Want to boost your brain health? Here’s What You Should Drink!
We all know what kind of foods are to be eaten to make your brain healthier and your memory sharper, but have we ever really thought of what we must drink? Yes, even consuming certain drinks can help you boost the power of your brain, hence leading to concentrate better, focus on your studies more, and actually grasp whatever you are reading while retaining it better. So, nootropics are a class of natural or synthetic compounds that may improve your brain function. While hundreds of nootropic supplements are available, several beverages contain natural nootropic compounds.
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Here are a few juices and drinks that may boost your brain health, and you must include these in your diet.
Green tea’s caffeine content is much lower than coffee’s. Yet, it also boasts two promising nootropic compounds — l-theanine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Studies suggest that l-theanine may promote relaxation, as well as that l-theanine combined with caffeine, may improve attention. A review of 21 human studies found that green tea as a whole may support focus, attention, and memory. Additionally, EGCG is able to enter your brain through the blood-brain barrier, meaning it could exert beneficial effects on your brain or even combat neurodegenerative diseases. Nonetheless, more research is necessary.
Orange juice is rich in vitamin C, with 1 cup providing 93% of the Daily Value (DV). Interestingly, this vitamin may offer neuroprotective benefits.
One review of 50 human studies found that those with higher blood levels of vitamin C or a higher self-reported vitamin C intake had better attention, memory, and language scores than those with lower blood or intake levels. But always remember that while you’re at it, be sure to skip the sugar in the orange juice. Choose not to buy packaged juices, try consuming fresh juices.
Considered ‘golden milk’, Turmeric milk contains the antioxidant curcumin, which may increase your body’s production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Low BDNF is associated with mental deficits and neurological disorders, so raising BDNF levels may improve brain function.
Blueberries are rich in polyphenol plant compounds that may provide brain-boosting benefits. Anthocyanins — antioxidants that give these berries their blueish-purple hue — may be largely responsible. Likewise, blueberry juice is loaded with these compounds. Still, one review of high-quality studies in nearly 400 people found mixed results. The strongest positive effect involved better short- and long-term memory, but some studies in this review reported no positive brain effects from the blueberry intake. What’s more, eating whole blueberries is a healthier, lower sugar option that may provide similar benefits.
Green Juices and Smoothies
Green juice combines green fruits and veggies, such as:
- dark leafy greens like kale or spinach
- green apples
- fresh herbs, such as lemongrass
Green smoothies may also contain ingredients like avocado, yogurt, protein powder, or bananas to add creaminess and nutrients. While the brain-boosting potential of green juices or smoothies depends heavily on the ingredients, these drinks are often rich in vitamin C and other helpful antioxidants.
Beets are a deep red root vegetable that’s naturally rich in nitrates — a precursor to nitric oxide, which your body uses to promote cell oxygenation and improve blood flow.
Although many people drink beetroot juice before their workouts for its blow-flow-boosting qualities, it’s less clear whether beetroot juice provides any brain benefits.
Still, nitric oxide signaling may play roles in the areas of your brain responsible for language, learning, and advanced decision-making, and beetroot juice may boost these effects by increasing nitric oxide production. You can drink this juice by mixing powdered beetroot into water or taking a dose of concentrated beetroot juice. Typically, the dose for concentrated beetroot drinks is only 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 mL) per day.
Certain herbal teas may provide a brain boost. These include:
- Sage. This herb may support memory and mood, among other mental benefits.
- Gingko Biloba. A review of studies in over 2,600 people found that this plant may ease symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive decline. However, most of the available studies are of low quality.
- Ashwagandha. This popular nootropic herb may protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
- Ginseng. Some evidence supports using ginseng for neuroprotective properties and to promote brain function, but other studies show no effect.
- Rhodiola. This plant may help improve mental fatigue and brain function
Keep in mind that teas offer much smaller doses of active ingredients than the supplements or extracts used in scientific studies.
Your brain happens to be 75% water. This means that water is the most important beverage you can consume for brain health. Staying hydrated keeps your brain working at its highest potential. Hydration helps your brain work faster, boosts concentration, balances your mood, and can even improve your memory. Make it tastier this summer by adding a bit of lemon, lime, or your other favorite fruits to a glass of ice water.
Almond milk offers several health benefits – it’s known for promoting healthy bones and heart health – but it’s great for the brain, too. It contains L-carnitine and riboflavin, which both help boost brain activity. It may also help prevent age-related memory concerns.
You might have heard of drinking lemon water in the morning for better digestion and skin health, but you might not know that lemons contain high levels of potassium, which allows more oxygen to reach the brain and improve functioning. Water—with lemon or not—has the additional benefit of being extremely hydrating, which keeps your brain and entire body running optimally.
“Mild dehydration produces alterations in a number of important aspects of cognitive function, such as concentration, alertness, and short-term memory,” explains Rebecca Ditkoff, MPH, RD, CDN, and founder of Nutrition by RD. “I find that if I’m feeling sluggish or foggy-headed in the afternoon, a big glass of lemon water reenergizes my mind and helps me power through the rest of the day.”
Pomegranate is loaded with the goodness of antioxidants, which helps in repairing the cell damage in the brain and body caused due to the presence of free radicals. Apart from that, drinking pomegranate juice helps in improving blood circulation, which further improves the oxygen supply to the brain and leads to better brain functioning. Drinking pomegranate juice in mid meals can also help in improving brain health and memory.
Cocoa is packed with flavanols that help in boosting overall health. Right from reducing blood pressure to improving heart health and boosting memory, cocoa drink can work miraculously in boosting blood circulation, healing, and relaxing the nerves. Being a great source of antioxidants, cocoa-based drinks can help in relaxing the nervous system. According to a study, including cocoa-based drinks in your diet can remarkably improve brain function as well as memory. However, make sure you do not add sugar, cream or excessive milk fats, this can reduce the goodness of cocoa.