Work. Family. Money. Traffic. The list of things stressing us out these days seems to be getting longer every day. If all that stress is making you feel a bit foggy in the mornings when you are trying to jump-start your day, know that you are not alone. But there are foods that can help you power up your cognitive engines and bolster your healthy diet. Check out this list of four foods that can help fuel your brain.
–– Fatty fish.
Remember when your mom made you eat your fish sticks? She was on to something. Fatty fish are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which help power the brain. Simon Dyall, a principal academic and head of nutrition at Bournemouth University in the UK told Time: “Omega-3 fatty acids are involved in many different fundamental brain processes.” While the jury is still out on the efficacy of supplements, experts suggest that you eat fish like salmon, trout and sardines regularly.
Strong scientific evidence suggests that eating blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and other berries has beneficial effects on the brain. Some experts suggest that flavonoids, the pigments that endow berries with such vivid colors, may help prevent age-related memory loss and other changes, Science Daily reports. That’s juicy news if you are looking to slow the effects of aging on your brain.
–– Tea and coffee.
Crave a java jolt on a tired morning? Feel no guilt, because experts say caffeine might offer more than just a short-term concentration bump, as Harvard Health Publishing has noted. A 2014 study published in The Journal of Nutrition showed that people with higher caffeine consumption scored better on tests of mental function. Caffeine might also help firm up new memories, according to other research. Investigators at Johns Hopkins University asked participants to study a series of images and then gave them either a placebo or a 200-milligram caffeine tablet. The caffeine group killed it on the test.
Not only are walnuts a dandy source of protein and healthy fats, they also might also improve memory. A 2015 study from UCLA connected higher walnut consumption with better cognitive test scores, as Harvard Health Publishing cited. Walnuts are high in a type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which helps lower blood pressure and protects arteries. Experts say that’s a plus for the heart and brain.