Foods has a huge impact on the structure and health of our brain. A brain-boosting diet supports both short-term and long-term brain function. The brain is an organ that is the body’s control center, using about 20 percent of the body’s calories. As your body’s control center, it’s responsible for keeping your heart beating and your lungs breathing, and allowing you to move, feel, and think. So it needs plenty of good fuel to maintain concentration throughout the day. The brain also needs certain nutrients to stay healthy. These nutrients play a role in keeping the brain healthy and improve certain mental tasks such as memory and concentration. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, help build and repair brain cells, and antioxidants reduce cellular stress and inflammation associated with brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, conscious nutrition is very important.
1. Fatty fish
Omega-3 fatty acids are very good for your health. In particular, docosahexaenoic acid or DHA directly affects the brain.
DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for the normal and efficient functioning of the brain. Brain and nervous system tissues are partly made up of fat, and research shows they have a particular preference for DHA.
Low DHA levels have been associated with a greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease later in life.
Memory loss symptoms shouldn’t be your first signal to increase DHA intake. Change your diet by increasing fish consumption. Long-term consumption of adequate DHA is linked to improved memory, improved learning ability, and reduced rates of cognitive decline. To reap the brain benefits of DHA, you need to ensure a consistent intake of DHA-rich foods.
The main active ingredient in coffee, caffeine stimulates the central nervous system (CNS) in several ways. The effects are mainly due to the way caffeine interacts with adenosine receptors. Adenosine is a sleep-promoting neurotransmitter in your brain. Caffeine and adenosine have a similar molecular structure. So when caffeine is present in the brain, it competes with adenosine for binding to the same receptors. But it does make you feel alert by promoting CNS stimulation.
In addition to containing rich phytochemicals with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, the polyphenols found in anthocyanins increase signals in brain centers associated with memory and improve the way the brain gets rid of glucose. There are scientific studies that those who drink blueberry juice show significant improvement in learning and memory tests. Studies show that those who drink cranberry juice have reduced symptoms of depression and lower glucose levels.
Adding broccoli to your daily diet will help with problems such as forgetfulness and distraction. The green cruciferous vegetable is known to have antiamnesic properties, which means it works towards preserving your memory. A chemical known as sulforaphane, found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, may help memory and improve cognitive function after a traumatic brain injury. When applied to the body, the chemical helps reduce swelling or edema in the brain.
5. Sesame seeds
Sesame seeds are a rich source of the amino acid tyrosine, which is used to produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for keeping the brain alert and memory sharp. Sesame seeds also are rich in zinc, magnesium and vitamin B-6, other nutrients involved in memory function.
6. Dark chocolate
Cocoa is high in antioxidants known as flavanols. In a study involving a group of healthy people aged 50 to 69 years, they drank a mixture high in cocoa flavanols for three months and performed about 25% better on a memory test compared to a control group. While cocoa flavanols support the idea that it helps reverse age-related memory decline, it probably won’t prevent Alzheimer’s. The participants showed no significant differences in the functioning of the entorhinal cortex, which is impaired in Alzheimer’s patients. This distinction suggests that age-related and Alzheimer’s-related memory loss are not the same thing, and that flavanols will have no effect on cognitive disease.
In the study titled “Nuts and brain: Effects of eating nuts on changing electroencephalograph brainwaves,” researchers found that some nuts stimulated some brain frequencies more than others. Pistachios, for instance, produced the greatest gamma wave response, which is critical for enhancing cognitive processing, information retention, learning, perception and rapid eye movement during sleep. Peanuts, which are actually legumes, but were still part of the study, produced the highest delta response, which is associated with healthy immunity, natural healing, and deep sleep.
This incredibly healthy fruit is the key to staying mentally fit over the years. A single medium orange contains the full recommended daily amount of vitamin C. This is very important as vitamin C helps protect the brain against age-related decline. According to scientific studies, drinking a glass of orange juice every day produces an 8 percent increase in overall cognitive function. Flavonoids in orange juice, a type of antioxidant also found in blueberries and strawberries, can be localized in areas of the brain that help control memory.
Eggs are a good source of several nutrients tied to brain health, including vitamins B6 and B12, folate, and choline. Choline is an important micronutrient that your body uses to create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory.