Kerri-Ann Jennings MS RD writes:
"Your brain is kind of a big deal.
As the control centre of your body, it’s in charge of keeping your heart beating and lungs breathing and allowing you to move, feel and think. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your brain in peak working condition.
The foods you eat play a role in keeping your brain healthy and can improve specific mental tasks, such as memory and concentration. This article lists 11 foods that boost your brain.
When people talk about brain foods, fatty fish is often at the top of the list.
This type of fish includes salmon, trout and sardines, which are all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. About 60% of your brain is made of fat, and half of that fat is the omega-3 kind. Your brain uses omega-3s to build brain and nerve cells, and these fats are essential for learning and memory.
Omega 3-s also have a couple additional benefits for your brain. For one thing, they may slow age-related mental decline and help ward off Alzheimer’s disease. On the flip side, not getting enough omega-3s is linked to learning impairments, as well as depression. In general, eating fish seems to have positive health benefits.
Summary: Coffee can help boost alertness and mood. It may also offer some protection against Alzheimer’s, thanks to its caffeine and antioxidants.
This deep-yellow spice is a key ingredient in curry powder and has a number of benefits for the brain. It’s a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that has been linked to the following brain benefits. It may benefit memory, ease depression, help new brain cells grow.
Summary: Turmeric and its active compound curcumin have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, which help the brain. In research, it has reduced symptoms of depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
Summary: Broccoli contains a number of compounds that have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, including vitamin K.
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are packed with a few brain-boosting compounds, including flavonoids, caffeine and antioxidants. Flavonoids are a type of antioxidant plant compound. The flavonoids in chocolate gather in the areas of the brain that deal with learning and memory. Researchers say these compounds may enhance memory and also help slow down age-related mental decline.
Summary: The flavonoids in chocolate may help protect the brain. Studies have suggested that eating chocolate could boost both memory and mood.
Research has shown that eating nuts can improve markers of heart health, and having a healthy heart is linked to having a healthy brain. While all nuts are good for your brain, walnuts may have an extra edge, since they also deliver omega-3 fatty acids.
You can get all the vitamin C you need in a day by eating one medium orange. Doing so is important for brain health, since vitamin C is a key factor in preventing mental decline. Eating sufficient amounts of vitamin C-rich foods can protect against age-related mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a 2014 review article.
Summary: Oranges and other foods that are high in vitamin C can help defend your brain against damage from free radicals.
Eggs are a good source of several nutrients tied to brain health, including vitamins B6 and B12, folate and choline. Two studies found that higher intakes of choline were linked to better memory and mental function. Eating eggs is an easy way to get choline, given that egg yolks are among the most concentrated sources of this nutrient.
Summary: Eggs are a rich source of several B vitamins and choline, which are important for proper brain functioning and development, as well as regulating mood.
11. Green Tea
As is the case with coffee, the caffeine in green tea boosts brain function. In fact, it has been found to improve alertness, performance, memory and focus.
Summary: Green tea is an excellent beverage to support your brain. Its caffeine content boosts alertness, while its antioxidants protect the brain and L-theanine helps you relax.
Many foods can help keep your brain healthy. Some foods, such as the fruits and vegetables in this list, as well as tea and coffee, have antioxidants that help protect your brain from damage. Others, such as nuts and eggs, contain nutrients that support memory and brain development. You can help support your brain health and boost your alertness, memory and mood by strategically including these foods in your diet."
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We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy. Please note, not all may be suitable for you.
If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.
All the best Jan