13 Brain Foods to Boost Memory and Focus
Veg Indian Foods for a Healthy and Active Brain
Our brain’s always buzzing—even when we are not ‘thinking’. All through the day, the brain keeps sending signals to all the organs of the body to do their work properly. To be able to do this, the brain needs a constant supply of energy throughout the day. This is even more important for growing children, because the brain supports their cognitive and motor development too. A healthy and active brain helps them focus on their studies and all other activities. So, adults as well as kids need to take good nutritious food, which nourishes and energises the brain. It won’t help to suddenly have brain-boosting food during the exam time alone! You need to ensure a constant supply of nourishment to the brain, every single day! So, now let’s quickly look at the best foods for your brain, so you can regularly include some of them in your diet.
Egg is a super food that contains all nine amino acids. Egg yolk contains choline, which boosts memory function. The protein in egg yolk also helps in muscle growth, and the carotenoid lutein helps your eyes by preventing macular degeneration. Have a go at tasty egg recipes like Egg Bhurji and French Omelette.
2. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter and peanuts are rich in Vitamin E, which protects the nervous membrane of the brain and helps the brain to function properly. Try our Homemade Peanut Butter.
3. Strawberry, Blueberry & Blackberries
Who can resist the invigorating tang of berries! It is nice to know that these tasty fruits are healthy too. Berries are rich in Antioxidant, which are believed to improve memory. These antioxidants help remove potentially harmful substances called free radicals from our body, and thereby keep the brain cells healthy. Have the berries plain, or use them in salads, salsas and smoothies. Try the Strawberry Salsa, and Blueberry Orange and Yoghurt Smoothie.
4. Spinach (Palak) and Kale
Spinach has lutein, a strong antioxidant that works to boost the brain. Lutein is also well-known as the ‘eye vitamin’ as it prevents macular degeneration. Spinach Mushroom Subzi and Spinach Dosa are interesting recipes that appeal to kids.
5. Olive Oil
Olive oil has High in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which is rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols are phytochemicals found in natural plant food sources, which protect the cells from damage caused by free radicals produced by the body. This helps suppress brain inflammation and has the potential to promote cognitive function and memory learning. Include olive oil in your salads, or sauté your veggies lightly in it.
6. Almonds and Almond Butter
Almonds are awesomely healthy for the brain as they contain Riboflavin and L-Carnitine, two nutrients that prevent cognitive decline. Try your hand at making Homemade Almond and Peanut Butter.
Found in every kitchen, turmeric contains Curcumin, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin can protect your brain against aging and neurodegenerative diseases. It is believed to be helpful in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s Disease.
8. Walnuts and Almonds
Nuts like walnuts are rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from the stress and damage associated with aging. Enjoy the nuts raw or toss them into your salads. For the sweet tooth, Anjeer and Mixed Nut Barfi and Almond Sheera are great options.
9. Dals and Pulses
Moong dal, Masoor Dal, Urad Dal, Matki, Rajma, Moong, kabuli chana etc. are all part of the same group. These are good sources of iron, which helps keep red blood cells healthy and ensures that oxygen is delivered to brain cells. Prevent iron deficiency by eating fibre-rich, plant-based foods — like beans. Try recipes like Moong Dal and Paneer Tikki, Spinach Hummus with Cucumber Sticks and Moong Dal Ki Chaat.
10. Colourful veggies
Juicy and colourful veggies are easy to come by. They are abundantly available in the market and all of us have some veggies in stock in our kitchen too. Go for colourful veggies like Broccoli, coloured Capsicum, Carrots, Pumpkin, Spinach (Palak) and tomatoes –they are a great source of antioxidants, which are required to keep brain cells healthy. Enjoy your veggies in delectable recipes like Creamy Pumpkin Soup and Corn Parathas.
Oats has soluble fibre and a low glycemic index. So it gradually provides energy for a long time, enabling you to concentrate and focus. A bowl of whole grain oatmeal can increase your brain power. Go for healthy and easy oats-based breakfasts like the Oatmeal Almond Milk with Oranges or Oatmeal Almond Milk with Apples.
Avocado has healthy monounsaturated fat, which helps ensure a healthy flow of blood to the brain, thereby keeping your brain in excellent shape! Toss your avocado into salads or make some smoothies. Avocado Dip is another attractive option for kids.
13. Dairy products
Dairy products like milk, Paneer and Curds are a good source of protein, which forms the basic unit of brain cells. They are also a good source of B-vitamins, which help in energy metabolism and ensure a steady supply of energy to the brain. Incorporate dairy products into your meal in the form of delicious recipes like Palak Paneer or Palak Raita with Onions and Tomatoes.