Posted on Apr 02, 2019, 6 p.m.
Both the body and brain need fuel which is best obtained from healthy, nutritious, and organic foods.
Chocolates made from cacao are good for the brain due to its powerful flavonols which act as antioxidants to help preserve brain stem cells. As antioxidants these flavonols help to support the hippocampus which is involved in memory and mood, and fight chronic inflammation that can cause disease related to memory and thinking. One or two squares a day is enough, it is best to eat chocolates in moderation.
Tea and coffee can also be good for the brain, their caffeine content may help to prevent age related cognitive decline. Around 500 milligrams of caffeine a day has been shown to help protect against memory problems in human studies.
Eat the rainbow, the more coloured produce in the diet the more brain health may be improved. Colourful fruits and veggies such as beets, berries, carrots, peppers, and leafy greens contain high concentrations of antioxidants like anthocyanins and carotenoids. Antioxidants are good for the brain as they can help protect brain cell linings from free radical damage that causes inflammation that can be caused by factors like smoking or a poor diet. Beans and greens also contain folate which is beneficial in production of neurotransmitters essential to thinking and mood.
Salmon, trout, tuna, and other fatty fish once a week can help to slow cognitive decline and lower the risks of Alzheimer’s disease. Fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids like DHA that play key roles in keeping the brain healthy. Healthy fatty acids are used by the brain’s membranes to enhance cellular structure and brain signaling which results in improved cognitive functioning. DHA helps to fight chronic inflammation that is damaging to brain cells and leads to cognitive decline. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be obtained in chia seeds, flaxseed, hempseed, and walnuts.
The brain likes glucose which can be obtained most easily from carbs as fuel, without glucose you may experience brain fog and have a hard time focusing. Carbs are not necessarily a bad thing to be avoided, rather than refined carbs opts for whole grains such as quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, whole rye, and whole wheat. Whole grains contain fiber and help to control blood sugar levels; sharp fluctuations in blood sugar can damage the ability of the cells to uptake glucose because of insulin resistance.
While food is a great way to boost brain health, getting enough sleep, keeping stress under control, interacting with other people, as well as both physical and mental exercises will help to improve brain health and power.
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