What can we add to our diet, to feel the accomplishments of a productive day?
It makes sense – eating the right foods can influence so many aspects of our health. But what about brain foods that enhance our productivity day-to-day? Without a doubt, the benefits of superfoods stack up, with the World Health Organisation estimating that through proper nutrition, we can raise our productivity levels by 20 percent!
So, what brain foods can we introduce into our diet (or eat more of), to see increased levels of productivity? From vital nutrients, antioxidants, and minerals — here’s a list of 10 brain foods that you should be adding to your shopping basket.
1. Green Tea + Matcha
Green Tea and Matcha’s secret? A rich amino acid called L-theanine. This brain-booster is heralded for its calming, and concentration-inducing effects, quickly entering the bloodstream, and stimulating the brain’s alpha waves...leading to a more productive you. It’s time to boil that kettle!
Walnuts? Yes really! Known as a natural stress-reliever, Walnuts not only reduce cholesterol, but also help combat stress – thanks to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids. Regularly eating a handful of walnuts can affect your blood pressures response to stress – all so you can get on with your day.
Delicious, convenient, and a short term memory booster. Studies have shown that by adding half a cup of blueberries to your day, you’ll see improved balance, coordination and short-term memory. The benefits are obvious with blueberries!
Avocado is talk of the town – and for good reason, it’s packed with monounsaturated fats, also known as ‘the right kind of fats’. These all promote brain function, and a healthy blood flow—and a healthy flow of blood to the brain means a highly functional brain.
5. Yerba Mate
Here’s an interesting one that you may not have heard of before. Yerba Mate (pronounced 'erba mah-teh') is a traditional herbal tea, commonly consumed in South America. Containing caffeine that helps enhance short-term brain power, Yerba Mate is a great alternative to coffee, as it slowly releases caffeine over time, rather than in one big hit.
6. Dark Chocolate
Okay chocolate fans… now we’re talking! The cacao in dark chocolate includes unique flavonoids – which are known to benefit cognitive function, and brain health. Along with a small amount of caffeine, and antioxidants – it’s the perfect pick-me-up for a tired brain. Keep some hidden in your top drawer!
7. Pumpkin Seeds
Another memory booster, and cognitive function booster. Why? They’re jammed full of magnesium, B vitamins, and… tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin (a known mood-boosting brain chemical). Pro tip: make your own mix, with walnuts, and dark chocolate to munch on during your workday.
Small, but mighty, Hemp is heralded for its numerous health and environmental benefits. Super nutritious, it’s full of brain-friendly omega fats, protein, and antioxidants. Try adding some hemp oil to your morning smoothie, mixed with peanut butter, nut-milk, banana, and cacao.
Throw a brain boosting salad together for your lunch – include greens such as spinach and rocket, which help boost blood flow to the brain, thanks to nitrates. Adding in tomato will help your mental capacity, with the help of lycopene, a chemical that protects our brain cells from damage. To top your salad off – add some olive oil, which is yet another brain superfood.
Last, and most certainly not least – the tried, and true banana. Bananas contain glucose, the perfect amount for a quick energy boost to power you through to the end of the day. An extremely filling alternative, rather than reaching for excessive carbs, and cane sugars.