Most of us are familiar with the healing potential of certain food.
But some foods go above and beyond.
Nowadays, the modern lifestyle is practically demanding us to behave like superheroes.
We need the energy and focus to be high-performing due to the stressors rampant in today’s world.
In order to act like a superhero, you need superfoods.
What makes a food a superfood?
Nature is incredibly wise. It knows what we humans need, and provides it.
Nature offers a wide range of nutrients in different colours, shapes, and flavours.
Most foods we have access to are indeed healthy, however, certain foods have additional benefits. These go above and beyond, and can help us to survive and thrive in this modern world, especially when it comes to brain health.
The vast majority of superfoods come from a natural or plant origin. The categories of superfoods are based on the type of food they are.
Algae are common all over our planet. They have a rich chemical composition and contain several bioactive substances. They have a high nutrient content and contain many biologically active metabolites of natural origin. Examples of algae superfoods include spirulina and nori (1).
Mushrooms are known for their medicinal properties. They are rich in a great variety of phytochemicals, and have a natural ability to accumulate heavy metals. Examples of medicinal mushrooms include lion’s mane and Chaga (2).
Cacao has been named “The food of the Gods”, and for good reason. Cacao is rich in polyphenols, specifically flavonoids. You can get the superfood power of cacao from dark chocolate or cacao nibs (3).
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds have several bioavailable polyphenols. This is why they exhibit antioxidant activity. They are also high in several minerals. Some nut/seed superfoods include almonds and chia seeds (4).
Research has shown that with higher intake of vegetable fats comes higher resting energy expenditure. This means that you’re burning more calories when your fats come from a vegetable source. Superfood vegetable fats include coconut oil and olive oil (5).
Bee products are a valuable source of nourishing substances and energy. They have healing and health-enhancing effects because they contain a wide variety of secondary plant metabolites. These include: tocopherol, niacin, thiamine, biotin, folic acid, polyphenols, phytosterols, enzymes, co-enzymes, and carotenoids. Bee products have been found to be antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, canti-cancer, antifungal, immune-enhancing, cardio-protective, and protecting of the liver. Bee product superfoods include propolis and bee pollen (6).
Herbs and spices
Herbs and spices have a wide range of bioactive compounds. Many herbs and spices are antioxidants. Several of them lower cholesterol, are anti-clotting, reduce blood pressure, fight against cancer, help with arthritic pain, and help prevent cognitive decline. Superfood herbs and spices include turmeric and garlic (7).
Dried fruits and berries
Dried fruits and berries have high antioxidant activity. Recent research shows that they are actually low in concerning toxic metals and mycotoxins, such as cadmium, nickel, and lead. Examples of superfoods in this category are blueberries and dried goji berries (8).
Roots, grasses and vegetables
Roots, grasses, and vegetables are often helpful with metabolic syndrome. They improve fat metabolism, lower cholesterol, and often improve liver and cardiovascular health. Examples of superfoods in this category include baobab and maca root (9). Tip: if you ferment these types of foods, then you can get an extra benefit from the probiotics!
Best superfoods to boost your brain performance
It is crucial to have a balanced diet of nutrient-dense, whole foods. It’s also important to make sure your diet is diverse in order to ensure that you are getting all the necessary nutrients. When it comes to brain health, the ones listed below are the best superfoods for brain performance. Boost your brain performance with these superfoods.
Lion’s mane mushroom
Lion’s mane is a mushroom. It is neuroprotective and helps to improve recognition memory (10).
Ginkgo Biloba is a tree that contains phytochemicals. These are what allow Ginkgo Biloba to increase your mental energy (11).
MCT coconut oil
MCT oil comes from medium chain triglycerides (hence the name). It is neuroprotective and has properties that allow it to enhance cognition (12).
Gotu kola (also called Centella Asiatica) is a plant that has neuroprotective effects. It also decreases the injury done to neurons, or nerve cells (13).
In order for your brain to perform at its best, you may want to consider adding the above superfoods to your diet.