Our brains are always working and need certain nutrients to function properly. Learn about the 5 Genius Foods for Brain Health that will keep your noggin operating right.
Think about it, our brain is always “on”. It directly or indirectly influences our thoughts, movements, senses, heartbeats, and virtually everything inside the body.
It works even while we’re asleep. This means our brain requires a constant supply of fuel to function efficiently. In fact, it is an energy-intensive organ that uses around 20% of the body’s calories.
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And, as we all know that the fuel for our body comes from the foods that we eat so, what’s in the fuel makes all the difference. In simple words, what we eat directly affects the structure and function of our brain.
Like an expensive car, our brain works best when it gets premium fuel while its functions deteriorate when we ingest anything other than top-quality fuel.
Therefore, it’s really essential to consume highly nutritious foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in order to maintain the optimum functionality of our brain.
Want to know which foods I’m talking about? Read on!
5 Best Foods to Boost Your Brain Health
1. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help in building membranes around the never cells in the brain, so they have the capability to improve the structure of neurons (brain cells)
A study found that individuals with a high level of omega-3 generally have increased blood flow in the brain. It also indicated that these fats can improve cognition and thinking abilities.
Further, omega-3’s can slow the age-related mental decline to reduce the chances of Alzheimer’s diseases.
Foods high in Omega-3’s
- Fatty/oily fish like sardines, mackerel, tuna, herring, salmon, etc.
- Cod liver oil
- Flax seeds, Chia seeds
- Walnuts, Almonds
- Soybeans etc.
2. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains a high amount of cocoa which is loaded with a few brain-boosting compounds like flavonoids (antioxidants), caffeine, minerals, etc.
There are many proven brain benefits of eating dark chocolate
- It boosts the production of feel-good chemicals called endorphins
- The flavonoids in dark chocolate improve blood flow to the brain. Thus, it boosts cognitive functions, problem-solving skills, learning ability, focus, attention span, and reaction time.
- High amounts of magnesium relieve stress.
Read more about magnesium here.
Similar to dark chocolate, berries also contain flavonoid antioxidants. Research suggests that these antioxidants can effectively reduce inflammation and free radicals in the body and thus protects the brain cells from oxidative stress.
Besides, there are many other positive effects of consuming berries on the brain:
- Enhances communication between brain cells.
- Helps brain cells to form new connections thus it boosts the cognitive functions.
- Reduces the chances of neurodegenerative diseases.
Eggs are a good source of brain-boosting compounds like vitamin B6, B12, Folate, and Choline.
Firstly, choline is required by the body to produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that aids in regulating food and memory.
Secondly, the high amount of B vitamins can prevent brain shrinkage and slow down cognitive decline.
5. Cruciferous vegetables
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, bok choy, etc are rich in a compound called glucosinolates.
When we consume these vegetables, the body breaks glucosinolates and produces isothiocyanates which lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases and reduce the number of free radicals in the body.
Besides, they are also high in various minerals, vitamins, and other antioxidants which further boost a person’s brain health.
The food listed above may improve your brain health but, it doesn’t mean that consuming them in large amounts will instantly increase your brainpower. So be realistic with your expectations and remember that moderation is the key.
I hope you found valuable information through this article, do mention your views and ideas related to the same in the comments.