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Food For Thought

We told you about how to challenge your brain with different activities on day to day basis. There's no magic bullet to boost IQ or make you smarter -- but certain substances found in what we eat to really help putting those grey cells away.

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Fish

Deep water fish are extremely rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are crucial for your brain’s everyday functioning and development. Salmon and bangda are some of the best examples. Ensure that you eat fish at least twice a week.

Blueberries- Here’s a rule of the thumb: foods that are red or purple in colour contain phytochemicals that are good to your brain. Studies have proved that the phytochemicals in blueberries contribute to healthy functioning of the brain. They might be heavy on the pocket, but are completely worth it. Cherries and grapes, like blueberries, are also rich in phytochemicals.

Walnuts- Next time when you are watching TV, switch potato chips with a handful of nuts and have a mix of walnuts, cashews and groundnuts-- perhaps just keep a trail mix handy whenever you need to snack. Walnuts, like fish, are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and one of the healthiest snacking options.

Flax seed- Lowering cholesterol and blood pressure are some of the well-known benefits of flax seeds. But what you didn’t know is that they also play a crucial role towards brain health owing to short chains of omega-3.

Spinach - When Popeye gorges on spinach, it isn’t without a reason. Rich in folic acid, spinach is believed to lower the chances of Alzheimer’s disease and memory-loss. Also, its high iron content further makes it a champion in the fight against brain-related diseases.

Caffeine- Yes, you read it right. Caffeine can actually energize and help, you focus and concentrate. Found in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and some medications, caffeine gives you that unmistakable wake-up buzz -- though the effects are short term. And more is often less: Overdo it on caffeine and it can make you jittery and uncomfortable.

Avocados & Whole Grains- Every organ in the body depends on blood flow, especially the heart and brain. Eating whole grains and fruits like avocados can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and enhance blood flow, offering a simple, tasty way to fire up brain cells. Whole grains, like popcorn and whole wheat, also contribute dietary fiber and vitamin E, while avocados have fat -- but a good-for-you, monounsaturated fat that contributes to healthy blood flow.

Multivitamins- Store shelves groan with supplements claiming to boost health. Although many of the reports on the brain-boosting power of supplements like vitamins B, C, E, beta-carotene, and magnesium are promising, they're inconclusive. Researchers are cautiously optimistic about ginseng, gingko, or vitamin, mineral, and herb combinations and their impact on the brain. A daily multivitamin is OK, but check with your doctor before taking other supplements.

Proteins- One of the great benefits of protein is that it generally makes you feel satisfied longer than carbohydrates and fats. Eating a diet rich in lean and low-fat protein is good for weight loss and overall health -- though it's hard to draw a connection with brain function.

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