If your mornings come too fast, and afternoons drag on way too slow, maybe your diet or lack thereof is the culprit.  Did you know that by including some of the following foods in your daily routine can increase your memory, mood, concentration, and brain clarity – who knew.

1. Coffee: Regular coffee drinking has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and other mental disorders.  Caffeine (in moderation) is actually good for your brain. Now this doesn’t mean buy stock in Starbucks, the extras you add into your cup are filled with fatty products and you will see an increase in your waistline, not your brain power. If you think that black coffee tastes more like licking dirt than enjoyable, try green tea. It’s packed with antioxidants and the right amount of caffeine to get your brain in tip top shape.

2. Whole grains: Put down that burger and find the nearest sandwich shop, STAT. Whole grains, as seen in bread and oatmeal, are a great source of essential fibers, vitamins, some Omega-3, and even improve circulation. Don’t overdose on the bread alone, it still contains carbohydrates which can turn into sugars if not burned off throughout the day.

3. Flax seeds: Say what? Sounds like something you should be feeding to the birds. Actually, flax seeds are jam-packed with ALA which is a healthy fat (sounds like an oxymoron, but keep reading) that keeps your cerebral cortex (sensory part of the brain) functioning better. Flax seeds can be mixed right into your daily food and purchased at any grocery or health food store.

4. Eggs: Eggs are a great source of brain support, however, must be eaten in moderation – too many can be very unhealthy. If you enjoy 1-2 egg products a day you are ingesting healthy, brain-supporting amounts of vitamin B12 and lecithin. The vitamin B12 fights again brain shrinkage (puts the whole pea brain comment into perspective), called brain atrophy, a condition that happens as we get older, which is often seen in Alzheimer’s disease.  Egg yolks are high in cholesterol, but also high in choline, a building block of brain cells for memory; this is why eating them in moderation is key for your health.

5. Leafy Green Vegetables: Well, blow me down! Popeye was right on the mark with his spinach addiction.  Leafy green vegetables such as cabbage, kale, and spinach are excellent brain food for both children and adults – getting them to eat these are a whole other story. These foods are rich in vitamin B5, B12, and folate, which are important compounds needed to decrease forgetfulness, increase protection against Alzheimer’s disease, and keep iron intake at normal levels.

Just because the old saying, “you are what you eat,” doesn’t mean you will walk around seeing giant human hamburgers (if that was true, I’m sure many of us would be eating skinny people). However, it is important for us to take care of our bodies and include these fabulous foods in our daily diets.

What are some of the healthy foods that you try to implement in your daily life?