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12 Foods That Make You Smarter

By Power Of Positivity

The things we know about our brains have grown by leaps and bounds. In just the past 20 years, we’ve learned more about how the brain works than of all previous years combined.

For instance, we now know that a healthy brain continues to develop new neural connections throughout life (“neuroplasticity”). We also know that intelligence is not fixed. Not so long ago, scientists believed intellect was innate. An “If you got it you got it; if you don’t you don’t” kind of thing.

Which brings us to today’s topic: foods that make you smarter.

That’s right. Choosing the right foods to eat each day can boost your brainpower. Alternatively, eating junk facilitates a “garbage in, garbage out” response from our brain.

The evidence

But you needn’t take our word for it. Here’s an excerpt from a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community health:

“A diet high in fat, sugars, and processed foods in early childhood may result in lower IQ scores, while a diet rich in healthy foods packed with vitamins and nutrients may work in reverse.”

Here’s another one from a 2016 study undertaken by scientists at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign:

Previous studies have found that a person’s lutein (found in spinach, and eggs) is linked to cognitive performance across the life span, [particularly] in the gray matter of brain regions … [preserving] cognitive function in healthy brain aging.”

The importance of the above two studies cannot be overstated. Nutrition affects the cognitive health (thus, intelligence) in people of all ages.

What this means for you…

We know you’re anxious to get to the brain-boosting stuff, so we’ll keep this short and sweet.

If you eat right, and “exercise” your brain (and body!), you can improve your cognitive health. By forming new neural connections, you can learn a new skill faster, feel better, live a happier life, or whatever you’d like! Improving cognitive functioning should be high up on your priority list if you are getting slower or more forgetful, as that won't fix itself over time as you get older.

The Foods

Here’s are the 12 foods to stock up on if you want to give your brain a boost:

1. Eggs

As mentioned in the first study, eggs are a rich source of lutein – a natural carotenoid. Lutein helps to prevent or slow cognitive decline in experimental studies.

Regarding brain power, eggs primary value is in their amino acid content. Eggs also assist learning and memory through assisting in the production of noradrenaline, dopamine, and GABA.

2. Spinach

Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse – literally – it is called a superfood by nutritionists and dietitians. It’s packed with folate, a nutrient that stimulates brain activity.

Spinach is an underrated source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for brain tasks such as learning, memory, and attention.

3. Fish Oil

About half of our 3-pound brain comprises lipids or fatty acids. Fish oil, of course, is rich in all types of fatty acids.

Omega-3’s have a profound effect on our brain’s structure and function. They also boost our cognition, memory and have anti-aging effects.

4. Bananas

Bananas are another superfood, rich in potassium, magnesium, and vitamins C and B6. B6 helps produce the brain chemicals dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and GABA.

Maybe that’s the reason the Minions are so smart. Hmm …

5. Whole Grains

Whole grains are a healthy source of complex carbohydrates, which breaks down into glucose – the brain’s primary energy source. Because whole grains break down slowly, their energy-producing effects last for hours.

6. Dark Berries

Blueberries and raspberries are full of antioxidants, which help fight off free radicals. Antioxidants thereby encourage nerve cell production within the brain and body. Neurons, the brain’s “signaling” cells, require protection; and a handful of dark berries helps with this function.


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