As the saying goes, we are what we eat. But this saying extends well beyond just our bodies and general wellbeing. The food we eat also has a huge impact on our brains and mental health.
Although there is no single “brain food” that will protect us against cognitive decline and keep our brains healthy, eating a wide variety of the right foods will give you all the nutrients you need for optimal cognitive health.
Here are 10 brain-boosting foods to keep your memory and concentration sharp, and Alzheimer’s at bay.
Though the look of walnut bares a loose resemblance to that of our brains, walnuts can improve your brain’s functioning, not for their resemblance, but for the omega-3 fatty acids present in them. It has been proved through various studies that walnuts can be useful for preventing anti-amnesic activities and memory impairment. And they’re easy to snack on.
The antioxidant properties of these small berries can help in improving your memory and prevent cognitive decline, along with reducing inflammation and protecting your brain from oxidative stress. Several researches have also revealed that some of the physiological effects of blueberries can help in curing neurodegenerative problems and improve your working memory and motor skills. I like to add them to my morning breakfast.
Avocados are a great source for a variety of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, healthy fats, foliate, vitamins B, C, E and K, fibre, iron, potassium and magnesium. These elements help in improving your concentration and memory, along with preventing Alzheimer’s and blood clotting in the brain.
Fish or Algae
Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for brain function, and insufficient levels have been shown to cause cognitive decline. Add fish to your diet, or Algae if you’re vegetarian, to ensure you’re keeping your brain healthy.
Many studies have shown that Green tea can protect the cells of our brains against free radicals and improve brain function through the help of polyphonols contained in it in the form of catechins and flavonoids. Best of all, it’s easy to add a cup of Green tea to your daily routine.
The powerful antioxidants found in dark chocolate can help prevent cognitive decline and help improve mental performance. Caffeine contained in the chocolate will also help improve your concentration and mental alertness.
Egg Yolk’s are rich in Choline, which is vital for proper nerve and brain function.
Vitamin K, which is found in high levels in broccoli, has been show to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Broccoli can also improve brain function and memory recall due to the Choline and Folic acid it contains.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Age related cognitive decline can be slowed down by adding a serving of green leafy vegetables to some of your meals. They are a great source of fiber, magnesium, calcium and iron, along with various types of vitamins including vitamin A, B, C, E and K.
Beets are an excellent source of Nitric oxide, which can help in restoring the flow of blood in your brain. It can also stimulate the part of your brain that takes care of various cognitive functions including working memory, switching tasks and executive functions.