Are you feeling distracted and unable to focus? Are you constantly forgetting things? Does it seem like your brain is in a fog?
While more serious neurological issues may be at play, the truth is, you might simply need a change of diet and a bit of exercise to help clear your mind and improve your brain function.
Plus, exercising and eating well to reduce anxiety and depression can also help better memory, concentration, and more.
So, let’s get into it.
What is Neuroplasticity?
In simple terms, neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to adapt. It means your brain is resilient and constantly changing.
On a physiological level, our brain changes to adapt to our environment and continues to develop until we die as our neurons reorganize in a fantastic, dynamic, never-ending process.
The exciting thing about neuroplasticity is that it proves to us that our minds are not static. Therefore, we have the power to reframe experiences and quite literally rewire our brains to function more optimally.
And in addition to mental health practices like meditation and mindfulness, food and exercise can also do their part to help improve brain function and memory in unique ways.
Foods to Boost Brain Function and Memory
Now, let’s go over a few of the best brain foods to include in your diet for better neuroplasticity.
Our brains are 60% fat, so it makes sense that fatty fish would top the list as some of the best brain food out there.
Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including salmon, trout, albacore tuna, herring, and sardines, can help build brain and nerve cells while promoting learning and memory.
Coffee and Green Tea
Both coffee and green tea contain caffeine and antioxidants, both of which can aid in brain health. With these beverages, you can expect increased alertness, concentration, and an improved mood, which can help with overall brain function.
Green tea, in particular, also has an amino acid known as L-theanine, which can help you feel more relaxed without necessarily making you feel tired. And reducing anxiety by encouraging a state of calm can also help you to think more clearly.
Blueberries contain potent antioxidants and offer anti-inflammatory benefits that can help with brain function, protecting you particularly well against aging and neurodegenerative diseases.
It’s also true that blueberries improve communication between brain cells, aiding in the effectiveness of your memory, learning capacities, and more.
Eggs are packed with nutrients that are key to maintaining optimal brain health, including vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folate, and choline.
These nutrients can help regulate your mood, improve your memory, reduce depression, and delay the onset of mental decline due to aging.
Similar to blueberries, turmeric is an incredible antioxidant with potent anti-inflammatory properties. It’s known to benefit memory, ease depression and aid in producing new brain cells -- all of which make it one of the best brain foods around.
How Exercise Increases Brain Function
Since neuroplasticity occurs due to the regeneration of neurons, exercise also aids in neuroplasticity by increasing both blood flow and cell growth in the brain.
Plus, in addition to these amazing brain benefits, exercise also:
- Improves fine motor coordination
- Increases brain connectivity
- May reduce cognitive decline
Regular exercise can also improve quality of life, creating an overall sense of well-being, which contributes to fewer mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
In short, exercise increases brain function physiologically and helps those brain functions contribute to a positive experience to aid in mental health.
After all, increased brain function can be a bad thing if it’s focused in a negative direction. So, exercise helps prevent these outcomes as well.
Brain Foods + Exercise = Killer Combo
As we’ve seen, both food and exercise can blend to create a killer combo when it comes to neuroplasticity. Pair the right foods with a regular exercise routine, and you’ll notice more mental clarity, a more stable mood, and a better ability to learn and adapt to your environment.
So, let’s boost your neuroplasticity by adding these five ultimate brain foods to your diet and sticking to a healthy exercise schedule. Your brain will thank you!