Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Eating right affects your BRAIN as much as it affects your rear end. In fact, studies show that you can be up to 200 percent more productive if you make the right choices when it comes to your diet. So here's a guide of the best and worst brain foods . . .

#1.) FOR SHORT-TERM MEMORY . . . drink coffee. Caffeine slows down the aging process, and just one cup helps improve attention and problem-solving skills.

--DON'T DRINK . . . energy drinks or TOO MUCH coffee. It can mess with your sleep schedule. Sleep gives your brain time to reboot, so you shouldn't mess with it.

#2.) FOR LONG-TERM MEMORY . . . eat blueberries. They're in season right now. The antioxidants in blueberries protect your brain from free-radicals and cut your risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

--DON'T EAT . . . fruit that's not ripe. It doesn't have the same nutrients. If fruit is OUT of season, you're better off buying it frozen, since the flavor, nutrients, and antioxidants have been locked in.

#3.) TO THINK FASTER . . . eat fish. Salmon or mackerel are best. The omega-3 fatty acids are the building blocks of brain tissue. Plus, the niacin in salmon can help ward off Alzheimer's disease.

--DON'T EAT . . . full-fat ice cream. Saturated fat can clog blood vessels and prevent the flow of nutrients to the brain.

#4.) TO CALM DOWN . . . eat low-fat yogurt or mixed nuts. They've both been proven to reduce anxiety by up to 50 percent.

--DON'T DRINK . . . soda. A study by the American Journal of Public Health found that people who drink two and a half cans a day are three times more likely to be depressed or anxious.
#5.) TO CONCENTRATE . . . eat peppermint. The smell alone helps you focus. And a recent study found that peppermint makes drivers more alert.

--BUT DON'T EAT . . . candy. Sugar can actually STOP you from focusing. So instead of eating peppermint candy, try peppermint tea or some sugar-free peppermint gum.

#6.) TO PUT YOURSELF IN A GOOD MOOD . . . eat leafy greens like arugula or spinach. They're packed with B vitamins, which help create feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine in your body.

--DON'T EAT . . . white chocolate. It doesn't have any cocoa solids in it, so it won't boost your serotonin level like real chocolate will.

#7.) TO SHARPEN YOUR SENSES . . . eat a tablespoon of flaxseed every day. It strengthens your cerebral cortex . . . the area of your brain that processes sensory information. You can sprinkle flaxseed on salads, or mix it into a protein shake.

--DON'T DRINK . . . alcohol. It's easy to forget that alcohol is actually a DEPRESSANT. That means it depresses your nervous system and makes you sloppy, not sharp. And when you get drunk, it can take DAYS for your brain to recover. (MensHealth.com)


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