A good diet improves your health, but also boosts your energy. Create a shopping list of these must-have endurance foods recommended by Dr. Mike Moreno, author of The 17 Day Diet: A Doctor's Plan Designed for Rapid Results.
1. Beef, extra lean: High in iron, a mineral that improves memory, alertness and attention span.
2. Beets: Contains phenylalanine, an amino acid that helps relay signals from one brain cell to another.
3. Blueberries: Excellent source of antioxidants and "anthocyanins," compounds thought to help protect brain cells from toxins, improves use of glucose in the brain, and promotes communication between brain cells.
4. Broccoli: Packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients that help protect brain tissue from toxins.
5. Carrots: High in beta carotene and other natural substances that help protect brain tissue from toxins.
6. Chicken: High in tyrosine, an amino acid required for the production of the alertness chemicals dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. When your brain is producing these, you think and react more quickly, and feel more motivated, attentive and mentally energetic.
7. Citrus fruits: Contain vitamin C and other antioxidants that help maintain sharp memory and help brain cells resist damage.
8. Edamame: Contains phenylalanine, an amino acid that helps relay signals from one brain cell to another.
9. Eggs: High in the B vitamin choline, which helps with memory.
10. Egg whites: High in protein, which can improve alertness by increasing levels of norepinephrine, which helps keep your brain at its sharpest.
11. Hot chilies: Contains the fiery-tasting chemical capsaicin. Capsaicin stimulates circulation, aids digestion, opens your nasal passages and, even better, sends a feeling of euphoria straight to your brain.
12. Legumes: Provide glucose to fuel the brain, and the fiber they contain slows the absorption of glucose, helping to maintain stable levels of energy and support alertness and concentration overtime.
13. Pork: Loaded with vitamin B1, which protects myelin, a fatty substance that helps facilitate communication among cells.
14. Romaine lettuce: High in folate, a B vitamin important for memory and nerve cell health.
15. Spinach: Packed with iron, which is involved memory, concentration, and mental functioning.
16. Tuna: Full of omega-3 fatty acids, which help build and maintain myelin.
17. Yogurt: A probiotic food that has been found in many studies to boost mental alertness.
Do you keep these brain-boosting foods stocked in your kitchen?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Michael Rafael Moreno, author of The 17 Day Diet: A Doctor's Plan Designed for Rapid Results (Copyright © 2010 by 17 Day Diet, Inc.), better known as Dr. Mike, is a graduate of the University of California at Irvine and Hahnemann Medical School (now Drexel University). Following his residency at Kaiser Permanente in Fontana, California, Dr. Mike moved to San Diego, where he now practices family medicine and sits on the board of the San Diego Chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians. In 2008, Dr. Mike launched "Walk with Your Doc."