Eight great foods to boost your brain power

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If you truly are what you eat, don’t you want to add healthier, smarter foods to your diet? Wholesome nutrition isn’t just about maintaining weight and heart health. Certain foods can also boost brain performance and help stave off dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other age-related issues. Check out the list below to get an idea of which selections you should add to your plate.

1) Coffee provides a mental kick-start.

If you’re like many, your day doesn’t truly begin until you’ve had your coffee. You might consider it a guilty pleasure, but in moderation, it’s perfectly fine to drink. In fact, an active brain is less susceptible to memory loss and the caffeine in that cup of java kicks brain activity into high gear by inhibiting adenosine, a chemical neurotransmitter that causes drowsiness.

2) Blueberries pack an antioxidant punch.

Blueberries are one of Mother Nature’s tastiest brain boosters. The anthocyanin flavonoid in blueberries is rich with antioxidants that, when consumed, gather in the brain and ward off inflammation that contributes to Alzheimer’s. Antioxidants also enhance healthy interaction between brain cells. Get the power of blueberries in a smoothie after a workout in the fitness center at The Terraces.

3) They’re not called “eggheads” for nothing.

Scrambled, poached, or as a yummy omelet, any way you like your eggs is just fine with your noggin. Eggs are a good source of vitamin B, an “ingredient” in vital brain chemicals. A lack of vitamin B can precipitate mental deterioration. You can also count on eggs to deliver choline, a micronutrient that helps regulate memory and mood.

4) Broccoli brings the vitamin K.

Broccoli is known for its fiber content and thought to prevent cancer. But did you know this vegetable is high in vitamin K? This nutrient is needed to form sphingolipids, a class of fats that exist in brain cells. Regular doses of vitamin K have been positively linked to increased memory retention.

5) Oranges are nature’s vitamin C bombs.

One orange contains a full daily dose of vitamin C, an antioxidant that combats brain-harming free radicals. Getting enough vitamin C every day guards against mental decline. An occasional serving of orange juice is fine, but you can skip the high sugar concentration and gain plenty of fiber by eating whole fruit instead.

6) Enjoy fish with omega-3s, the “good fat.”

Certain fish such as trout, salmon, and sardines are loaded with omega-3s, fatty acids that help the brain make substances needed for memory. Omega-3s also enhance the interaction between cells by increasing membrane permeability. Who knew a seafood dinner at The Terraces could be so good for your brain?

7) Scarf kale for lutein balance. 

What’s most wonderful about kale is its lutein, an important nutrient that our bodies don’t produce. Lutein accumulates in the brain and wards off harmful free radicals that can impair cognitive function.

8) Find fantastic flavonoids in dark chocolate.

Yes, chocolate is good for your brain. But you should limit milk and white varieties and go for the dark stuff most often. Eating dark chocolate pumps antioxidants and flavonoids into the brain to aid memory. Flavonoids also increase blood flow to the brain, which boosts problem-solving ability and lengthens attention span.

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