Can the right food make you can you smarter or at least perform better at school and at work?
While there are no foods that an actually raise your IQ or make you smarter, there are some strategies that can help with concentration, memory, reasoning skills and overall performance … in other words, help you maximize the smarts you already have. Here are 4 strategies to get you started:
Eat blueberries: Blueberries are rich in compounds called anthocyanins which have been shown to increase signaling between neurons in the brain and help the brain protect itself from the damaging effects of free radicals. Researchers have shown that blueberries may help improve memory and possibly the ability to learn. TIP: Top your cereal with a sprinkle of berries, put them in yogurt or a fruit salad, mix them in a smoothie or just eat them plain as a snack. Fresh or frozen, the nutrition is there.
Eat iron-rich foods: Found in lean meat and eggs, iron-fortified cereals and grains, dried fruits, leafy greens, beans, nuts and seeds, iron is the mineral needed to make hemoglobin which transports oxygen to all cells and tissues, including your brain. An iron deficiency can leave you feeling tired and lethargic and some people who have difficulty with concentration or memory may need more iron in their diet. TIP: Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron better so have your cereal with berries, throw red peppers in a bean salad or orange sections in your salad.
Go Fishing: Fish, especially the cold water, fatty fish including salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, halibut are great sources of omega-3 fats which are in brain tissue and key in brain development and function. Some studies suggest they may help memory and mood. TIP: Enjoy mackerel, halibut or trout cooked on the barbecue, sardines in a salad or have a salmon sandwich for lunch. Try to eat fish two to three times a week.
Breakfast for everyone: A healthy breakfast helps kids concentrate better, making it easier for them to learn and this can apply to adults as well. Start the day off by making breakfast a priority. TIP Breakfast can be as simple as a whole grain cereal with fruit and milk, a smoothie, a sandwich (made the night before if time is an issue), crackers and cheese or even leftovers