It’s All in Your Head
“I don’t need to study, Mom! I’ll just take my brain pills and be all set for the test! Wouldn’t that be great? While there’s no magic pill to make us smart, there is an increasing amount of evidence that certain foods can positively affect brain development and performance. Below are a few of these taken from BrainReady , listed in no particular order:
- Salmon: Especially wild salmon, this fish is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which are critical for most brain functions and can improve your mood, increase and strengthen synaptic connections, improve blood flow to your brain cells, and reduce your risk of stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. It’s also really yummy- check out this recipe for Honey Ginger Salmon.
- Cacao: Now don’t get too excited, as this food is most effective in its natural form- the more milk, sugar and other stuff you add to the original chocolate, the less it’s able to help your brain. That being said, very dark natural chocolate has been shown to aid in cognitive enhancement as well as mood elevation (read more about chocolate in one of my previous posts Valentines Chocolate). Here’s a great dessert recipe that contains some other healthy foods, as well.
- Matcha: Green tea is well known for its antioxidants and other health benefits, but nothing can compare to pure Japanese matcha. It calms you and focuses you while stimulating brain function at the same time. Similar to what Ritalin does for someone with ADD (minus the cancer risks). Here’s a great recipe using matcha and pomegranate.
- Acai berries: Often called the “superfood”because of how much good they can do for your body, acai is also a really great base for any smoothie. These berries are loaded with Omega-3’s as well as protein, which is necessary for energy and brain stimulation. Try out the Traditional Acai Smoothie .
- Coffee: That’s right, it’s true. In moderation, coffee can be very good for you, if you skip the sugar, cream, and caramel. In addition to the stimulating effects of the caffeine, coffee can reduce the risk of brain function decline and diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. So brew up a cup o’ Joe as part of your healthy breakfast every morning!
I thought it would be fun to compare this list with a list of popular aphrodisiacs pulled from (where else?) AskMen.com.
- Alcohol: lowers your inhibitions- necessary for most “romantic”encounters.
- Chocolate: provides the stimulating effects of caffeine, as well as endorphins that make you feel good and put you in “the mood”
- Coffee: The caffeine is stimulating for mind and body..
- Nuts: Some say the smell is arousing. Some nuts also contain caffeine.
- Oysters: This weird one is generally attributed to their appearance, resembling a certain area of a woman’s body.
Well isn’t this interesting- not only is there significant overlap between the two lists above, but pretty much all of the aphrodisiac effects of the second list are really effects on one’s brain! This revelation simply proves what women have been trying to tell men for ages: It’s all in your head.