According to a new brain-scan study, the answer depends on if you’re a man or a woman. Because there are clear differences between male and female brains, and certain foods can “supercharge” the brain in different ways. Here’s what you need to know – according to brain-imaging expert Dr. Daniel Amen. Let’s start with the best Brain Foods for women:
Chickpeas. Dr. Amen says they help increase the brain’s production of serotonin – the neurotransmitter that helps us feel relaxed. That’s because of a combination of the carbohydrates in chickpeas, mixed with a good amount of fiber. That’s important for women, who tend to produce less serotonin than men, making them more prone to anxiety and depression.
Dark chocolate. Chocolate increases levels of nitric oxide, a molecule that helps open the arteries, and improve blood flow to the brain. That can help with migraines – which women are more prone to. Plus chocolate is linked to improved mood and energy.
So, what about some brain foods for the guys?
Salmon. Dr. Amen says up to 20 percent of the brain’s cerebral cortex consists of the same fatty acids found in fish, like salmon, tuna, and sardines. That helps explain a study showing that men who don’t eat fish are more likely to have brain inflammation, which can impair memory and learning.
Eggs. They’re one of the healthiest sources of protein. And protein stimulates the production of dopamine – a brain chemical involved with focus and impulse control – which men tend to have less of.