10 Drinks That Make You Smarter (Slideshow)
June 19, 2014
You are what you eat — and drink
This exotic fruit has tons of unique antioxidants that have been shown to improve cognition and memory. Drinking a glass of this daily will make you smarter.
Choose green or black, whichever your particular cup of tea may be. Tea is a great way to enhance the activity in your brain, since EGCG, or epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which is found in green tea, has been shown to increase brain cell production while sharpening memory. Tea is also loaded with antioxidants, and drinking even one cup of black tea daily has been shown to improve reaction time.
Dark Chocolate Cocoa
The flavonols in cocoa are beneficial in relaxing the lining of blood vessels that in turn decreases blood pressure, which means there are less damaging effects to the brain over time. Drinking a cup of hot chocolate may reduce risk for stroke and cognitive deficits.
Load up on blackberries and blueberries, and you'll feel like you can win the next Scripps National Spelling Bee: that's supercalafragalistic excellence! Both of these berries enhance neuronal activity and connection in the brain, and prevent early onset of mental decline. Memory — along with motor and cognitive skills — is sharpened.
Cinnamon and Turmeric Tea
This is one of my daily secrets, along with some other herbs; cinnamon contains two compounds, proanthocyanidin and cinnamaldehyde, which may decrease tau proteins in the brain that cause plaque build-up in the brain implicated in dementia. Turmeric, like cinnamon, has also been shown to inhibit dementia development due to its active component, curcumin. Add a dollop of olive oil, which contains oleocanthal, a compound thought to guard against Alzheimer’s, for good measure.
Moderate Alcohol Intake
Studies have shown that alcohol, be it vodka, beer, or wine, can enhance cortical function in the brain, thereby increasing creativity — but your BAC shouldn't exceed 0.07, because too much of a good thing turns bad: moderation is key.
Besides the fact that we are composed of 70 percent water and that we need water to flush toxins out and make our skin look great and to stay hydrated, water also helps deliver oxygen to the brain to optimally function. That's why when you're dehydrated, you cannot think straight and you get headaches — which is the brain's way of saying it needs some TLC.
Research has shown that the polyphenols found in wine (and even chocolate... so indulge in both) increase blood flow to the brain, thereby boosting its power. The resveratrol in wine also contributes to a healthy brain, but remember, it's all about moderation. Cheers to that!
Beet, Carrot, and Apple Juice
Throw these in a whole food blender and not only will you make a fabulously colored beverage, but the amount of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals in this drink will make you feel like you can win the Nobel Prize in Physics. Beets increase nitric oxide production in the brain which improves circulation. Carrots contain beta-carotene, which is not only good for the eyes, but helps to halt brain degeneration. Apples prevent neurodegenerative disease including Alzheimer's... and we all know that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away."
Coconut Water and Coconut Milk
All the ingredients in coconuts, whatever form you consume it in, are beneficial to overall health, especially the brain. Early onset dementia can be prevented through this drink: aside from being very rehydrating, all the electrolytes and vitamins and minerals improve circulation and blood flow to the brain. Yum! And oh-so-good for your brain.