The Brain-Boosting Foods to Add to Your Diet

Find out what to eat to improve cognitive function.

In recent years, research has shown that what we eat can impact more than just our physical and emotional health, it can play a role in our brain health too. In one scientific study, participants who followed a Mediterranean diet and ate foods with folate, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin E were one-third less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. Author, filmmaker, and brain health expert Max Lugavere also says there are certain "genius" foods to look out for if you want to boost cognitive function. By adding foods like chickpeas, carrots, and yogurt to your diet you can take a step in the right direction to sharpen your memory and improve your brain health. Print out this guide so you can shop for brain-boosting foods no matter where you go.


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Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

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