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10 Foods to Increase Your Brainpower. Is Fish One of Them?

Posted by Christa Knox, MA MScN Mar 13 2017

1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and can help combat memory loss. It also supports a healthy gut. Look up the “gut-brain axis” to see how your brain and digestive system are linked.

2. Broccoli
Broccoli, kale, garlic, and onions, are protective against Alzheimer’s Disease and also support memory and concentration.

3. Blueberries
Blueberries are one of the highest antioxidant-rich foods and also contain fiber and the vitamins K and C. They are especially good at protecting our brains from degeneration and stress.

4. Dark Chocolate
Cocoa contains high levels of antioxidants and is packed with magnesium, fiber, and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can improve blood flow to the brain and can also help lower blood pressure. Cocoa supports alertness and a reduction in the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Choose dark chocolate with 60% or more cocoa.

5. Egg Yolks
Eggs support liver detoxification, your memory, and can help to improve your overall cognitive performance. Don’t worry: many studies have shown that eating eggs has no effect on the cholesterol levels of healthy adults and they can even help raise good cholesterol levels (HDL).

6. Rosemary
Rosemary helps protect the brain from neurodegeneration and smelling it can improve your memory.

7. Walnuts
Walnuts are neuroprotective and contain melatonin, Omega-3s, and antioxidants. They also offer vascular benefits to for a your heart and brain. Fun fact: the brain's vascular system is 400 miles long!

8. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds offer protection against Alzheimer's Disease and are high in magnesium. Magnesium is necessary for over 300 biological processes, yet 80% of us are deficient in it.

9. Beets
Beets reduce inflammation, are high in antioxidants and help eliminate toxins. Their compounds boost blood flow to the brain, helping with mental performance. During workouts, beets help boost energy and performance levels.

10. Salmon
Fun fact: our brains are made up of 60-80% fat. Healthy fats and Omega-3s are found in salmon and other cold water fish including herring, mackerel, and tuna. These fish are anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and contain powerful antioxidants. They support overall mental health, vision, oxygen circulation, the immune system, and offer protection against depression. Look for wild and/or canned salmon, and fish oil supplements. Don’t worry: several studies since the 1960s have shown that the selenium in fish is neuroprotective and counteracts the adverse effects of any mercury they might contain.

Christa Knox, MA, MScN, is a stroke survivor and holistic nutritionist in Portland, Ore. Visit Christa's website.

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