Stop stalling. Start finishing:
Getting your brain in gear can be a pain in the neck. But when test time rolls around, you want your noodle to go bananas, not flat as a pancake. Get your fill of these five foods to make your brain bear fruits come crunch time.
- No. 1
At the top of your thought-enhancing shopping list: blueberries. Known for battling brain-battering oxidative stresses, these tasty balls of antioxidants are proven to protect the brain from age-related conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Newer studies have shown that a blueberry-rich diet can also help fight short-term memory loss, while improving learning capacity and motor skills.
- No. 2
Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) are crucial to brain function, but the human body can’t make them on its own. The tastiest place to get your fix is in oily fish such as wild salmon, sardines, herring, and other deep-water fish. Don’t go overboard though, because these fish are brimming with mercury, which can actually muddy up your mind. Go for a four-ounce serving, two to three times a week, and leave it at that.
- No. 3
Avocados are both a brain and a beauty food. Although technically a “fatty fruit,” avocados contain monounsaturated fat, which facilitates blood flow and, in turn, leads to better brain function. But watch out, waistline! Avocadoes are high in calories, so limit your intake.
- No. 4
Walnuts, like avocados, boost blood flow and brain function. One of the best sources of alpha linolenic acid (ALA) in the nut family, Walnuts have been proven to improve learning, memory, and motor skills in Alzheimer’s-inflicted mice. If you can’t get your hands on walnuts, Brazil nuts, filberts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, and sunflower seeds are perfectly acceptable substitutes.
- No. 5
That’s right, coffee. America’s favorite brain-boosting beverage, coffee’s energizing effects are widely known and loved. But did you know that, in addition to caffeine, a cup of Joe contains a rich dose of antioxidants, which helps maintain brain health for young and old alike. And, as the cherry on the top, research suggests that coffee can actually fight depression in women.