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    Boosting Your Brainpower on a Budget

    Written by Evgeniya Koseva

    Going through a phase of dipping finances could have a daunting effect on your daily decisions. When stress and anxiety take over and disturb your emotional balance, clouded thinking often follows. Lack of motivation and depressive tendencies are not unusual either. From one poor choice to the next, your health could quickly deteriorate.

    A thin wallet does not have to jeopardize your psychological and/or physical well-being. While it is challenging to find nutrition-dense foods when money is tight, the task is manageable. When you take care of the master mechanism behind your decisions AKA the brain, you can adequately address the rest of your worries.

    The essential nutrients for a powerful brain.

    No universal solution to an almighty mind has been discovered yet. Undoubtedly, a combination of nutritious foods increases the chances of extended brain health. The optimal diet includes a healthy balance of veggies, fruit, whole grains, and legumes. Plant-based proteins and good fats are also known to increase your brainpower. Omega-3s, B-vitamins, and antioxidants should be some of your permanent meal components.

    The good news is that most superfoods for your brain are affordable!

    The good news is that most superfoods for your brain are affordable!

    You just have to get your facts right and niftily search for seasonal local produce. Hunting for those weekly deals should become your second nature when your wallet is thin! Going directly to the producer when possible, could eliminate some of the costs, too.

    Without further ado, here are our favorite budget-friendly brain-boosting foods:

    ·      Nuts & Seeds

    Packed full of proteins and healthy fats, most seeds and nuts promote better brain health. Walnuts have been linked to improved cognitive abilities, with alpha-linolenic acid being the main culprit.

    Those Omega-3 packed nuts, though, tend to be pricey. Do not get discouraged, as a much more affordable alternative is available to you: sunflower seeds. Though you may have considered them an inferior bird food, these seeds are packed with vitamin E (associated with enhanced cognition and lower risk of Alzheimer’s).

    ·      Leafy greens

    You may have heard that kale, spinach, and collard greens are superfoods. Alongside broccoli, these veggies have the potential to slow down your intellectual deterioration. They are rich in many vital nutrients, including folate, lutein, vitamin K, and beta carotene.

    While kale and spinach are not always super budget-friendly, a broccoli head is inexpensive and satiating. It does not require much or any cooking either.

    ·      Whole grains

    Suppose you are unable to find sunflower seeds or are allergic to them. In that case, whole grains are another viable source of vitamin E. Make sure that you opt for unbleached options, like barley, oatmeal, bulgur wheat, and brown rice.

    These foods not only improve your mental abilities but also keep you satiated for longer. Your wallet will be chunkier, and your tummy fuller.

    ·      Berries

    Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries have shorter shelf lives and are often quite expensive (especially when out of season). Do you still want to enjoy the benefits of berry-derived flavonoids and enjoy an improved memory? In that case, you can invest in the frozen alternatives. They are a great addition to smoothies and overnight oats.

    ·      Coffee & Tea

    Hooray, caffeine lovers! If the serotonin-boosting, fantastic flavor, and smell were not enough, coffee has been linked to superior brain functioning, too. Caffeinated beverages and caffeine tablets have proven to be powerful tools to enhance human memory and concentration.

    Coffee and black tea come in a variety of affordable packages. Versatility in brewing methodologies and flavors is also available even when your dollar stash is small.

    ·      Omega-3-rich foods

    Aside from walnuts, fatty fish could also be a safe choice for Omega-3 fatty acids. These are associated with reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Be sure to consume low-mercury fish, like cod, salmon, and canned light tuna, at least twice per week.

    If your diet, flavor buds, or wallet does not correspond to the required fish intake, you can verge off to some plant-based alternatives. You can incorporate flaxseeds and avocados for optimal brain health. 

    ·      Bonus Tips

    A healthy diet will undoubtedly have a positive impact on your mental well-being. What else could you do to enhance your brainpower, though?

    Keeping active is one way to enhance your brain’s functions. Outdoor workouts have been linked to an enlarged hippocampus, resulting in slower memory deterioration as aging occurs.  

    Challenge your brain by picking a new skill, hobby, or language. Take an enjoyable course that is also thought-provoking.

    A positive mindset is the key to a healthier brain, and ultimately, to a happier life!

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