Have you ever experienced misplacing important items such as car keys, your wallet, or other personal belongings? Is lesson memorization during examinations becoming harder for you? Do you find yourself forgetting names of acquaintances and colleagues? Watch out, as these instances may have a relationship with the proper functioning of the brain.
Brain functions can be affected by things other than age, including how you care for it. Remember, the brain is an important organ in the human body that plays an integral role in memory, recall, analytical thinking, and cognitive functioning. It should always be protected from any type of harm or injury. Protection can be achieved through a healthy lifestyle including supplementation, eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet, getting enough rest and sleep, performing regular exercise routines, and always having a happy disposition in life.
Need to know more about Nootropics? Check out our Momental Nootropic User Guide. It's full of valuable information and frequently asked questions in an easily digestible format.
A Nootropic Filled Diet for Brain Health
The nootropic diet is a common meal plan used to improve the body, and especially mental health. When we talk of mental health, it doesn't mean you need to have a psychiatric disorder. This way of eating provides the necessary amount of nutrients needed by the brain to stay healthy and powerful. Nootropics have shown to have a positive effect on optimum brain performance, including enhancements in memory function, focus and attention span, and improvements in mental clarity.
Those who practice the nootropic diet follow the mantra of high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrates. Whole foods should be carefully chosen to ensure optimum results. Each of these food sources contain macronutrients. The ratio of nutrients should be known and determined to distinguish whether it is recommended in the diet plan or not. Remember, there are some foods that are rich in fats, while at the same time rich in proteins or carbohydrates. Be careful with this trap, as this may ruin your goal.
Nootropic Diet and Vegetables
Vegetables play a crucial role in achieving a healthy lifestyle. With the numerous types of vegetables available, choosing the right ones to be included in your diet may become a bit tricky and confusing. Keep in mind that not all vegetables are created with the same number of nutritional ratios, thus making some a poor choice for a nootropic diet.
With this lifestyle plan, the carbohydrate count matters. Those who practice the keto diet limit their carbohydrate intake to 20-50 grams per day. An excessive amount of this macronutrient may interfere with cognitive processes. Although a nootropic diet allows for more carbs, it never allows for processed carbs, or trans fat.
Vegetables contain essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for optimal nutrition. Because these whole foods also contain carbohydrates that are not recommended, it is important to know how to balance the nutrients and sustain the diet plan. The ultimate solution here is to choose and stick with vegetables that are both nutrient dense and low in carbohydrates.
For optimum physical development and mental enhancement, let’s take look at some different vegetables and their corresponding macronutrient ratio. This will help in determining whether they should be eaten in large amounts or should be limited or avoided while practicing the nootropic diet plan.
Nootropic Vegetables: Green Leafy Vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables are the best option when it comes to the nootropic diet. These vegetables contain a very low amount of carbohydrates. Adding these to the meals will provide enough volume without having to worry about additional carbohydrates and calories in the body.
Green leafy vegetables are also nutrient dense and extremely healthy. They are rich in Vitamin A, C, K, calcium, magnesium, and iron. These nutrients are essential to supporting bone health, enhancing vision and eyesight, helping with proper blood clotting, and preventing inflammation. Moreover, these vegetables are a vital source of antioxidants that allow for weight loss. Green leafy vegetables are also fiber-rich for better digestion and improved gut health.
Some of the recommended green leafy vegetables, with their corresponding net carbohydrate content (per 100g), include:
- Watercress (0.79g)
- Bok choy (1.18g)
- Collard greens (1.40g)
- Spinach (1.43g)
- Lettuce such as Arugula, Butterhead, and Romaine (ranges from 1.10g to 2.05g)
- Swiss Chards (2.14g)
- Alfalfa and Brussels sprouts (3.78g)
- Kale (5.15g)
- Dandelions (5.70g)
Nootropic Vegetables: Cruciferous Vegetables
The cruciferous vegetables, or those belonging to the cabbage family, are good choices for the nootropic diet. These vegetables have a low carbohydrate content and a high nutritional value. They are rich in vitamins and fiber, and contain phytochemicals. Adding cruciferous vegetables into meals may enhance brain function. In addition, these vegetables are known to reduce the risk of certain diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even stress.
Some of the high nootropic cruciferous vegetables and their corresponding net carbohydrate content (per 100g) are listed below:
- Radishes (1.80g)
- Zucchini (2.11g)
- Cauliflower (2.97g)
- Green cabbage (3.00g)
- White cabbage (3.07g)
- Cucumbers (3.13g)
- Broccoli (4.40g)
Other Recommended Nootropic Vegetables
Aside from the green leafy vegetables and the cruciferous vegetables, the vegetables listed below are recommended while filling your diet with nootropics. These vegetables contain a low amount of carbohydrates, which is highly beneficial to the diet plan, because caloric space is freed up for more healthy fats, which your brain vastly prefers as its main energy source. Also included in the list is the net carbohydrate content (per 100g) of each food source for better guidance.
- Celery (1.37g)
- Asparagus (1.78g)
- Summer squash (2.25g)
- Mushrooms (2.26g)
- Olives (2.80g)
- Eggplant (2.88g)
- Bell peppers (2.90g)
- Bamboo shoots (3.00g)
- Okra (4.25g)
- Green beans (4.27g)
- Naturally fermented Sauerkraut (4.28g)
- Turnips (4.63g)
- Garlic (0.99g per one clove)
Vegetables to Limit or Avoid During a Nootropic Diet
After identifying the vegetables that work best for nootropic diet, it’s important to look at those that should be eaten in limited amounts, or, if possible, avoided completely.
Typically, the vegetables that are high in carbohydrates are the ones with bright colors. These vegetables are also sweeter in taste due to the higher sugar content in its composition. Exceptions may occur such as in the case of bell peppers. But in general, these foods should not be part of your regular meals.
Vegetables to Eat in Moderate Amounts During a Nootropic Diet
There are vegetables that contain a higher amount of carbohydrates but you can still enjoy eating them. Just be careful and eat these vegetables in moderate amounts as it can directly have a great effect on the total count of carbohydrates in the body. For a quick overview, included in the list is the net carbohydrate content (per 100g).
- Pumpkin (5.14g)
- Carrots (6.78g)
- Winter squash (7.09g)
- Onions (8.71g)
Vegetables to Avoid Completely During a Nootropic Diet
The next set of vegetables are the ones that should be avoided completely in the planning and preparation of every meal. These not so friendly vegetables will drastically affect the nootropic diet due to their high carbohydrate content. Their net carbohydrate content (per 100g) are stated for better appreciation and understanding. Most of these vegetables belong to the starchy group, such as:
- Leeks (12.35g)
- Parsnips (13.09g)
- Green peas (13.57g)
- Corn (16.32g)
- White potatoes (16.77g)
- Sweet potatoes (17.12g)
- Yam (23.78g)
- Beans (range from 10g to 20g)
- Legumes and yucca (range from 10g to 20g)
How to Properly Eat Nootropic Vegetables?
There are countless ways to properly enjoy eating vegetables while on the nootropic diet. Stocking various kinds of vegetables in the refrigerator can be done to ensure good quality of products and to prevent waste. You can choose from these various preparation methods and cooking techniques to ensure that your meals are nutritious and healthy.
- Vegetables can be eaten raw as salads. After washing the vegetables, mozzarella, parmesan, or cheddar cheese can be added for flavor, aroma, and taste. Small amounts of nuts such as almonds, pecans, or macadamia nuts are also options for a crunchier feel.
- Vegetables can be cooked (preferably half-cooked) and eaten with some added fats and spices. Some of the highly recommended fats that can be used include grass fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil, or MCT oil. For spices, one can choose from the numerous herbs as long as they are pure. Some of the best options include basil, oregano, parsley, and rosemary.
- Vegetables can be sautéed or stir fried and added to soups, stews, roasts, and other dishes. This can go along with a cut of grass fed beef, pastured raised meats, properly raised poultry and pork, and fattier cuts of fish.
Recommended Vegetable Nootropic Recipes
- With the knowledge and tips learned from the above discussions, you are now ready to create wonderful and appetizing dishes and meals using nootropic friendly vegetables to support your diet plan. Never be afraid to experiment or be creative in preparing your food. Below are some of the delicious and great recipes that you can use as a guide in finding the dishes that work best for you and your appetite.
- Stuffed Peppers
This unique appetizer is a combination of bell peppers, cauliflower, carrots, onion, and garlic. A perfect and colorful dish suited to be served any time of the day.
- Creamy Mushroom Chicken
This creamy dish can be cooked using different varieties of mushrooms. Add some slices of onion for a tastier chicken meal.
- Chicken Salad
This appetizing salad dish is best served with cilantro, mint leaves, and green beans. Other oils and herbs can be added but be sure to use the best quality of the healthiest option.
- Crispy Chicken Salad
This complete and appetizing dish can be prepared with cheese zucchini, kale, and romaine lettuce. Choose a hard cheese for a healthier and more nutritious option.
- Chicken Caesar
This enjoyable dish can be served with romaine or any other type of lettuce. The addition of healthy oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, or MCT oil can also be made to improve the taste.
- Cauliflower Carbonara Skillet
This easy to make skillet dish is great served with cauliflower and garlic on the side.
- Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
This simple dish is served with pecans and cooked with a healthy oil such as coconut oil or olive oil.
- Shrimp Stir Fry
This simple yet delicious shrimp is best served with cauliflower rice. Other vegetables can also be added as a side.
- Brown Butter Buffalo
This flavorful main dish can use grass-fed butter choices for a healthier meal. Cauliflower can also be added for a better and more appetizing taste.
- Crispy Salmon
This nutritious and delicious fish dish can be served with cauliflower rice. Make sure to get fattier cuts of salmon fish. Salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, but algal DHA is even better.
- White Turkey Chili
This healthy and appetizing dish can include cauliflower and onions as a side for better taste and aroma.
- Roasted Chicken
This is a delicious main dish that can be cooked herbs with and spices, and with cabbage on the side. Be sure to use pure herbs and spices as these are healthier options.
The dishes mentioned above are only to serve as inspiration. Twists and modifications can be made depending on your choice and taste. But remember, any changes should be within the nootropic diet plan.
The Best Nootropic Diet Vegetables for Brain Health – Recap
Vegetables are full of nutritional benefits that can either help or harm your nootropic diet plan. The secret to achieving success is to wholeheartedly know the mantra of your diet plan. Always stay knowledgeable of the possible foods that should be included in the meal in large amounts, those that should be eaten moderately, and those that should be avoided.
One should also remember that optimum nutrition can be achieved by having a well-balanced diet. This should include not only eating vegetables, but also other healthy whole foods. A healthy and nutritious nootropic diet should be comprised of high quality and nutrient dense meats, full-fat dairy products, grass-fed and organic sources of fats and oils, and other low glycemic foods. As always, remember the nootropic rule of thumb, keep your fats high, your proteins moderate, and your carbohydrates very low. Caloric restriction also goes a long way towards longevity and achieving a higher mental state.
Staying on and sticking with a nootropic filled lifestyle, and knowing good and bad nutrient sources, will ensure enhanced mental ability and improved physical strength. Overall, you will sustain a healthier and more colorful life with the most optimum output possible.