Superfoods to boost your brainpower

  • Kavita Devgan, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Apr 28, 2016 17:10 IST

It pays to feed our brain right. It is, after all, the hot seat of decisions in our body and needs specific fuel to function right. So include these five super foods in your diet daily to keep it fit, alert and disease free.

Walnuts are an ultimate brain food. Loaded with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, they help iron out memory kinks and boost our cognitive abilities. Plus, vitamin E helps prevent cognitive decline too.

Eat it: The bitter sweet pairing of walnuts with raisins or figs (anjeer) make for a delightful chewy dessert. Or add a twist to pesto sauce: instead of pine nuts, mix walnuts with olive oil, garlic, salt and fresh basil.

Have an ounce (about 14 halves) every day; but if you are having other nuts too, then you should cut this to 6-7 halves a day.

Alternate source of omega-3: flax seeds. Eggs

Yes, an omelette breakfast is a smart choice for our brain. Eggs give us choline, an essential B-vitamin that helps produce, a neurotransmitter involved in mental clarity, memory and logical reasoning. In fact, low levels of acetylcholine have been found to be associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Eat it: Mix chopped up hard-boiled eggs with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, spring onions and salt and pepper to make a delicious egg salad.

Have an egg a day (unless otherwise advised). Just one egg yolk has as much as 125 mg of choline (about one-third of our daily requirement).

Alternate source of choline: shrimps; vegetarians can get it via cauliflower and broccoli.

Yoghurt contains amino acid tyrosine, required for the production of the neurotransmitters, which get depleted when we are under stress. So supplementing them via yoghurt can keep your brain buzzing and make you alert, ready to face the stresses of the day.
Eat it: Sprinkle yoghurt with sunflower seeds, chopped nuts or wheat germ for a pleasant crunch. Like it sweet? Mix in chopped fruits and eat chilled.
Have at least a cup a day for sure; two will be great.
Alternate source of tyrosine: banana

Cinnamon suggests that both the taste and smell of this spice significantly improves scores on memory tests.That’s because two compounds found in cinnamon – proanthocyanidins and cinnamaldehyde – lead to greater cerebral blood flow, allowing for better processing of information (thus, a sharper brain).

Eat it: Add to your morning cuppa, or sprinkle on your cereal.

Have a pinch a day, that’s all one needs.

Alternate source of proanthocyanidins and cinnamaldehyde: berries.

This spice contains more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds that help spice up our brain, keep memory sharp and Alzheimer’s away. Besides the well known anti-inflammatory curcumin, it also contains aromatic turmerone, which according to new research can even boost brain proliferation and help it heal itself.
Eat it: Add to all curries, or have haldi milk at night.
Have half a tsp a day
Alternate source of curcumin: mango ginger, a spice generally used to make pickles.

From HT Brunch, July 26
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