For a chess player, good memory as well as being able to stay focused is a tremendous advantage. So instead of eating food for food, why not include in your diet the best nutriments for your brain?
Here is a list of the 10 best foods to strengthen your brain abilities especially in terms of memory and concentration.
Number one on this list are avocados. These fruits are amongst the healthiest ones because they have the highest protein and lowest sugar content of any fruit. Plus, they’re rich in vitamin B and vitamin C.
They are also filled with folate and vitamin K which help improve cognitive function, in particular memory and focus.
Don’t be too preoccupied by their high fat content because it is actually of the “good” kind, since it keeps your blood sugar level steady.
2. Fatty fish
Fatty fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which help increase the growth of brain cells. This brain boost will result in better memory and concentration. The most popular fish in this category is wild salmon.
If you are looking for other tastes, you can look at this list to find your heart’s desire.
Blueberries are one of the most antioxidant-rich foods, including vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber and gallic. This last attribute is especially good at protecting your brain from degeneration and stress, while helping to keep your memory sharp.
4. Dark Chocolate
Not all chocolate is created equal. Chocolate that is at least 70% dark will be your friend. Cocoa’s flavonoids penetrate the brain regions involved in learning and memory, especially the hippocampus.[i] Another study demonstrated an improvement in cognitive scores following the consumption of dark chocolate.
But remember dark chocolate can only be good for you in small quantities.
Wouldn’t it be great if a simple spice led to brain benefits? That’s the case with turmeric. Thanks to curcuma, a chemical compound found in turmeric, the spice helps boost antioxidant levels which in turns improve your brain’s oxygen intake, keeping you alert and able to process information.
Besides being an excellent appetite-suppressant, carrots have high levels of a compound called luteolin.
This substance could reduce age-related memory deficits and inflammation in the brain according to a study published in 2010 in the journal Nutrition. In the study, mice whose daily diet was supplemented with 20 milligrams of luteolin, had reduced inflammation in their brains and their memory was comparable to younger ones’ memory.
Alternatives to carrots are peppers, celery, peppermint, rosemary and chamomile.
Being high in fiber, broccoli helps you feel full quickly. But what you probably didn’t know about this vegetable is that it contains high levels of vitamin K and choline, which both improve memory.
Beets contain natural nitrates that help boost blood flow to the brain, improving mental performance. It might not be the sexiest food on earth, but who cares?
9. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Real extra virgin olive oil is truly a brain food as it contains antioxidants known as polyphenols. Polyphenols can improve both learning and memory, but also reverse the effects of age and disease. To get the most of it, you should eat it cold or at room temperature, for instance in a salad.
Almonds, much like fatty fish, are full of omega-3 fatty acids that boost brain power. They also contain vitamin E which helps further protect your brain.
All these foods have additional benefits that I didn’t mention. The fact is they are all good for a healthy lifestyle, except maybe for chocolate in large quantities.
So next time you have to choose what to cook, pick up foods you like from this list to start with.
Your brain being your best ally while playing chess, it could be great to help it with strategic food intake. Don’t you agree?