A week dedicated to boost your memory with brain foods
Brain is one of the most important organs of your body and acts as the centre of control for the entire body, well that’s quite a task. This makes it all the more important to keep your brain in good function and working condition.
The foods you eat play an important role in keeping your brain healthy and can also improve specific mental tasks, such as memory and concentration.
Here, we have a compilation of 7 list of foods that can boost your brain, so a weekly brain boost plan for a sharper you:
- Fatty Fish
Often people talk about brain foods, fatty fish often tops the list. This type of fish includes salmon, trout and sardines, which are all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids . You must have come across supplements being recommended of the same.
One major reason why fatty fish is considered good for brain is because nearly 60% of brain is made of fat, and half of that fat is the omega-3 kind. Brain uses omega-3s to build brain and nerve cells, and these fats are essential for learning and memory. Omega 3-s also has a couple additional benefits for your brain.
As they may slow age-related mental decline and help ward off Alzheimer’s disease. On the flip side, not getting enough omega-3s is linked to learning impairments, as well as depression. One study also found that people who ate baked or broiled fish regularly had more gray matter in their brains. Gray matter contains most of the nerve cells that control decision making, memory and emotion. Thus, fatty fish is an excellent choice when it comes to brain health.
If coffee is one thing you need every morning, then there’s no qualm about it as its good for your brain health. Two main components in coffee — caffeine and antioxidants — help your brain.
The caffeine in coffee has a number of positive effects on the brain, including:
- Increased alertness:Caffeine keeps your brain alert by blocking adenosine, a chemical messenger that makes you sleepy.
- Improved mood:Caffeine may also boost some of your “feel-good” neurotransmitters, such as serotonin .
- Sharpened concentration:One study found that when participants drank one large coffee in the morning or smaller amounts throughout the day, they were more effective at tasks that required focus .
Drinking coffee over the long term is also linked to a reduced risk of neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. This could be partly due to coffee’s high concentration of antioxidants .
Turmeric is a wonder plant and has generated a lot of buzz recently. This deep-yellow spice is a key ingredient in curry powder and has numerous benefits for the brain.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, meaning it can directly enter the brain and benefit the cells there . It’s a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that has been linked to the following brain benefits:
- May benefit memory:Curcumin may help improve memory in people with Alzheimer’s. It may also help clear the amyloid plaques that are a hallmark of this disease.
- Eases depression:It boosts serotonin and dopamine, which are great when it comes to improving mood. One study found curcumin improved depression symptoms just as much as an antidepressant over six weeks.
- Helps new brain cells grow:Curcumin boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a type of growth hormone that helps brain cells grow.
To reap the benefits of curcumin, try cooking with curry powder, adding turmeric to potato dishes to turn them golden or making turmeric tea or latte as is the latest trend.
- Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder is packed with a few brain-boosting compounds, including flavonoids, caffeine and antioxidants. Flavonoids are a group of antioxidant plant compounds.
The flavonoids in chocolate gather in the areas of the brain that deal with learning and memory. Researchers say these compounds may enhance memory and also help slow down age-related mental decline. In fact, a number of studies support this too.
In one study including over 900 people, it was reported that those who ate chocolate more frequently performed better in a series of mental tasks, including some involving memory, than those who rarely ate it .
Chocolate is also a legitimate mood booster, according to research. One study found that participants who ate chocolate experienced increased positive feelings, compared to participants who ate crackers .
However, clarity is still to be reached on whether that’s because of compounds in the chocolate, or simply because the yummy flavor makes people happy.
Research has shown that eating nuts can improve markers of heart health, and having a healthy heart is linked to having a healthy brain.
A 2014 review showed that nuts can improve cognition and even help prevent neurodegenerative diseases. Also, another large study found that women who ate nuts regularly over the course of several years had a sharper memory, compared to those who didn’t eat nuts .
Several nutrients in nuts, such as healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamin E, may explain their brain-health benefits . Vitamin E shields cell membranes from free radical damage, helping slow mental decline.
While all nuts are good for your brain, walnuts may have an extra edge, since they also deliver omega-3 fatty acids.
You can get all the vitamin C you need in a day by eating one medium orange. Since vitamin C is a key factor in preventing mental decline, which makes it an important for brain health.
Eating sufficient amounts of vitamin C-rich foods can protect against age-related mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a 2014 review article.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off the free radicals that can damage brain cells. Plus, vitamin C supports brain health as you age. You can also get excellent amounts of vitamin C from bell peppers, guava, kiwi, tomatoes and strawberries .
Eggs are a good source of several nutrients which are closely linked to brain health, including vitamins B6 and B12, folate and choline. Choline is an important micronutrient that your body uses to create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory.
Two studies found that higher intakes of choline were linked to better memory and mental function .
There are many people don’t get enough choline in their diet.Eating eggs is an easy way to get choline, given that egg yolks are among the most concentrated sources of this nutrient.
Adequate intake of choline is 425 mg per day for most women and 550 mg per day for men, with just a single egg yolk containing 112 mg . Furthermore, the B vitamins have several functions in brain health.
To start, they may help slow the progression of mental decline in the elderly. Also, being deficient in two types of B vitamins — folate and B12 — has been linked to depression .
Folate deficiency is common in elderly people with dementia, and studies show that folic acid supplements can help minimize age-related mental decline. B12 is also involved in synthesizing brain chemicals and regulating sugar levels in the brain.
It’s worth noting that there’s very little direct research on the link between eating eggs and brain health. However, there is research to support the brain-boosting benefits of the nutrients found in eggs.
The Bottom Line
Many foods can help keep your brain healthy. Some foods, such as the fruits and vegetables in this list, as well as tea and coffee, have antioxidants that help protect your brain from damage.
Others, such as nuts and eggs, contain nutrients that support memory and brain development.
You can help support your brain health and boost your alertness, memory and mood by strategically including these foods in your diet daily. This can be done one food per day for a week and you can measure the results it has on your brain health yourself.
Disclaimer: This content provides generic information only sourced and clubbed together. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. The Hush Post does not claim responsibility for this information.