Did you know the foods you put on your plate impact not only your gut, but your brain too? Everything from memory to mental clarity and mood can be affected by our diet – so it’s important to make the right choices. You might know the usual suspects like fish, olive oil and walnuts help keep us in good health, but we’ve collated 3 unexpected foods to add to your list of brain-boosters!
Coffee lovers may be both surprised and relieved to see their drink of choice on this list – and while it’s important to enjoy your cup of joe in moderation for the sake of your nervous system, the research says that a bit of this stuff can actually promote brain health. It comes down to the antioxidant content which protects our cells and prevents inflammation which can lead to cognitive decline – but it may be of surprise to learn that the caffeine content also plays a role in the brain-boosting properties of coffee. This is because caffeine blocks adenosine, which can help us stay alert and ward of tiredness. Coffee may also give us a boost of dopamine – the feel-good hormone – which helps improve mood and mental clarity. Some promising research shows that long-term consumption of coffee is associated with a lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease, and it’s believed the antioxidant content is responsible for these brain-protective properties.
This aromatic spice is known for its anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting properties and is especially beneficial for a healthy gut – but you might not know it’s also known to boost brain function, including memory and mental clarity. The curcumin in turmeric is believed to significantly improve memory function in those with degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, which research showing it might remove the plaques which are a trademark element of the condition. Curcumin has also been proven to cross the blood-brain barrier – this means it can directly move into the brain and provide inflammatory effects straight to the source, which plays a massive role in reducing the risk for cognitive decline and disease. Another promising effect of turmeric is its effect on mood disorders like depression – research shows that the curcumin promotes the release of feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin. If that hasn’t got you sold on turmeric, more research shows that the curcumin – yes, it’s all about the curcumin! – may promote the growth of brain cells, thereby slowing the process of cognitive decline.
Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, loaded with antioxidants and brain-boosting nutrients like magnesium and zinc. The latter plays a massive role in managing nerve signals, so it’s no surprise that a lack of this stuff can contribute to cognitive decline. The magnesium is necessary for learning and memory function – including both short and long-term memory. It’s been found to lower the risk of age-related memory loss, and a deficiency of this stuff can lead to all manner of chronic conditions from migraines to epilepsy. Plus, you’ll also find a hefty dose of iron and copper in pumpkin seeds, and the latter is known to help prevent degenerative diseases, while the former is essential for preventing brain fog and compromised mental clarity. Sprinkle these nutrient dense seeds over your porridge or add them to soups, smoothies and salads!
If you’ve been having a little trouble keeping that sugar addiction at bay, we’re here to help. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. Join us for the 8-Week Program where we’ll be quitting sugar and turning our health dreams into a reality. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!