New Year's Resolution: The Brain Food Challenge.

New Year's Resolution: The Brain Food Challenge.

A new year brings, new goals, new challenges and we often focus on resolutions like dietary changes and weight loss, while ignoring the overall health of other vital parts of our body like the brain.

Read on to see 8 of the best brain boosting foods to help you stay mentally alert and healthy while tackling all those other new year's resolutions.

Breakfast Of Champions:
The primary fuel for your brain is glucose, which comes from carbohydrates such as those abundant in oats. Since your body breaks down the carbs in whole-grain oats very slowly, they help keep you sharp for several hours.

When crunch time comes along, pop a handful of walnuts. Scientists at Tufts University in Boston found that a diet rich in walnuts may improve mental performance. A synergy between the specific type of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids in this nut might be at work here to boost brain power.

Flax Seed:
Flax is the best source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)—a healthy fat that improves the workings of the cerebral cortex, the area of the brain that processes sensory information like touch and taste. To meet your daily quota, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flaxseed on salads or mix it into a smoothie.

Egg Yolks:
Eggs, more specifically the yolks, are a leading source of choline. Choline is a precursor for acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in helping you remember things like where you left the car keys. Eating protein-rich foods like eggs for breakfast can improve overall cognitive performance, according to Swiss researchers.

Hearty Healthy Lunches:
Spinach and Vegetables
Harvard Medical School researchers found that women who ate the most vegetables—especially green leafy vegetables (spinach and romaine lettuce) and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower)—experienced a slower rate of cognitive decline than women who ate the least vegetables.

Adding lentils to salads and soups should be a no brainer. This legume is brimming with folate, a B vitamin shown to help boost brain power. Folate also plays a role in decreasing levels of amino acids that can impair brain functioning.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women with healthy iron levels performed better on mental tasks and completed them faster than those with poor iron status. Iron helps transport oxygen throughout the body and to the brain.

Want to excel in the boardroom? Pack a sardine sandwich for lunch! This sustainable swimmer is packed with EPA and DHA, supercharged omega-3 fatty acids that bolster communication among brain cells and help regulate neurotransmitters responsible for mental focus.

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