Need a brain boost? How about the kids? You can supercharge everyone’s concentration and memory just by choosing the right foods. The power is in your hands, and on your plate.
Here’s the skinny. What you eat directly affects your brain. Studies show that eating certain foods can boost your mood, your IQ (whoopee!), and your memory, while keeping your mind more stable. Who doesn’t want that?! And, I don’t know one single parent who wouldn’t want that for their kids—the ability to solve problems more quickly and easily, improved concentration and memory, and better coordination and balance.
So what are these magical munchies? It comes down to three key things: neurotransmitters, vitamins and minerals, and fats.
Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that carry information in the brain. They are made up of amino acids, the building blocks of protein that are also found in meat, fish, and dairy. The three key neurotransmitters are acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin. Acetylcholine helps with memory and muscle movement, and is found in egg yolks, peanuts, wheat germ, meat, fish, dairy, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Dopamine is involved in movement, attention, and learning, and is found in meat, dairy, fish, beans, nuts, and soy. Studies show that the dopamine from just 3-4 ounces of protein will help you feel energized and alert (how about that at 2:00 p.m.?!). Serotonin affects mood and appetite, and is found in pasta; starchy vegetables like corn, peas, and potatoes; and whole-grain cereals and breads.
Vitamins and minerals are also ...