As a medical professional, you rely on your brainpower to get through your busy day and to take care of your patients. If you want to keep your brain working at its best, here are 10 brain foods that can help you focus and can help you boost your brain power:
1) Foods with Essential fatty acids (EFAs)
EFAs are essential to proper brain function and can be found in oily fish, nuts and pumpkin seeds. It can be an especially good idea to snack on pumpkin seeds, since they're also rich in zinc, which has been shown to boost mental power. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines also contain healthy fats as well as vitamin D - which is also essential for optimal functioning of the brain and immune system. Aim for at least two servings of fish per week.
Berries are natural antioxidants and are rich in vitamin C, which has been shown to improve brain function. Since berries are also low in calories, they make a great snack by the handful. Blueberries, in particular, have been linked with improved mental function, as have blackberries. Try a cup a day.
When it comes to foods that are good for your brain and body, it's hard to beat broccoli. It's a dark leafy green - known to be one of the healthiest foods we should all be eating more of. Broccoli is also rich vitamin K - one vitamin many of us do not get enough of but which is great for brain function.
4) Nuts and seeds
Seeds and nuts are rich in healthy fats and contain vitamin E, which can guard you against cognitive decline. Just look for nuts and seeds without added salt or sugar and buy in small amounts - nuts can go rancid over time. Since nuts are higher in fat and are calorie-dense, aim for a small handful a day or a try a few tablespoons of nut or seed butters.
Avocados are high in healthy fats and can improve blood flow to the brain, making them a great choice for heart health and brain health.
If you're looking for foods to help you focus, you may be thinking of coffee. The problem with coffee is that it has a high amount of caffeine. In comparison, tea has a lower amount and also contains antioxidants which can boost your overall health. A cup of fresh-brewed tea can help you feel more alert without the jitteriness of coffee.
7) Whole grains.
Whole grains such as oatmeal are good for blood flow, and your brain is dependent on good blood flow to keep functioning. Whole grains are also great for your blood pressure and to help you feel full longer.
8) Fruits and vegetables
Everyone knows fruits and vegetables are important to overall health, but they're also essential to good brain health. Colorful vegetables and fruits contain antioxidants to protect the brain and other systems from damage. They also contain the nutrients the body needs to function correctly. Fruits such as pomegranates are known to be especially beneficial to the brain.
9) Beans and lentils
Beans and lentils release a steady stream of glucose into the body - which is what the brain needs to do its job. Beans and lentils are also high in fiber, which is good for the body overall.
10) Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate - unsweetened and with very little processing - contain antioxidants and caffeine to boost brain power. Chocolate can also improve mood. Because it is high in fat and sugar, however, no more than half an ounce to an ounce is recommended at a time. Buy the highest quality you can and eat in moderation for best effect.
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