10 Power Foods for the Brain
While we all know that what we eat affects our bodies, but the foods we eat also affect our emotions, our brain’s energy, our memory, our concentration and even our ability to handle stress.
Yes, brain foods matter..
Our brain is really a picky eater, and an energy greedy organ, weighing only 2% of our total body weight but consuming more than 20%-25% of our caloric intake, hence it requires non-stop good energy supply from our food.
To be able to boost our brain function, we need to eat food that encourages good blood flow to the brain, foods that are rich in antioxidants to fight free radicals, food that are rich in vitamins ( specially VIT A, C, E , K, D, B1, B6, B12, B9, Cal, Mg and Zinc) and foods that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
Providing our brain with a well-rounded diet rich in the nutrients it need will increase the chances that it will remain healthy and strong and help ward off cognitive decline.
These small changes in your daily diet can have a big impact on your physical and mental health. Here is a list of foods to include in your diet daily to boost your brain functions.
Here is a list of the “10 brain boosting foods” that everyone can add in their diet daily for healthy brain function.
1) Avocado: Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fats, omega 3, and omega 6 fatty acids. These fats increase blood flow to the brain, lower cholesterol, and aid in the absorption of antioxidants. They also contain many antioxidants of their own, including vitamin E, an important nutrient which helps protect the body and the brain from free radical damage. They are also a good source of potassium and vitamin K—both protect the brain from the risk of stroke.
2) Blueberries: These berries are a good antioxidant powerhouses, protecting the brain from oxidative damage and stress that lead to premature aging, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. They contain flavonoids which also improve the communication between neurons, improving memory, learning, and all cognitive function, including reasoning, decision making, and verbal comprehension. The other dark berries which are also excellent are blackberry, açai, and goji berries.
3) Broccoli: Broccoli is considered a superfood, it is rich in calcium, vitamin C, B vitamins, beta-carotene, iron, fiber, and vitamin K. These nutrients protect against free radicals, they keep the blood flowing well, and they remove heavy metals ( copper, iron and zinc) that can damage the brain.
4) Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and both soluble and insoluble fiber. These little seeds help control blood glucose levels, have anti-inflammatory properties, aid in hydration as they absorb water, and contain antioxidants.
5) Turmeric: Turmeric is part of the ginger family, helps lift antioxidant levels and maintains the healthiness of your immune system. It also improves the brain’s oxygen intake, keeping you attentive and able to process information. Turmeric has the capacity to break up the brain plaques that may cause Alzheimer’ according to the latest research.
6) Green leafy greens: Vegetables with dark green leaves like spinach, collard greens, swiss chard, romaine lettuce and kale are good sources of lutein, folate, vitamin K, beta-carotene. These have amazing properties to protect cognitive functioning and slow the aging process, and memory functions.
7) Rosemary: Rosemary contains carbonic acid, and has been used to improve memory for hundreds of years. It has shown to improve memory and cognitive function with its scent alone. It appears to have antioxidant properties, improves blood flow to the brain, protect against neuro-degeneration and boost mood.
8) Wild salmon: Salmon is packed with fatty acids which are essential for the functioning of the brain. They fatty acids boosts the neuron function for better focus and better thinking. When the neurons are functioning optimally you have a better sharper mind.
9) Walnuts & Almonds: Walnuts and Almonds are rich in both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and in Vitamin E. Vitamin E is crucial for the protection of the brain from free radicals and improve brain power. Eating a small quantity daily has shown improvement in mental health.
10) Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is rich in flavonols which helps increase blood vessel function, which improves cognitive function and memory. Chocolate as we know help improve mood, reduces pain, and is full of antioxidants. Choose dark chocolate which is at least 70% cocoa.
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Sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4011065/ https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33519453 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10721903 http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/wellness/healthy-aging/memory-boosting-foods https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/10-foods-boost-your-brainpower https://bebrainfit.com/brain-foods/ http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/rosemary