One of the most important powers a person possesses is the power of choice. How we choose the food that fuels our body truly shapes overall health. Here are 10 great food choices that will make a positive impact on your brain and body function.
- Fatty fish is a rich source of omega-3s, a major building block of the brain. Omega-3s play a role in sharpening memory and improving mood, as well as protecting your brain against decline. Salmon, trout, and sardines are great examples of the fatty fish rich in omega-3s.
Broccoli containsa number of compounds that have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, including vitamin K. Have you eaten any broccoli today?
- It’s often said, “You are what you eat.” It’s so true. The fuel you put in your body truly determines performance. Pumpkin seeds are rich in many micronutrients that are important for brain function, including copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Pumpkin seeds are truly brain food— and also yummy!
- Nuts can be an important component of a healthy diet. Nuts contain a host of brain-boosting nutrients, including vitamin E, healthy fats and plant compounds. While all nuts are good for your brain, walnuts may have an extra edge, since they also deliver omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts are a great snack—so what are you waiting for?
- You can get all the vitamin C you need in a day by eating one medium orange. Eating sufficient amounts of vitamin C-rich foods can protect against age-related mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a 2014 peer review article.
- Eggs are a rich source of several B vitamins and choline, which are important for proper brain functioning and development, as well as regulating mood. We love eating eggs for both breakfast and dinner—do you?
- Spinach is a superfood. It is loaded with tons of nutrients in a low-calorie package. Dark, leafy greens like spinach are important for skin, hair, and bone health. Spinach also provides protein, iron, vitamins, and minerals. A cup of raw spinach can give you your daily intake of vitamin A, and half of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. And really, who doesn’t love a great spinach salad topped with salmon?
- Brussel sprouts are in the cruciferous vegetable category and most certainly shouldn’t be reserved for your Thanksgiving table. Add brussels sprouts to your diet to supplement your protein intake as well as help decrease bad cholesterol levels due to their high fiber content.
- Asparagus is packed with protein. Who knew so much protein could be stuffed into a 32-calorie cup of these skinny spears? Besides the protein, we also love that asparagus is jam-packed with inulin (a type of prebiotic fiber that promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut) and potassium, which can help you look slimmer by keep bloating at bay.
- Collard greens? Yep, collard greens. Don’t reserve this southern staple to solely be served with barbecue anymore. Collard greens are also a great source of folate (serving up 75 percent of your recommended daily intake). The B vitamin helps with the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that keeps us happy, as well as aids with focus, energy, and alertness—all things that make folate-rich foods a great choice in a healthy diet.