Thursday, September 10, 2009

100 Foods that Make You Smarter, Happier, and More Productive Posted by Site Administrator in Features on 09 9th, 2009 |

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If you’re like most college students, chances are your diet isn’t optimized to give you the best nutrition. Although it’s easy to eat junk food, it’s not the best for your brain, body, and happiness. Here, we’ll take a look at 100 foods that can help you become smarter, happier, more productive…and maybe even a little bit sexier.

Essential Nutrients

In any food you eat, make sure you look for these essential nutrients for success.
Glucose: Your brain requires a constant supply of glucose, found in fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Dopamine: Eat dopamine-rich foods like meat, nuts, and soy to feel more alert.
Choline: Choline can provide you with memory enhancement and better reaction time.
Anthocyanin: Anthocyanins protect your brain from oxidation stress, and can be found in blackberries.
Acetylcholine: This neurotransmitter excited other neurons-it’s found in egg, peanuts, wheat germ, and more.
Low glycemics: Eat foods that offer a low glycemic ranking, as they will break down glucose molecules more slowly.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E is one of the essential vitamins for good brain health.
Vitamin B12: With B12, you’ll be able to repair brain cell damage that can stop memory loss.
Fiber: High fiber can help boost your cognitive performance.
Vitamin K: Getting vitamin K will help improve your cognitive function.
Iron: Iron can help you maintain good levels of focus and concentration.
Serotonin: Serotonin can produce feelings of pleasure, and is found in pasta, potatoes, cereals, breads, and starchy vegetables.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is great for supporting your brain, so be sure to eat lots of citrus fruits.
Alphalinoleic: ALA offers an improvement of your central cortex, which processes sensory information.
B vitamins: B vitamins can improve your mood and mental performance.
Folic acid: Folic acid: Eating folic acid can help support your brain-healthy diet.
Zinc: Make sure you’re getting enough zinc to maintain your verbal memory.
Protein: Protein will help your body better absorb glucose.
Lycopene: This antioxidant found in tomatoes will help prevent free-radical damage to brain cells.
Phenylalanine: Phenylalanine works to support healthy neurological function.
Essential fatty acids: Omega-3s are great for brain development and maintenance.


Adopt these habits that can help you improve your nutrition.
Graze: Eat more frequent, but smaller, meals in order to keep your brain’s energy steady.
Eat a larger lunch: Avoid having a big dinner, opting for a larger lunch instead.
Eat breakfast: Breakfast can improve your cognition and reduce anxiety./li>

Brain Food

Eat these foods to feed your brain.
Raw carrots: Raw carrots will provide you with a steady level of blood sugar for your brain.
Cashews: Cashews are high in magnesium, which can give more oxygen-rich blood to your brain.
Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are full of brain nutrients, like zinc and fatty acids.
Water: Get up to 2 liters of water a day to keep your brain hydrated.
Blackberries: Get your oxidation stress-preventing anthocyanins from blackberries.
Eggplant: Keep your brain sharp with eggplant, particularly the skin that keeps your brain sharp with the nutrient nasunin.
Meat: Meat will help your brain create neurotransmitters to send messages from neuron to neuron.
Seeds: By eating seeds, you can get your essential fatty acids.
Canola oil: Canola oil offers a good serving of Omega-3s.
Pecans: Eating pecans can provide you with choline, which is essential for optimal brain function.
Lean beef: Eating lean beef can help you get the iron you need for cognitive functioning.
Fish: Fish is high in protein, which offers a great source of amino acids.
Whole wheat bread: Whole wheat bread offers a less sharp spike in glucose levels.
Strawberries: Antioxidant-rich strawberries can boost your cognitive functioning.
Broccoli: In this superfood, you’ll find lots of vitamin K to enhance brainpower.
Scallops: Load up on scallops to get your essential fatty acids.
Tuna: With tuna fish, you’ll get Omega-3s that can help nerve signals move.
Nuts: Nuts are a great source of essential fatty acids like Omega-3s.
Yogurt: In yogurt, you’ll find improved neurotransmitters.
Cranberries: In cranberries, you’ll find a high concentration of antioxidants that can help prevent brain cell damage caused by free radicals.
Romaine lettuce: Romaine lettuce offers a good amount of Omega-3s and protein.
Hot cocoa: Pure cocoa powder packs an incredibly strong antioxidant punch.
Cheese: Eat cheese to provide your brain with the amino acids it needs.
Berries: Berries are high in complex carbohydrates which can offer you sustained brain energy.
Olive oil: Olive oil will give you a dose of potent antioxidant polyphenols.
Cold-water fish: Eating cold-water fish can provide you with the Omega-3s you need to keep your brain full of the right fats.
Walnut oil: Walnut oil can help you get the Omega-3s you need.


With these foods, you can put your productivity into overdrive.
Peppermint tea: The scent of peppermint can help you focus and boost performance.
Avocados: Avoid bloating after a big lunch with this tasty treat that’s full of good fats.
Dark chocolate: Eat a small bar of dark chocolate for a great load of antioxidants and a sweet tooth satisfaction.
Sunflower seeds: Eat a handful of sunflower seeds to beat fatigue.
Almonds: With almonds, you can boost brainpower, stabilize your mood, and more.
Figs: The natural sweetness of figs offers high energy while staving off your appetite.
Watermelon: Watermelon offers energy and nutrients with low calories.


Boost your alertness and focus using these foods.
Beans: With beans, you’ll get dopamine, which can help you feel more energized, alert, and assertive.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal can give you a steady stream of energy and better memory.
Raisins: Raisins offer high energy with antioxidants, without lots of fat and calories.
Walnuts: Load up on walnuts for Omega-3s that can help you think more clearly and stay focused.
Green tea: Drinking green tea can relax your brain and induce mental alertness.
Salad: Eating a high protein salad with vinaigrette will keep your energy levels high.
Fruit: Fruit offers an excellent source of carbohydrates that can break down gradually over time.
Flaxseed: Flax can help you keep up the levels of healthy fats that can improve your cerebral cortex.
Crunchy fruit: Low calorie, crunchy fruits can be eaten throughout the day for sustained brain energy.
Salmon: Get your Omega-3 fatty acids and niacin to stay on your toes.


With the help of these foods, you’ll be able to remember more.
Liver: In liver, you’ll find acetylcholine, which can help with memory and excite neurons.
Deeply colored produce: You’ll find lots of memory boosting antioxidants in fruits and vegetables with deep pigments.
Bell peppers: Bell peppers will help you stop a deteriorating memory.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are full of lycopene, an antioxidant that can help stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Coffee: For short term memory improvement, a little caffeine can go a long way.
Red cabbage: Eat red cabbage to get the polyphenols you need to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Blueberries: In blueberries, you’ll find antioxidants that can help cut your risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Eggs: Eggs are full of choline, which can improve your reaction time and memory.
Corn: Corn is a great source for improving your memory.
Bananas: Bananas are a good source of antioxidants.
Brown rice: Eating brown rice can help give your brain energy to improve memory.
Wheat germ: Wheat germ can help with memory and prevent Alzheimer’s memory loss.
Brussels sprouts: Eat brussels sprouts for a good dose of antioxidants.
Onions: The occasional onion can provide you with the nutrients you need to support your memory.


Boost your mood by eating one or some of these foods.
Pasta: With pasta, you’ll get serotonin, which can improve feelings of pleasure.
Alcohol: With moderate alcohol consumption, you can get more blood and oxygen to flow to the brain.
Leafy greens: Get your B-vitamins that produce feel-good hormones from arugula, chard, and spinach.
Garlic: Garlic isn’t just tasty, it’s a great mood booster.
Turkey: Everyone knows that the tryptophan in turkey can make you sleepy and mellow.
Carbohydrates: If you’re looking for mental soothing, look to carbohydrates.
Red wine: Get antioxidants, dopamine, and more to improve your mood from wine.
Concord grape juice: Just like red wine, grape juice can improve your mood.
Potatoes: Eating potatoes can give you a delivery of serotonin to boost your mood.

Foods to Avoid

If you’re eating for nutrition and productivity, steer clear of these foods.
Soda: High glucose levels can damage cells in your brain.
Full fat ice cream: Eating full-fat ice cream can clog your brain with saturated fat.
White chocolate: White chocolate is useless chocolate-it doesn’t have the cocoa solids that stimulate euphoria, so go for dark chocolate instead.
White bread: White bread can cause you to cause a stressful spike in glucose levels.
Fast food: Fast food has been shown to make people less intelligent.
Sports drinks: Although rich in electrolytes for athletes, they aren’t necessary for most moderately active people, and they are full of sugar.
Energy drinks: Drinking energy drinks can mess with your sleep schedule and handicap your mind.
Candy: Avoid sugar highs and lows by staying away from candy.
Saturated fat: If you eat a diet high in saturated fat, you’ll be susceptible to cognitive deficits, and even stroke.