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Foods That Help You Think

There are many foods that are actually a great source of vitamins, minerals, nutrients or antioxidants that all help with brain function, thinking process, cognitive function and concentration. However, trying to decipher which are the best sources can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

"With so many choices and so many different reports, finding the right food source for brain health can often be a trying chore," says Dr. Earl Mindell, pharmacist, nutritionist and author of Dr. Earl Mindell's What You Should Know About Natural Health for Women (McGraw Hill, 1996). "From my research, studies and experience, I've found that many common foods still seem to be the best sources."

According to Dr. Mindell, finding the best sources of food for brain health is as simple as walking to your own kitchen. "I like the saying 'Keep it simple,'" he says. "For example, egg yolks are a good source of phosphatidyl choline, as are soybeans, cabbage, peanuts and cauliflower. Vitamin B12 is found in meat, fish, eggs and poultry and is essential as a brain vitamin. Gingko biloba in tea form or as a supplement helps with concentration. Another example is magnesium-rich foods, such as wheat bran, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, milk, meat, beans, bananas, apricots, dry mustard, curry powder and cocoa, which can prevent many of the problems that lead to impaired mental function."

Stoler says that one of the easiest ways to remember which foods are best for brain health is to remember to be colorful. And for those of you with a sweet tooth, don't worry. Stoler says there are many good properties for brain health in dark chocolate as well. "If you remember to add lots of color to your diet you'll be doing well when it comes to foods healthy for brain function," she says. "Proteins include legumes, nuts, fish, beef, chicken and eggs. Fruits such as melons and berries ? especially strawberries and/or blueberries ? are a great source of 'brain food,' as are green, orange and red vegetables. Of course soy foods should be added to the diet. And good news for chocolate lovers: Dark chocolate is a great source of brain food, in moderation of course."

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