Are you interested in keeping your brain as healthy as it is possible? Do you strongly believe that we are what we eat?
If you have given an affirmative answer to either one of these two questions, you should definitely keep on reading this article.
In the following paragraphs, you will have the opportunity to discover no less than 10 foods destined to help you maintain the best possible brain health. As you will see for yourself, each has different benefits to offer, but they are all a great choice for the brain and your health in general.
The brain is the command center of the body and it requires a lot of energy in order to function. If the brain is not provided with the right fuel, you will most likely experience a lack of focus and concentration. The main fuel that the brain needs is glucose, which is delivered to this vital organ through the bloodstream.
Wholegrains represent an excellent source of glucose, allowing for this important substance to be slowly released. This allows you to concentrate on the tasks that are hand, without losing your focus. The best choices from this category include cereals, bread, rice and pasta (brown whole grains, with a low glycemic index).
#2 Fatty fish
Apart from the brain exercise, which is often constituted by puzzles, logic games, and crosswords, this vital organ needs the right food in order to stay young and functioning. Fatty fish is definitely a recommendation with regard to brain health, as it is rich in healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA).
These fatty acids reduce the risk of neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and, at the same time, they stimulate the release of happiness hormones at the level of the brain. These are represented by dopamine and serotonin, which are two of the best weapons against depression, stress, and anxiety.
Excellent choices of fatty fish include trout, mackerel, salmon, herring, and sardines. If you are not a fan of fatty fish, you can also consume these fatty acids from plant sources. These include pumpkin seeds, walnuts, soya beans and flaxseed, as well as the oils that are produced from them.
Blueberries are not only delicious to taste, but they are often included in the superfood category, thanks to their rich content of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It has been demonstrated that the regular consumption of blueberries can actually prevent or delay memory loss.
Whether consumed as such or integrated into various baked goods, blueberries can also reduce the risk of cognitive decline (commonly seen in those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative conditions). This is because of their high antioxidant content – blueberries contain anthocyanins, which can protect the brain against memory loss, cognitive decline, and other associated problems.
We all like to eat tomatoes, especially since they can be so easily integrated into various meals. With regard to the health of the brain, it is worth mentioning that tomatoes are rich in antioxidants. They contain lycopene, which can offer protection against the damage done by free radicals.
Basically, when you consume tomatoes on a regular basis, you are protecting yourself against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It is also a good idea to eat cooked tomatoes, preferably with a little bit of olive oil, as this will favor the absorption of all those beneficial substances.
#5 Vitamin B rich foods
Vitamin B rich foods, such as leafy greens, eggs, and chicken, can support the health of the brain on a long-term basis. This is because vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid will work to reduce the level of homocysteine in the blood; when this substance is present in increased quantities, it increases the risk of cognitive decline, dementia, and even stroke.
The good news is that the consumption of vitamin B rich foods is also beneficial for those who already suffer from cognitive impairment. By including more of such foods in the daily diet, you can stop the progression of dementia and other similar conditions.
#6 Vitamin C rich foods
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, with the ability to fight the damage done by free radicals, including at the level of the brain. By including more vitamin C rich foods in the daily diet, you will be able to reduce stress, increase mental agility and prevent the cognitive decline associated with dementia.
What happens is that free radicals, which appear as a result of stress, illness or exposure to various aggressive factors, can damage the health of brain cells. Vitamin C rich foods fight against this damage, allowing you to keep a bright mind. Recommended choices include citrus fruits, broccoli, red peppers, and blackcurrants.
#7 Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are delicious be snacked on but also beneficial with regard to brain health. They are rich in zinc, one of the essential minerals that the brain cannot do without. An adequate intake of zinc can prevent memory loss, improving cognitive abilities at the same time.
These seeds are also rich in magnesium, which works to ensure the proper functioning of the central nervous system and the brain. Moreover, they deliver a good dose of B vitamins, tryptophan and serotonin precursors, being perfect for those who suffer from mood swings.
We have already mentioned broccoli as being a good source of vitamin C, with its own set of benefits. But broccoli is also rich in vitamin C, working actively to improve cognitive functions and increase your overall performance (more brain power).
Broccoli can also increase the level of neurotransmitters at the level of the brain, facilitating the transfer of information from one brain cell to the other. Consumed regularly, it helps you keep your memory in top shape.
Sage is one of the most beneficial herbs for those who are interested in maintaining their cognitive functioning at best possible level. It is also a great choice for those who want to improve their memory.
Studies have demonstrated that both fresh sage and essential sage oil can stimulate the brain to enhance its overall performance. For this reason, it is recommended that one uses sage more often in the kitchen.
Nuts are often recommended as healthy snacks, thanks to their rich content of beneficial fats. The brain requires fats in order to stay healthy, but this is not the only reason you should consider eating more nuts. Nuts are rich in vitamin E, which is well-known for its antioxidant properties and its ability to fight and prevent cognitive impairment.
If you are not a fan of nuts, the good news is that there are plenty of other sources of vitamin E. These include, among other foods, leafy greens, whole grains, brown rice, eggs, various seeds, olives, and asparagus.
These are some of the best foods you should consider, in order to maintain your brain healthy and prevent age-related problems, such as cognitive decline, lack of focus and memory loss. Be sure to include all of the more often in your diet, in order to take advantage of their beneficial properties.
Dwayne Austin is a multi-faceted author, blogger & fitness instructor. His articles on Health & Fitness have been published on various sites. Through his meticulous & informative blogging, Dwayne hopes to contribute to curious readers. He encourages people to live a healthy lifestyle. He is passionate about photography and enjoys swimming during his leisure time. Connect with Dwayne via Facebook, Twitter and Google+.