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Foods that help brain health
Your brain is kind of big deal. As the control center 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 that help brain health are playing an important role at keeping your brain in excellent status, and improve specific mental tasks, such as memory and concentration.
A little bit of Stats!
When it comes to preventing the diseases of aging, embracing a brain-healthy lifestyle is a wise strategy.
According to the World Health Organization, 50 million people are living with dementia worldwide, with that number expected to triple by 2050 as the global population ages.
With 1 out of 10 people over the age of 65 living with Alzheimer’s dementia, it’s worth taking the time to proactively engage in the dietary and lifestyle changes we can make now to protect our cognitive health.
Why? Because changes in brain function happen years or even decades before the onset of cognitive impairment, making the choices you make today essential to the preservation of your memory.
Brain Food Billboard !
1. Fatty Fish
When people talk about brain foods, fatty fish is an excellent choice for brain health. 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. Some other benefits of Omega 3-s are.
Slowing age-related mental decline and help ward off Alzheimer’s disease .On the other side, not getting enough omega-3s is linked to learning
impairments, as well as depression.
Fatty fish is a rich source of omega-3s, a major building block of the brain. Omega-3s play a role in sharpening memory and improving mood, as well as protecting your brain against decline.
Blueberries provide numerous health benefits, including some that are specifically for your brain.
Blueberries and other deeply colored berries deliver anthocyanins, a group of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects
Antioxidants act against both oxidative stress and inflammation, conditions that may contribute to brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases.
Some antioxidants in blueberries have been found to accumulate in the brain and help improve communication between brain cells.
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants that may delay brain aging and improve memory.
This deep-yellow spice is a key ingredient in curry powder and has a number of benefits for the brain.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, meaning it can directly enter the brain and benefit the cells there .
It’s a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that has been linked to the following brain benefits:
- May benefit memory: Curcumin may help improve memory in people with Alzheimer’s. It may also help clear the amyloid plaques that are a hallmark of this disease .
- Eases depression: It boosts serotonin and dopamine, which both improve mood. One study found curcumin improved depression symptoms just as much as an antidepressant over six weeks.
- Helps new brain cells grow: Curcumin boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a type of growth hormone that helps brain cells grow. It may help delay age-related mental decline, but more research is needed.
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.
Packed with powerful plant compounds, including antioxidants, it’s also very high in vitamin K, delivering more than 100% of the Recommended Daily Intake in a 1-cup (91-gram) serving.
This fat-soluble vitamin (K) is essential for forming sphingolipids, a type of fat that’s densely packed into brain cells.
Higher vitamin K intake on older people can leads to better memory .
Beyond vitamin K, broccoli contains a number of compounds that give it anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which may help protect the brain against damage .
Broccoli contains a number of compounds that have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, including vitamin K.
Your Eye Opener. You’ll be glad to hear that it’s good for you.
Two main components in coffee — caffeine and antioxidants — help your brain.
The caffeine in coffee has a number of positive effects on the brain, including.
- Increased alertness: Caffeine keeps your brain alert by blocking adenosine, a chemical messenger that makes you sleepy .
- Improved mood: Caffeine may also boost some of your “feel-good” neurotransmitters, such as serotonin .
- Sharpened concentration: One study found that when participants drank one large coffee in the morning or smaller amounts throughout the day, they were more effective at tasks that required concentration .
Drinking coffee over the long term is also linked to a reduced risk of neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.This could at least be partly due to coffee’s high concentration of antioxidants .
Coffee can help boost alertness and mood. It may also offer some protection against Alzheimer’s, thanks to its caffeine and antioxidants.
6. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds contain powerful antioxidants that protect the body and brain from free radical damage.
They’re also an excellent source of magnesium, iron, zinc and copper .
Each of these nutrients is important for brain health:
- Zinc: This element is crucial for nerve signaling. Zinc deficiency has been linked to many neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, depression and Parkinson’s disease .
- Magnesium: Magnesium is essential for learning and memory. Low magnesium levels are linked to many neurological diseases, including migraines, depression and epilepsy.
- Copper: Your brain uses copper to help control nerve signals. And when copper levels are out of whack, there’s a higher risk of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s.
- Iron: Iron deficiency is often characterized by brain fog and impaired brain function .
Pumpkin seeds are rich in many micro nutrients that are important for brain function, including copper, iron, magnesium and zinc.
Eating nuts can improve markers of heart health, and having a healthy heart is linked to having a healthy brain.
A 2014 review showed that nuts can improve cognition and even help prevent neurodegenerative diseases.
Several nutrients in nuts, such as healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamin E, may explain their brain-health benefits .
Vitamin E shields cell membranes from free radical damage, helping slow mental decline.
While all nuts are good for your brain, walnuts may have an extra edge, since they also deliver omega-3 fatty acids.
Nuts contain a host of brain-boosting nutrients, including vitamin E, healthy fats and plant compounds.
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.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off the free radicals that can damage brain cells. Plus, vitamin C supports brain health as you age.
You can also get excellent amounts of vitamin C from bell peppers, guava, kiwi, tomatoes and strawberries .
Oranges and other foods that help brain health that are high in vitamin C, can provide defense to 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.
Choline is an important micro nutrient that your body uses to create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory .
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. Adequate intake of choline is 425 mg per day for most women and 550 mg per day for men, with just a single egg yolk containing 112 mg .
Furthermore, the B vitamins have several roles in brain health. They may help slow the progression of mental decline in the elderly .
Also, being deficient in two types of B vitamins, folate and B12,has been linked to depression.
Folate deficiency is common in elderly people with dementia, and studies show that folic acid supplements can help minimize age-related mental decline.
B12 is also involved in synthesizing brain chemicals and regulating sugar levels in the brain.
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.
10. Green Tea
Caffeine in green tea boosts brain function.In fact, it has been found to improve alertness, performance, memory and focus.
But green tea also has other components that make it a brain-healthy beverage.
One of them is L-theanine, an amino acid that can cross the blood-brain barrier and increase the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA,
which helps reduce anxiety and makes you feel more relaxed.
L-theanine also increases the frequency of alpha waves in the brain, which helps you relax without making you feel tired .
It’s also rich in polyphenols and antioxidants that may protect the brain from mental decline and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Plus, green tea has been found to improve memory .
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.
Of course the list can be longer. But i wanted to provide you with a list of the most common ones that you can find and consume everyday.
The Brain is the control center of your body.
Take good care of it !
The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
It is only informational !
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