Need a boost to your memory for your next big exam? Or maybe you really need to pull an all-nighter and desperately need help concentrating? Or maybe you need something to wake your brain up a bit? There’s probably an app for that, but why use technology when you can just use food? Brainfood, that is.
We all know that brainfood is a thing (and not just an event that Spoon holds ever summer). Food fuels your brain in many different ways. No matter what your brain needs, there’s a food that can help.
1. Boost your memory with salmon.
Salmon is rich in DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, that has been shown to improve memory in young adults. Start working it, or other fatty fishes like herring and tuna, into your diet by substituting meat for fish at least twice a week. If you’re pressed for time, try a recipe that takes only 15 minutes to make.
2. Concentrate better with cauliflower.
Fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants are great for helping you focus. Some of the best include berries, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. They increase blood flow to the brain which supplies the brain cells with more oxygen. Cauliflower is an often overlooked veggie, but you can use it to substitute this brainfood more ingredients than you’d think, for example the bread in a grilled cheese sandwich.
3. Wake your brain up with matcha.
Green tea is a natural energy booster, without some of the negative side effects that accomany downing twenty cups of coffee. Matcha is often considered one of the most effective forms of green tea, and so can pretty effectively help you get through a day after pulling a dreaded all-nighter. Try a matcha-filled version of a green smoothie for an easy pick-me-up.
4. Bump up your brainpower with avocados.
Need an edge when you’re taking your big final? Avocados may be the key. As if avocados weren’t amazing enough, they also boost blood flow to the heart and to the brain. That increased blood flow helps wake up your brain cells and get them working. Try these dark chocolate avocado truffles and serve yourself two brainfoods at once (that’s right, dark chocolate can do wonders for your brain as well).
5. Battle brain injury with dark chocolate.
If you have a concussion, I have great news for you; you actually should be eating dark chocolate. A concussion causes the brain to become inflamed, so you should stick to an anti-inflammatory diet, which definitely includes the superfood that is chocolate. Try this dark chocolate soufflé to feel fancy and healthy AF all at once.
6. Combat your sadness with bread.
Something high in carbs, like bread, brings tryptophan to your brain, where it becomes serotonin and boosts your mood (bonus: it also curbs cravings). Skip the protein—which can actually suppress serotonin—and try this everything bagel pull-apart bread.
7. Relax your brain with spinach.
Stress wreaks havoc throughout the human body, but it all starts in your brain. Attack your stress with folate—a nutrient spinach is rich in—which produces dopamine which induces pleasure and helps you stay calm. These spinach artichoke bites are simple, delicious, and can help you on your journey to a calmer mind.