Gluten-free, keto, vegan–Attaining the ideal healthy diet is all the rage these days–and rightfully so. I think it is safe to say that as you enrich your body with the proper nutrition, you will inevitably become engulfed with all sorts of information on what’s healthy and what isn’t. It isn’t long before you are introduced to superfoods, (and if you’re a health nut like me), eagerly researching the health benefits of them. Superfoods are here to stay, so it only makes sense to familiarize oneself with the different varieties in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle. Incredibly, there are an overwhelming amount of superfoods that are significant to brain health. If you don’t know where to start, fret not–the few below should give you that kick start you need on your road to good health.
5 Superfoods For Brain Health
Native to China and nicknamed “the happy berry” for its mood-boosting abilities, goji berries are undoubtedly one of the most popular superfoods today. Do not be fooled by their miniature size, however; these berries pack an abundance of health benefits, notably brain support. Bursting with attractive red-yellow hues, these berries are jam-packed with antioxidants and are most commonly eaten dried. With degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s at an all-time high, it is refreshing to know that goji berries are capable of protecting and defending the nervous system from harmful brain deterioration. If you are in search of ways to naturally boost memorization and brain function, something as simple as throwing a few goji berries in a salad or smoothie bowl can make a tremendous impact on your health.
While it may smell fishy, its benefits are nothing of the sort. Call it sea moss, Irish moss, or Chondrus crispus, whatever tickles your fancy. This mineral and vitamin rich algae packs 92 of the 102 minerals readily available in our bodies–yeah, it’s that big of a deal! It is a powerhouse due to its ability to assist in the detoxification and elimination of heavy metals. It also provides the body copious amounts of potassium, an essential part of a fully functioning nervous system. This, in turn, can potentially relieve symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Those who suffer from anemia or iron deficiency can rest assured that sea moss aids in transporting oxygen to body cells, elevating iron levels. Iodine deficiency and thyroid issues is also commonly found in many people; luckily enough, iodine is presented heavily in sea moss, more than any other food. This superfood remains stocked in my pantry, and I incorporate into my diet almost daily. Get your daily dose of minerals in by adding sea moss gel or powder to your morning smoothies!
Ah, moringa, “The Miracle Tree of Life.” Though it has recently gained popularity in the U.S., Moringa is no stranger to Ayurveda medicine practices and has served as a food source during times of famine for populations residing in third-world countries such as India. Moringa contains a vast amount of zinc, which is vital for the proper functioning of over 300 enzymes in the body. Hmmm, maybe Popeye should have promoted this superfood instead– moringa contains 25 times more iron than spinach! Feeling down? Moringa supports neurotransmitter functions, including ones that produce serotonin, the “feel good” hormone. Adding powdered moringa to your beverages is a surefire way to reap the benefits of this nutritiously rewarding superfood.
If you frequent Instagram, then you may have come across the insanely popular acai bowls once or twice…maybe fifty times, but who’s counting? It is no question that acai berries have taken the world by storm. These dark berries contain a whopping amount of antioxidants which protect the brain from free radical damage (yay anti-aging!), improve cognitive function, and guard against malignant cell proliferation. They have become the ideal base for smoothie bowls and are also the perfect superfood for those looking for a aesthetically pleasing, yet nutrient-dense breakfast.
The chaga mushroom is a truly underrated superfood and is even referred to as “black gold.” These mushrooms boost brain activity by reducing oxidative stress and improving alertness and memory. For the coffee lovers out there, it is worth noting that chaga mushroom tea acts as a coffee-like stimulant sans the jitters or restlessness, serving as a healthier alternative. Fiber, magnesium, copper, zinc, and vitamin D are a few of the many attributes of chaga, which ultimately contribute to healthy brain function and mood. This, primarily, helps sustain a mental health balance.
Honorable Mention: Ginger
A superfood which I personally believe should be a staple in everyone’s kitchen, reduces inflammation and protects against age-related brain damage.
Which superfood are you eager to try first? Which ones do you swear by?
Photo: Pexels, Respective brands, Mary Hood Luttrell, Estella Ramirez, Lauren Kirchmaier