Do you sometimes find your attention dips at work, you struggle to think of those project winning ideas, or you simply want to make the best of your busy bonce in the office? Well then it’s time for you to get on board with the superfoods crew. Those people you see adding beautiful pictures to their Instagram, showing complex breakfasts they have consumed, full of complicated foodstuffs and pretentious sounding sprinkles. Only, you needn’t go as far as eating anything you can’t pronounce, because there are plenty of average foods that actually come under the ‘super foods’ category. Which means right now, you probably have a cupboard full of brain boosting wonders that could have you operating like the guy from Limitless in no time. Well, maybe not that good, but close…
Here are 10 superfoods to boost your brain at work:
Your brain is a muscle and needs energy to work properly. So if you want good levels of concentration, you need to be providing your brain with a nice, constant supply of energy. So skip the white toast and go for complex, low GI whole grains to provide it with a slow and constant supply of glucose. So when you opt for carbs, think brown over white and you’ll be away – seeded brown bread, brown pasta and brown rice as well as brown cereals (chocolate types don’t count!) are ideal and will help keep you alert consistently.
Blueberries have long been thought of as a superfood, which is great because they’re delicious! Various clinical studies have shown they could well help improve your memory, plus they have antioxidants in them which give your skin a pretty nice glow as a bonus. Zap them in a smoothie, sprinkle them on your brown cereal, or simply snack on them as they are – they’re coming into season now so they’re at their cheapest at the moment too.
Tomatoes are amazing little red treats that contain tons of lycopene. Lycopene, if you don’t already know, is a really powerful antioxidant that does loads of cool stuff, namely protecting you against harmful free radicals which do lots of damage to the cells in your body. That damage in relation to the brain, is associated with dementia, so whether it’s cherry, beef or salad, tomatoes should be in your diet right now.
Broccoli is the humble superfood you’ve been avoiding since you were a child, and your parents called it ‘trees’ to entice you to consume it. Well now is the time to nosh on those trees as they contain vitamin K, which is proven to boost brain power and actually improve your cognitive function. Blend it, steam it, or eat it raw in salads.
Celery contains tons of luteolin which is believed to reduce or help prevent age related memory loss. It also helps reduce brain inflammation which is thought to be a major contributing factor in neurodegeneration. Basically, celery is a bit like an anti-aging tonic for your brain. Eat it dipped in peanut butter for an instant brain and energy boost.
6. Dark Chocolate
Yay! It’s not all rabbit food! That’s right, it’s not all salad leaves and healthy grains, there are some naughty treats that can boost your brain power. Dark chocolate when consumed in moderation, can be really fantastic for your body. It’s got flavonols in it, which improve blood flow to the brain, and the cacao in it is an extremely powerful antioxidant – more than blueberries and green tea. However, before you start gorging on family sized bars, it is important to note that the chocolate has to be really good quality and a minimum of 70% cocoa. If you can go raw, then do so and buy organic raw cacao bars or even just raw cacao powder which can be used to make hot chocolate and other treats. Or, if you don’t have the cash or the energy to go that far, just opt for organic dark chocolate over 70% cocoa and aim to eat a few squares a day.
Popeye was on to something, spinach is definitely a superfood – although we should note it won’t give you instant muscles…
It contains tons of nitrates which boost blood flow to the brain and help boost cognitive performance. It is also known to contain vitamins and minerals which can prevent cancer.
8. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds contain Vitamin B, omega fatty acids and protein which all provide your brain with energy. But the best thing about sunflower seeds is the fact they help make you happy. That’s right, these tiny treats have lots of tryptophan in them which the brain cleverly turns into serotonin, your brain’s own natural ‘happy chemical’.
Kale yeah! It is the hottest superfood around right now, and for good reason too. It lowers your risk of cancer, and has some powerful antioxidants in it as well. Kale also contains over 45 different types of flavonoids, which means it boosts blood flow to the brain, helps with chronic inflammation and stress too. There is only one negative to eating lots of kale, but leaving a window open should be enough to counteract that issue!
It’s time for you to go nuts, over nuts. Walnuts contain loads of omega-3 fatty acids, way more than other nuts. Why do omega-3 fatty acids matter? Well they boost the way your brain works, enhancing cognitive performance and memory. They can also boost oxygen flow to the brain and provide you with lots of vitamin B6 which protects your brain. Best eaten as they are, or lightly toasted sprinkled on salad or on top of a smoothie.