Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.

9.08.2010

Tip of the Week: Brain-Boosting Foods

9.08.2010
You've probably heard the old adage that you are what you eat. While eating chicken three times a day will not in fact turn you into a bird, there is something to be said about the foods you choose to eat. There are certain foods that are richer in important nutrients and chemicals that can help your body improve its performance. Some can even help boost your brain power! To get the edge on your next assignment, try some of these brain-boosting foods:

FISH: Choose fish like salmon, tuna, or trout for folate and fatty acids. Researchers think the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is needed to build neurons and improve signal transmission.

LEAFY GREENS: Spinach, kale, and broccoli are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, folate, calcium, fiber, and iron. Even mild iron-deficiency affects learning, memory, and attention. Load up to stay focused!


BERRIES: Richly colored berries like blueberries, cranberries, and blackberries are rich in antioxidants for cancer fighting and neuron protection! The antioxidants also work to clear away the build up of free radicals in your brain. 

LEAN PROTEIN: Lean protein like chicken, pork, and turkey help your brain create dopamine and norepinephrine to keep you alert. They also keep you feeling fuller longer so you won't be distracted in class by hunger pains.

SEEDS and NUTS: If you are in need of a snack, try some Trail Mix with almonds and sunflower seeds incorporated. Seeds and nuts are rich in vitamin E, which has been shown to improve cognitive functions. Seeds are also rich in magnesium which can help ease stress.

WHOLE WHEAT: Brown rice, oatmeal and other whole wheat foods help increase blood flow which can help give your brain oxygen it needs to be at peak performance. 

DARK CHOCOLATE: If you have a sweet tooth, opt for dark chocolate. It contains antioxidants and also has natural stimulants which can help boost your concentration and focus. In addition, it revs up the production of endorphins which help elevate your mood.

So the next time you head to FFC or Char Mar look to incorporate more of these foods into your diet, just remember not to overdo it! Even brain-boosting foods should be eaten in moderation. Choosing these foods is good for both mind and body, so opt for the healthy choices and enjoy! For more brain-boosting information, click here.

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