The foods we eat can have a significant impact on brain structure and health. The brain is an energy-intensive organ, consuming approximately 20% of the body’s calories. So you need enough fuel to stay focused throughout the day. For example, omega-3 fatty acids help build and repair brain cells, and antioxidants reduce cellular stress and inflammation associated with brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
This article examines the scientific evidence behind the 7 best natural brain foods.
Top 7 brain health natural boosters
- Oily Fish
Oily fish are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help build a membrane around every cell in the body, including brain cells. Therefore, it can improve the structure of brain cells called neurons.
A 2017 study found that people high in omega-3 fatty acids had increased blood flow to the brain. Researchers have also identified a link between omega-3 levels and improved cognitive or thinking skills. These results suggest eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as Oily fish. It can improve brain function.
Examples of fatty fishes rich in omega-3 fatty acids:
People can also get omega-3s from soybeans, nuts, flaxseed, and other seeds, in case you are vegetarian.
2. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains cocoa, also known as cacao. Flavonoids are found in cocoa which is one of the types of antioxidants. Antioxidants are especially important for brain health. This is because the brain is highly susceptible to oxidative stress, which causes age-related cognitive decline and brain diseases.
Cocoa flavonoids are known to be good for brain health and relieve stress. According to a 2013 review, they can promote the growth of neurons and blood vessels in parts of the brain involved in memory and learning. It can also stimulate blood flow in the brain. Some studies also suggest that the flavonoid component of chocolate may improve memory impairment in snails. Scientists have yet to test this in humans.
Researchers concluded that consuming this type of dark chocolate may improve brain plasticity, which is essential for learning and may provide other brain-related benefits.
Like dark chocolate, many berries contain flavonoid antioxidants. Research suggests berries are very good food for brain health. Antioxidants reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Antioxidants found in berries include anthocyanins, caffeic acid, catechins, and quercetin.
A 2014 review found that the antioxidant compounds found in berries have many beneficial effects on the brain.
- Promotes learning and memory
- Reduces or slows age-related neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline
- Berries help in increasing plasticity, which further helps brain cells to form new connections along with boosting learning and memory
Antioxidant-rich berries that are known to promote brain health are:
4. Nuts and seeds
More nuts and seeds may be good for your brain because these foods contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. It was found that the higher the intake of nuts, the better the brain function with age. Nuts and seeds are also rich in the antioxidant vitamin E, which protects cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
Since the brain can be exposed to this form of oxidative stress as people age, vitamin E may support age-related brain health.
According to one of the 2014 reviews, it has been observed that vitamin E helps in improving cognitive function and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The following nuts and seeds contain the highest amounts of vitamin E are:
One of the most easily cooked foods loved by many for breakfast. Eggs have ultimate power and can boost your eye health along with acting as an effective brain food. They are also an excellent source of the following B vitamins:
- vitamin B-6
- vitamin B-12
- folic acid
Recent research reveals that the above-listed vitamins help in preventing brain shrinkage and delay cognitive decline.
6. Soy Products
Polyphenols are found in abundance in soy products. Studies have shown that polyphenols might reduce the risk of dementia and improve cognitive performance during normal aging.
Soy products contain polyphenols called isoflavones, such as daidzein and genistein. These chemicals act as antioxidants and provide various health benefits throughout the body.
Peanuts are legumes with an excellent nutritional profile. They are high in unsaturated fat and protein and help maintain a person’s energy levels throughout the day. and minerals.
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring non-flavonoid antioxidant found in peanuts, mulberry, and rhubarb. Evidence from review articles suggests that resveratrol may have protective effects. B. Prevention of cancer, inflammation, and neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
The above foods can help improve a person’s memory and concentration. Some may even reduce the risk of stroke and age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Some contain compounds like fatty acids. Other compounds such as sugar and saturated fat can damage brain cell structures.
Brain power-boosting foods typically contain one or more of the following:
Antioxidants such as flavonoids and vitamin E
Omega fatty acids
In addition to adjusting the diet, a person can optimize their brain function by incorporating the following pointers in their daily routine:
- Do not overeat
- Get enough sleep
- Drink water
- Exercise regularly
- Reduce stress through yoga, mindfulness, or meditation
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- A brain-boosting diet has many benefits for the whole body.
Now, there might be a generic question for those who have read this article till now, are these foods really helpful? Well, the answer is yes, but you might not be able to complete the body’s requirements. In such a scenario, it is best to include brain-nourishing supplements, in your daily routine, but only after consulting with your doctor.
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