We know that diet can affect nearly every part of our body, inside and out, and it turns out that what we eat just might also make us smarter. These six foods and nutrients may help to maximize your brainpower, energy, and focus. And, while there’s no guarantee that simply consuming more of these foods will immediately raise your IQ, every little bit helps.
Diets rich in blueberries have been shown to improve memory and ability to learn. Fresh and frozen are equally nutritious, so it’s easy – and affordable - to incorporate them year-round.
People who eat more than two servings of vegetables daily (particularly leafy greens) have been shown to have the brain age of people five years younger.
Green tea & coffee
Drinking caffeinated green tea or coffee throughout the day can boost mental performance and alertness, as well as improve attention span, reaction time, and other thinking and learning skills.
Being dehydrated can have negative effects on cognitive performance, including our memory, attention span, and motor skills. Studies have even shown that when students are allowed to bring water into exams, they perform better than students who didn’t.
Higher-fat fish like salmon, mackerel, & sardines are loaded with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 fat that is essential for brain development and function, and may also help our memory.
But you won’t get the same benefits from most foods with added DHA. Eggs, milk, and peanut butter that are fortified with DHA typically have just 30 to 50 mg of DHA per serving. Salmon, by comparison, has more than 2400 mg of DHA per six-ounce serving.
DHA supplements are also available for those who don’t eat fish regularly.
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