6 Best Brain Foods You Must Know
by Swarnambal John
A healthy brain helps you to think fast, has better memory, makes you try new things and get it done. It helps your communication skills, boost your listening skills, sharpens your eyesight and enables quicker responses.
Foods that you eat can have a significant impact on your brain health. Brain foods matter especially for your gray matter. When you’re stressed, your body releases inflammatory cytokines which cause inflammation. While inflammation protects against illnesses, chronic inflammation can lead to diseases like multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure and more.
A healthy gut keeps your body’s immune responses and inflammation under control. Gut hormones that are produced in your brain or those that enter your brain dramatically influences your cognitive ability. Plus the brain foods that you consume are rich sources of antioxidants, good fats, vitamins, and minerals. So when you consume wholesome, nutritious foods your gut and brain remain in top form. Here is a brain foods list that you ought to check out.
Avocados are a gold mine of nutrients and are the best brain food. A review published in July 2008 in “Nature Reviews Neuroscience” says that the right nutrients to your brain improve cognitive function such as concentration and memory. Avocados are oleaginous fruits; they contain primarily monounsaturated fats. These fats promote blood flow to your brain and thus enhances your brain performance.
Vitamin K and folate can reduce the risk of stroke which occurs when a clot forms in the blood vessel and blocks the blood flow to your brain. Avocados are rich in these nutrients which makes them a popular brain food. These nutrients help improve cognitive function especially memory and concentration.
How to include avocados in your diet?
Chop the avocados and relish it along with black bean soup. Spread ripe avocados on bread when making a sandwich. Slice avocados and mix it with oranges, fennel and fresh mint for a refreshing salad.
Blueberries are the best food for increasing brain power. A study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults. The blueberries contain anthocyanins which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Anthocyanins can increase neuronal signaling in brain centers, improve memory function and improve glucose disposal. These actions help to reduce neurodegeneration. Blueberries are one of the highest oxidant rich foods known to man. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber. They contain high levels of gallic acid and adequately protects your brain from degeneration and stress.
How to enjoy blueberries?
Add fresh or dried blueberries to your breakfast cereal to add a color punch to it. Liven up your breakfast shake with frozen berries. Layer yogurt and blueberries in wine glasses and top it with crystallized ginger for a yummy dessert.
Bone broth is an ancient food which nourishes your body with nutrients like gelatin, collagen, chondroitin, glucosamine, proline, glycine and glutamine and minerals. Bone broth heals your gut, and in turn, treats your brain. It boosts your immune system, improves joint health and overcomes leaky gut.
Glycine present in bone broth is one of the essential inhibitory neurotransmitters. It improves your cognitive performance, regulates the utilization of brain energy level, and even dilates the microvessels in the brain. Glycine helps to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder in adults. It reduces the symptoms of schizophrenia. People who have depression may have low levels of glycine. The chondroitin present in the bone broth plays a critical role in the regeneration and plasticity of your central nervous system. Simply put chondroitin helps with learning and memory.
How to include bone broth to your diet?
Drink bone broth instead of coffee. Make a quick soup with bone broth along with veggies, meats, and eggs.
Wild salmon, the deep water fish, is the best brain food. Sixty percent of your brain is made of fatty acids. Wild salmon contains the favorite fatty acid of the brain the omega three fats. More than two-thirds of your brain has DHA an omega 3 fatty acid found only in oily fish and some vegetarian sources.
DHA protects your brain cells from injury, reduces cerebral inflammation and helps produce neurotransmitters. Try to include at least two servings of salmon in your diet on a weekly basis. This action significantly boosts your brain power and reduces your risk of neurological disease.
How to add salmon to your diet?
Combine salmon with vegetables and greens to make a tasty salad. Add broiled salmon to whole wheat pasta and top it with olive oil, lemon peel, dill weed, black pepper, and scallions. Quick broil salmon and enjoy it with honey mustard sauce.
This cruciferous vegetable is an essential brain food. It is a source of two critical nutrients that are needed for your brain namely vitamin K and choline. Vitamin K boosts your cognitive abilities while choline improves your memory. Broccoli is also loaded with vitamin C, with just one cup of broccoli you get 150 percent of your RDA. Studies have found that people who eat a lot of broccoli do well in memory tests. The green colored broccoli florets contain a sizeable serving of folic acid which keeps Alzheimer’s disease at bay.
How to enjoy broccoli?
While making omelets, add broccoli florets and the stalk to it. Puree cooked cauliflower and broccoli, then add your favorite seasonings to make a delicious soup.
Dark chocolate is the best food for brain performance. It contains flavonols which possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These flavonols help to lower your blood pressure and significantly boosts blood flow to both your brain and heart.
A 2011 study published in the “American College of Cardiology” says that increasing cocoa-rich chocolate consumption by 50g per week reduced hemorrhagic stroke risk by 27%, cerebral infarction risk by 12% and total stroke risk by 14%. A recent review published in the May 2017 edition of “Frontiers in Nutrition” found that both short term and long term consumption of dark chocolate significantly boost your brain health. Several studies have found that cocoa drinks may substantially enhance oxygen level, blood flow and nerve function in your brain.
How to include dark chocolate in your diet?
Blend some dark chocolate into a smoothie. Drizzle it on your cereal, add it to your savory dishes or fold it into your nut butter.