When it comes to eating healthy and having a balanced diet, we usually discuss the heart or the liver or perhaps the stomach. But what about the brain? Why not make a list of healthy foods for this unique and utterly important organ?
It is true that while eating healthy can stop a heart attack, it cannot prevent Alzheimer’s or any of the other mental health diseases. But some foods can definitely help in making the brain sharper and assisting it in effectively undertaking certain functions – like memory storage, brainpower, perception and the likes.
So here is a list of eight foods that make you smarter and efficient:
According to research, blueberries have shown to offer protection to the brain against oxidative stress. These small balls of scrumptiousness also reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. So go ahead and binge on them over the weekend!
Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats have numerous benefits and other anti-inflammatory properties as well. Researchers have recommended salmon for its cleanliness and thus in helping the brain to function optimally.
What is the minimum requirement? According to WebMD, a four ounce serving, two to three times a week will do wonders. Sardines and herring also make good sources.
Remember when as a child you were told to eat more almonds because they would “make you smarter”? It’s true, they really do!
Jam-packed with Vitamin E, the nuts creed is a top food for brain health. The said Vitamin is a potent antioxidant which nourishes neurons and nerve cells. This is an important benefit, since in Alzheimer’s, it’s the neurons in a certain part of the brain which start to die and deteriorate.
Research has therefore established that higher levels of Vitamin E correspond with a decrease in cognitive decline as we age. Hazel nuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, peanut butter – they are all on your good side, unless your sodium levels are off, in which case go for unsalted ones.
It goes without saying that the brain, just like everything else, needs fuel to function. Maintaining adequate supply of this fuel to the organ that more or less controls the whole body is not all much to ask for. The promise of a healthier, more active brain comes with this one demand! Fulfill it by opting for whole grains. They do a great job at keeping your brain alert throughout the day by slowly releasing glucose in the bloodstream. Brown cereals like brown pasta and wheat bran also make good choices.
Lycopene in tomatoes has been found to promote its antioxidant properties. Due to this, the free radical damage that contributes majorly to cognitive degenerative disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s is avoided.
How often have you heard about avocadoes in relation with food? Not enough, right? That’s because its credit has been long overdue. Avocadoes do almost as good as blueberries when it comes to promoting brain health. Even though the fruit is fatty, it is a monounsaturated fat which means better blood flow throughout the body. Healthy blood flow basically translates to a healthy brain.
Moreover, avocadoes lower blood pressure – a key requirement for maximum brain function and health. High blood pressure is reported to be a risk factor for cognitive disabilities.
There is nothing this green leaf is not good enough for! The excellent Vitamin K content is known to boost brainpower and enhance cognitive function.
How could we forget iron? Lentils constitute a pretty rich iron store. If you are wondering what the connection is between iron and brain health, it is simple: the mineral helps form myelin, which is important for quick processing of information in the brain cortex. Since Iron also helps form red blood cells, it also contributes to the blood supply of the brain.
So there you have it, the eight foods that you need in your diet for better psychological and mental health.
Happy eating everyone!