There are “feel good” foods that are exceptionally good for your mind and your body. Whether you’re a college student facing finals week or a senior citizen concerned about memory loss and lack of concentration, you’ll benefit from knowing which foods to eat that will give you a memory boost.
Foods that are good for your mind usually contain “tryptophan,” a chemical that controls the all-important serotonin levels in the brain. Some foods that contain tryptophan are soy products, fowl, pineapples, eggs, cheese milk and avocados. Some bread, potatoes and cereals also have tryptophan.
Chocolate bars and drinks with caffeine may give you a temporary boost, but will cause your body and your brain to become imbalanced. Another chemical, Thiamine (Vitamin B1), promotes healthy brain cells and will also promote balance.
Folic acid, found in foods such as oranges, lemons and bananas help your brain to function healthfully and the mineral, Zinc, promotes concentration as well as keeping your immune system healthy. Zinc can be found in red meat, peanuts and oysters. Omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish (especially salmon) is a great “brain food.”
It’s best not to eat saturated fats contained in many fried foods and fatty meats such as bacon. They alter the neurotransmitters in your brain and can clog your arteries. Too many saturated fats, combined with an unhealthy diet and lifestyle can also cause obesity and an early death because of stroke or diabetes.
A diet rich in the following foods can be healthy for your brain as well as your body:
- Soybeans – Soy provides fiber, fats and proteins.
- Nuts – Contain monounsaturated fats that keep your arteries clear and your mind infused with serotonin.
- Tomatoes – Lycopene and folate, good for the arteries, are found in tomatoes.
- Dark Chocolate – Real chocolate increases artery cleansing flavonoid and also releases dopamine which provides a sense of well-being.
- Oils – Olive, flaxseed, fish, avocado and nut oils all contain monounsaturated fats.
Eating a mind-boosting diet can also benefit your body. If your diet doesn’t contain enough of the vitamins and minerals you need, supplements are readily available.