Medical advancements and the ease by which a higher quality of life can be achieved have led to increased longevity in humans. While average lifespan can be extended for much longer than in the past, the aging process continues on as a fact of life, regardless.
One way to circumvent the effects of aging is through healthy nutrition. Choosing the right kinds of foods such as fruits, vegetables, microalgae and others that properly nourish the body not only increase lifespan, but also promote energy and improve cognitive health. The following 10 foods are known to help boost energy and support brain health.
No. 1 Whole Grains
The body needs glucose in the blood for the brain and for energy. Low glycemic whole grain sources, such as whole wheat bread, oats, spelt, and brown rice are among the best options, as they slowly release levels of glucose. The high fiber content, iron, and B-complex vitamins in whole grains also help promote sustained energy throughout the day. The lower the GI, the better the effect on mood, as it steadily releases serotonin.
No. 2 Blueberries
Blueberries are antioxidant powerhouses that help to boost energy by reducing oxidative stress on the body. Loaded with vitamins and minerals to support brain health, such as vitamins C, E, A and B-complex, zinc, selenium, copper, magnesium, and phosphorous, blueberries also support memory -- particularly short-term memory.
No. 3 Tomatoes
Tomatoes contain a high concentration of antioxidants. They are particularly rich in lycopene, a powerful carotenoid that diminishes free radical damage to the brain cells.
No. 4 Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, which helps to boost cognitive functioning. More specifically, the brain health benefits associated with pumpkin seeds and their high zinc content support memory and critical thinking.
No. 5 Broccoli
Broccoli has tremendously high Vitamin K content, a fat-soluble antioxidant that reinforces brain health. High blood levels of Vitamin K have principally been shown to improve episodic memory – an important cognitive function that has been linked to past-event recollection.
No. 6 Nuts
Almonds, cashews, walnuts, and hazelnuts – all of these nuts represent a rich source of Vitamin E, which helps to prevent cognitive decline. Nuts are also loaded with healthy fats that promote cardiovascular health, and are full of protein and magnesium, providing an abundant energy boost due to their efficient conversion of sugar into energy.
No. 7 Lean Meat
Lean cuts of beef, poultry, and pork are high in Tyrosine, an amino acid that increases the production of dopamine and norepinephrine, brain chemicals that help to increase cognitive functioning, while maintaining the body’s ability to remain focused and alert.
No. 8 Algae
Whether large sea vegetables, called macroalgae, or tiny micro-algae, such as spirulina, algae is a superfood that delivers a vast array of nutrients to support energy, brain health, and the immune system. Algae can be eaten as a food, or taken as a supplement. Non-contaminated, pesticide-free sources of algae are essential in order to obtain the numerous health benefits.
No. 9 Salmon
Salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, a key reinforcement to brain health and energy maintenance. Salmon promotes blood circulation and cardiovascular efficiency in the body.
No. 10 Chocolate
Chocolate helps to boost energy as a natural source of caffeine, iron, and magnesium. It also improves mood and cognitive functioning through another natural stimulant, known as theobromine. In order to reap the benefits of chocolate, darker is better, and consumers should look for chocolate that is at least 70 percent cacao.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns about your health. Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have heard or read in this article or the internet.