Keeping your brain healthy involves a combination of a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and social interaction. Certains foods are a better choice than others. Here's some tasty and healthy options.
Did you know that 60 percent of your brain is made from fat and 20 percent of the oxygen your body produces goes to the brain?
But what are brain foods and are there specific foods you can eat to boost your brain and keep it functioning optimally? Can you use your diet to boost your memory and get better brainpower?
There are definitely foods that make the brain feel more sluggish and foggy (for example, refined carbohydrates and alcohol).
Let's take a look at the ten best foods for brain health right here.
Dark green vegetables are full of nutrients and antioxidants that are good for the brain. One of the key vitamins in green vegetables is vitamin K - a fat-absorbed vitamin that is crucial for building brain cells.
Antioxidants are also essential to help prevent inflammation and preserve brain function as we age.
Try adding broccoli, kale, chard and spinach to your diet for brain-boosting properties. You can even add these vegetables to a smoothie to make it easier for you to pack them in at once.
For optimal function, our brains need omegas and fatty acids. These compounds are found in abundance in nuts and seeds. Nuts are full of healthy fats, which are great for brain memory and keeping the brain in good health.
Walnuts, in particular, are excellent brain food, so if you're studying or want a brain booster, add them to your diet. Have you ever noticed that walnuts look a bit like a brain? That's to remind you it's good to eat them for your brain!
Other nuts and seeds to add to your diet include almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds.
Products made from soya beans such as soya milk and tofu are rich in plant-derived antioxidants called polyphenols.
These powerful antioxidants can help to reverse aging in your cells as well as reduce the damage caused by toxins in the environment, for example, pollution and UV rays.
High levels of polyphenols in your diet can help to improve your memory and boost your brain function. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce your risk of cancer and other chronic illnesses.
Another plant food high in antioxidants, berries, contains flavonoids. These are properties that, much like polyphenols, can help to reduce oxidative stress in the body.
These powerful antioxidants found in berries can help improve the connection between your brain cells and increase brain plasticity. This can help reduce your risk of diseases such as Alzheimer's.
It's easy to add berries with high levels of antioxidants into your diet. For example, replace cakes or biscuits with strawberries or add raspberries and blueberries to your breakfast.
Coffee gets a bad reputation for being unhealthy but consumed in moderation; it's a great addition to your diet.
A cup of coffee also can help you improve your memory and improve concentration. When you've had a cup of coffee, you can improve your concentration and even your ability to retain information.
Much like coffee, green tea is full of powerful antioxidants which can help improve concentration and brain function. It also contains an essential amino acid called L-theanine. This amino acid is important for brain function and can even help you feel more relaxed and calm.
The relaxing effects of L-theanine can also help to counteract the strong impact caffeine can have on the brain.
There are many health benefits associated with dark chocolate. The flavonoids in dark chocolate are also powerful antioxidants that can help improve the blood flow to your brain.
Eating dark chocolate in small quantities can also help boost your memory and cognitive function. Who knew chocolate was one of many brain memory boosting foods?
This super spice is a well-known anti-inflammatory with numerous health benefits.
It could also be beneficial for your brain health. Some studies show that the powerful antioxidant in turmeric called curcumin could help boost memory and protect our brain cells from damage.
High in Omega 3, oily fish is an excellent source of nutrients for the brain. Perhaps one of the most commonly known brain foods, the essential fatty acids in oily fish are great for building memory and maintaining brain cells.
Fatty acids are also crucial for reducing the decline in brain function, which can occur as we age.
Add salmon, tuna, tout and mackeral to your diet for an abundance of brain-boosting essential fatty acids and omega 3.
There are also many supplements you can take for cognitive health in addition to a balanced, healthy diet. Supplements are an easy way to get micronutrients into your daily routine without having to think about it too much.
Vitamins such as B12 are essential for maintaining brain health and are often difficult to get from your food. Taking a supplement ensures you get enough of this vital vitamin.
As with any dietary addition, you should eat all these foods in moderation as part of a healthy balanced diet.
For optimal health, it's best to eat a varied diet rich in whole foods and vegetables. If you aren't sure what the best diet is for your lifestyle, speak to your doctor or a nutritionist.
Adding these foods to your diet will boost your brain, give you more energy and may even help to prevent cognitive illness.
If you would like more advice on making long-term, healthy lifestyle changes, ckeckout our online wellness course.
Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of SupplementRelief.com in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune disorders, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.
Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.
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