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8 Foods to Control and Improve Your Brain

By: Christine Doheny

Ever wonder why you have those brain farts or why you have the word at the tip of your tongue but you just can’t spit it out? Learn about eight foods that are good for your brain and what you might want to stay away from.


1. Coffee- It gives you short-term memory. I know you coffee-lovers need those four cups before leaving for work; well it’s actually helping your brain more than you realize. Caffeine has been shown to retard the aging process and enhance short-term memory performance. Just one cup of coffee has been proven to improve your attention and problem-solving skills.

  • Too much coffee or energy isn’t good for short-term memory. They also jeopardize your sleeping patterns.

2. Blueberries- It gives you long-term memory. Even though they might turn your mouth blue they sure do taste good. Antioxidants in blueberries help protect the brain from free-radical damage and cut your risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. They can also improve cognitive processing (thinking).

  • The unripe and unready blueberries take away the flavor and nutrients, so stay away from those.

3. Mackerel or Salmon- Eating these smelly foods make you think faster. No wonder I can’t think on my toes, I don’t eat fish. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fishes are a primary building block of brain tissue, so they’ll increase your thinking power. Salmon is also rich in niacin, which can help ward off Alzheimer’s disease and slowthe rate of cognitive decline. 


  • Full-fat ice cream is definitely not good for your brain. Foods with high saturated fats, such as ice cream can clog blood vessels and prevent the blood flow and nutrients to the brain.

4. High-protein salad with vinaigrette- Eating this kind of salad gives you much needed energy. The oil in the dressing will help slow down digestion of protein and carbs in the salad, stabilizing blood-sugar levels and keeping energy levels high. Make your salad with romaine and spinach for extra riboflavin, and add chicken and a hard-boiled egg for more energizing protein.

  • Bagels and pancakes have high levels of carbohydrates, which produce tryptophan; this makes you sleepy. So if you’re going off to work for the day, pancakes and bagels might not be the way to go.

5. Mixed nuts or low-fat yogurt- It helps you calm down when you’re stressing out about something or bouncing off the walls from the sugar you just ate. Amino acids lysine and arginine are good for the body. Yogurt is one of the best food sources of lysine; nuts pack loads of arginine. Now that’s my kind of food. I love sugar to boost me up and then yogurt can calm me right back down.

  • Pop is not healthy for you nor is it good for your brain. According to the American Journal of Public Health people who drink 2½ cans of pop daily are three times more likely to be anxious or depressed, compared to those who drink less.

6. Peppermint Tea- Concentrate hard on that test you’re studying for. The scent of peppermint helps you focus and boosts performance. Have some yogurt to calm you down and then some peppermint tea to really focus.

  • Candy has a lot of sugar in it which leads to sugar highs and then downfalls of sugar lows. With that said it can lead to a blurry state of mind. Keep away from that sugar. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Trade in your sugar for something healthy!

7. Arugula or Spinach Salad- Being in a good mood always makes other people smile too. Healthy greens like arugula, chard and spinach are rich sources of B vitamins, which are key components. They make you feel good. According to the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, a lack of B6 can cause nervousness, irritability, and even depression.

  • My favorite chocolate of all time; white chocolate. It’s bad for you, so don’t fall for it. It has no cocoa in it, which means it does not boost your mood. Stick to the dark chocolate. The darker it is, the less sugar it has and therefore it’s healthier.

8. Flaxseed – This improves your senses. Sprinkling a little bit of this on your salad or chicken is a healthy fat that improves the cerebral cortex works. This is the area of the brain that processes sensory information.

  • Alcohol is not something that will sharpen your senses. In fact, it does the complete opposite. Having multiple drinks does not heighten your senses it actually makes you look stupid and decreases what senses you may have been using.


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