I often associate winter with carbs and comfort foods and summer with superfoods that revitalize, slim down the waistline and energize the body and brain. Many people are jumping on the superfoods bandwagon and eating not only healthy foods but nutrient-rich foods that sustain energy levels and keep brains stimulated and alert. Superfoods improve mood, memory, concentration and alertness; they promote healthy brain aging and decrease the risk of cancer, heart disease and digestive diseases. Summer is the season to indulge in fresh fruits, vegetables and fish superfoods.
Food for thought: Did you know that certain foods stimulate the brain?
Superfoods memory boosters include:
• Blueberries (“superfruit” packed with antioxidants,improves or delays short term memory loss)
• Asparagus (folate-rich, helps with information retention and recall)
• Sweet potato and eggs (contain B vitamins that enhance memory)
• Oily fish – salmon, trout (the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids that boost memory and keep your cognition function 3 years younger)
• Pumpkin seeds (contains zinc that is vital for memory and thinking skills)
• Low fat dairy – yogurt, milk, cheese (produce neurotransmitters that improve memory and alertness)
Examples of superfoods that act as concentration boosters are:
• Chicken (high in B12 for healthy brain function and protein to help stay alert and on task)
• Walnuts, pumpkin, chia and flax seeds (high in omega-3 fatty acids that boost energy and mental performance)
• Whole grains (promote release of serotonin that can enhance ability to concentrate)
• Dark chocolate (antioxidant rich, improves blood flow and brain health)
• Blackcurrants (powerful source of Vitamin C to increase mental agility)
• Broccoli and kale (rich in vitamin K, enhances cognitive function and brain power)
Looking for energizing meals and snack ideas? Try oatmeal with blueberries, buckwheat pancakes, hard-boiled eggs, or fresh fruit with yogurt. Creative snack break superfoods include: baked kale chips, vegetables and fruit, trail mix (with nuts and seeds), quinoa and granola bars, flavored water (with cucumber, orange, or lemons slices, mint leaves
and grated ginger), java coffee, green tea, dark chocolate covered strawberries, and apple slices with yogurt dip or peanut butter.
Eat by Color for the Brain
Different phytochemicals and antioxidants are found in different colors of superfoods. Eat a variety of colored superfoods at lunch and throughout the day to improve brain health and fitness. Be sure to include foods across the color categories below. People are now welcoming healthy food choices. Eating superfoods will keep you alert and energized, thereby creating a productive and more enjoyable workday.
Kim Bercovitz, Ph.D. – “Dr. Kim” is President and Chief Exercise Officer of X bytes, a wellness company that creates video fitness micro-breaks, wellness lounges and programs for conferences and workplaces to keep participants alert and energized. Trained in mindfulness based stress reduction, Dr. Kim has a Ph.D. in Behavioral Science & Health and a M.S. in Exercise/Health Studies. She was an adjunct professor in public health at the University of Toronto and York University, research scientist at Toronto teaching hospitals, and a National Cancer Institute of Canada postdoctoral fellow. http://x-bytes.com/