The food we eat affects our bodies both physically and emotionally, that is why it is important not only to concentrate on the calorie intake but the nutrients that we find in the foods. The brain is the engine of our bodies needs as much care as the rest of the organs. A healthy brain will enable you to function well and at a peak performance.
The correct foods will enable your brain to be nourished and alleviate some diseases like Alzheimer (poor coordination of neurons leading to memory loss) dementia (decaying of the mind which leads to madness) and poor cognitive coordination. Our mood swings are also affected by the kind of nutrients the brain is nourished. When we include a proper diet feel good hormones are released and instances of depression and stress are managed well.
In the market, you will find varieties of foods, drinks, spices and even oils which one can use to ensure the brain is fed well, and the following are some which you can include in your meals and your brain will thank you.
The older we grow; our ability to process new information slows down. That is why learning a new thing becomes a task to the older; this is because of inflammation to the brain cells, making communication between them difficult. Berries are a good remedy for such a situation. Eating blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, which contain antioxidants called polyphenols and anthocyanins that assist in fighting the inflammation and protecting the brain from damage.
The antioxidants not only improve the ability to keep information but also have the ability to reverse memory loss. They also lower blood pressure so that there is sufficient flow of blood to the brain enabling it to function well. Several studies carried out on those people who had started experiencing memory loss showed an improvement when they were served berries in their diets. Those who ate sporadically or none, had no improvement.
The spices make the food have a better taste. Therefore, as your taste buds relish the flavor your brain also gets health benefits Turmeric, has a role to play in protecting the brain. It contains curcumin a substance that various studies have shown stimulate the development of new brain cells. It also enhances memory.
Curcumin inhibits the formation of beta amyloid plaques which cause Alzheimer’s disease. It also assists in fighting cholesterol, which may block arteries, therefore reducing blood flow to the brain resulting in brain damage.
Cinnamon, another spice contains two chemicals proanthocyanidins and cinnamaldehyde which fight tau proteins which are responsible for causing brain cells to die affecting the proper functioning of the brain.
3) Dark Chocolate.
Those who enjoy their sweet tooth also benefits their brain. The best source of chocolate is the one which has a cocoa percentage of not less than 70%. The cocoa contains flavanols, the obromine, and caffeine. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, and iron. The antioxidants in this chocolate are much higher than in berries and green tea.
All these nutrients improve the flow of blood to the brain, resulting to better cognitive and memory function; they also lower blood pressure and repair damaged cells A study in the nutrition journal of 2009 showed that eating one-third of an ounce of dark chocolate daily prevents memory loss.
4) Essential Oils
The brain consists of 60 % fat made up of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These acids are significant to the healthy functioning of the brain.omega-6 acids are found in foods like avocado and nuts. Omega-3 is found in oily fish like salmon and herring and in plants like walnuts. These fats are good for the heart and brain. Omega-3 fatty acids contain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and vitamin d, which improves the neuron function of the brain.
It acts as an anti-inflammatory that helps to protect the brain from disorders by making the brain muscle strong. Blood flow to the brain is also improved as the fats assist in fighting cholesterol. These fats make the brain be able to have peak performance. Other important oils that help the brain include the extra virgin oil; it fights ADDLs (amyloid B-derived diffusible ligands) which are toxins that cause memory loss.
We have been advised by nutritionists to eat a bigger portion of our food consisting of vegetables, but most of us are reluctant to follow their advice. Vegetables contain polyphenols(a protective compound in plants). Broccoli, contains vitamin k, choline, and potassium that assist the nervous system and also help the brain heal in case of injury. Spinach which has vitamin k vitamin e and folate assist in blood flow to the brain.
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It also improves the brain and nerve tissue. Celery too constitutes of a substance called luteolin which is vital in fighting inflammation, which causes degeneration of the brain. The nutrients in these vegetables reduce cognitive disorders, improve one’s ability to recollect information, increase the production of the feel- good hormone dopamine, therefore reducing depression. The benefits are enormous to the brain serve yourself the different varieties of vegetables.
6) Whole Grains
They are good brain food as they release glucose slowly. This ensures the brain has enough sugar to function properly. Our diets should include brown rice, foods cooked from whole meal flour and other whole grains. White rice, white bread and other forms of carbohydrates are not good for the brain as they release their energy levels fast.; this makes the glucose level to rise and fall drastically, therefore, they make the brain to get tired The vitamins found in grains improve blood circulation and enhance the ability to retain information.
The presence of glucose in the brain makes one become attentive and have better concentration spans. The vitamins present in the grains enable the nervous system to perform well. Blood cholesterol is lowered by the antioxidants found in whole grains.
The more servings, one has from the above list will be of much benefit. You can try a minimum of four servings a week. You can also get more insight from the nutritionist on how best to serve yourself as our bodies have different levels of nutritional needs.