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Boost Your Brain Power With A Balanced Diet

Aug 17, 2007
Just like any other organ in your body, your brain must be properly nourished to work correctly. When it comes to the brain, however, this particular organ is especially important to feed correctly as it controls all other parts of the body. The better fed the brain, the quicker and more effective your reactions, actions and abilities will be.

Brain foods are simply those foods that contain nutrients that are vital for brain function. These include those with omega-3 fatty acids, proteins and so on. Just like every other part of your body, your brain needs fuel to keep going and going strong. The brain relies on complex sugars to keep it working right, and proteins as well.

For those who think good food must by default taste awful, think again. Some of the best brain foods are those we rely on every day to round out our diets with taste, variety and pizzazz.

Some of the best brain foods include such things as bananas, lean beef, broccoli, cheese, chicken, greens, legumes, milk, oatmeal, oranges and brown rice. Eggs, peanut butter, peas, yeast, yogurt and spinach, too, are considered great brain foods.

In general, the best brain foods are good proteins and complex carbohydrates. The brain needs a steady supply of healthy sugar to keep going all day long, but the sugar shouldn't be processed and refined. Rather, the sugars supplied by complex carbs are the best. Proteins found in meats, nuts, beans and dairy products, too, provide a great boost for the brain.

Complex sugars are better because they feed the body a steady supply of power. Simple, processed sugars give the body a boost, it's true, but they can also make it crash. Ever feel really, really sleepy after lunch? That's a crash.

If the brain isn't properly fed it will not function right. Some foods are even considered bad for mental acuity. These slow down the thought process and they can get in the way of every day function. Foods that are generally not the best for the brain include soda, alcohol, those that contain artificial sweeteners and corn syrup, high sugar foods, white bread and fats. Drugs such as nicotine, too, can cause problems for the brain.

When it comes to feeding the brain, the best thing a person can do is feed the entire body. This means eating a healthy, balanced diet. Of course, it's okay to splurge once in a while, but to ensure overall better health, balance is key.

A diet rich in fruits, whole grains and cereals, vegetables, beans, dairy products and proteins is the best way to go. Be smart and balance it out. Mix up foods so you keep variety high and interest in a healthy diet even higher.

Here are some of the best brain foods for each of the major groups:

Fruits: oranges, cherries and grapefruits.

Grains: oatmeal, bran, brown rice.

Vegetables/beans: Soy, kidney and chickpeas are all fantastic brain foods.

Dairy: Milk, cheese, yogurt.

Meats: Salmon, turkey, chicken and other lean meats.

Eating right is not only good for your brain, but your entire body. Balance your diet, have fun with recipes and be smart with your choices. Brain foods aren't boring.
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