Olive oil
Cook with Olive Oil and drizzle it on your salads. It is full of hydroxytyrosol which helps protect the neurons in the brain from the devastating effects deterioration and oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia because it slows the brain’s performance with age.
My favorite salad dressing when eating out is olive oil and vinegar. We always drizzle a bit of olive oil over our salmon when we prepare it, too.
Pomegranates make a super juice for the brain. The refreshing treat contains more antioxidants than green tea and red wine. The antioxidants protect the brain from free radicals allowing the brain to learn and comprehend more efficiently.
11. Athletic Greens
Keep your brain healthy and keep it fed with the right foods. Nature provides us the foods we need to live long and healthy lives. There is no need for a special pill to improve your brain power, just toss a brain boosting salad to keep your mind sharp and maximize your brain to it’s powerful potential.
Yes, that is sales copy straight from the Athletic Greens website. I, of course, first heard about Athletic Greens from Tim Ferriss. I tried out the low glycemic diet he suggested in his book and saw good results from it. My only issue is that I got tired of eating beans. But, if I need to drop a few pounds it’s easy to go back to.
The missing link I felt was getting enough vegetables. Being super busy getting 6-8 fruit and veggies is almost impossible. Looking for a supplement, Athletic Greens seemed like the logical choice. You know…because Tim said so!
It is pricey, but I’ve adjusted it where they only ship me a new bottle every 45 days instead of every month.
Do you have any foods you like that give your brain a boost? Share your powerfood below!
How about something like this, “new-gen supplements, replace the obsolete or damaged cells in your body and improve the generation of new cells and ultimately your health.”
This is a 10 yr old company, with a Patented Technology…It’s the epitome of the body fixing itself. AND it breaks the blood brain barrier. Interested to learn more, I’d love to educate you on this.
For some reasons, I prefer tuna and mackerel over salmon. I also go for dark chocolates, spinach, and almonds. They are just some of my favorite brain-boosting foods. My other favorites include broccoli, apples, grapes, oranges, tofu, whole wheat bread and pasta, eggs, and of course, water.
Almonds and beans are not safe when I’m around! I also love fish too. Not salmon though. I roll with cans of tuna everywhere.
Since I cannot eat these foods all the time, I use supplements to add to my diet. For example, I eat salmon once a week and salads/vegetables/fruits 5 times a week .
Before I read your article, I had a few food items in mind. Glad to see I was half right! The others are new to me, so thanks for the FYI. Especially dark chocolate. 🙂
Spinach is my leafy green of choice. Kale is pretty great, too. But my favorite is an almond butter, protein powder, blueberry and banana milkshake.
-Christian L. @ Smart Military Money