Although it’s not exactly a scientific term, ‘superfoods’ is used to refer to particular foods that supply the body with a boost of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
While we know nutrient-dense foods such as wild salmon, nuts, and leafy greens are great sources of these for overall health, have you considered what foods might be beneficial to keeping your brain in top form?
We look at four brain foods to add to your diet that can help prevent age-related brain decline, as well as easy recipes to whip up at home:
Fans of sushi rejoice! There’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that, besides helping with weight loss, a regular intake of seaweed may not only be delicious but could offer brain benefits too.
Seaweed is an excellent source of folic acid, a key nutrient for brain health across all ages, and has also been shown to improve memory performance. It is also a great vegetarian source of DHA omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, so it’s a practical way to include them in your diet. There’s also a large body of research linking DHA to improved memory, so locating those misplaced car keys won’t be a problem anymore!
If you’re searching for a way to make snack time healthy, try these delicious seaweed and spring roll crisps. They are super easy to make and are a great way to sneak some extra nutrients into your diet!
Get the recipe here.
These sushi rice balls are great for parties and they are very easy to make! They are also a great and yummy way to include this superfood in your meals.
Try this snack here.
Boasting an impressive nutrient profile, pomegranates are often considered one of the healthiest fruits around. The pomegranate seeds (called arils) are rich in fibre, minerals, vitamins and bioactive plant compounds are known to have potent medicinal properties. There have been various studies on the health benefits, with evidence showing that pomegranate may improve memory in older adults.
A US study conducted over four weeks found that subjects who were assigned to drink around one cup of pomegranate juice showed significant improvement in verbal and visual memory compared to those who received a flavour-matched placebo drink.
While the task of cracking open one of these can involve a bit of effort, the payoff is well worth it. You can freeze the seeds for up to a year to enjoy the bounty even when they’re not in season.
Did you know that pomegranate seeds taste amazing on a salad? Try this gorgeous looking jeweled couscous salad which is super healthy and very easy to make. Eat it as a starter or on its own for fewer calories!
Get the recipe here.
Chocolate lovers rejoice! Dark chocolate is often cited for increasing one’s short-term cognition. This makes it a great item to snack on. However, be sure to go for small doses of 70 per cent or higher cocoa content to reap the benefits.
It’s almost impossible to stop at just one of these nutritive and protein-packed chocolate wheatens! This is the perfect family-friendly treat.
Get the recipe for chocolate wheatens here.
This Chocolate Caramel Nut Slice delivers the richness of chocolate, the sweetness and chewiness of caramel, and the crunch of pecans. What’s not to love?
Get the recipe here.
A Middle Eastern mix of thyme, sumac, sesame seeds, oregano and salt, with variations including additional herbs and spices, zaatar has been used for centuries for a range of health benefits.
Traditionally, as well as being used to treat physical ailments, zaatar is thought to help increase cognition and memory. This may be due to its famed circulation-boosting powers, and rich mineral content working to help stimulate neural activity. Some researchers have theorised that the phenols and carvacrol present in thyme and oregano may increase brain power, and with sesame seeds already well known as little health rockets, zaatar would be a fabulous addition to your pantry.
While not as common to find as the other foods in this list, you can still get your hands on this spice mix at places like Mustafa, or The Fishwives. Alternatively, you can make your own – simply combine 1 teaspoon sumac, ½ teaspoon dried thyme, ½ teaspoon salt and 1½ teaspoons crushed sesame seeds.
Text: Bauersyndication.com.au / Additional Reporting: Camillia Dass
This post was first published on December 4, 2019, and updated on July 28, 2020.