by The Welthi Bureau | 10th Jan, 2019
With brain-related disorders and diseases like Alzheimer’s posing an increasing threat, it is important to remember that just as we have begun to consider the most healthy choices of food which promote the wellbeing of our bodies, so also must we make healthy choices of food which promote the wellbeing of our brains. Whether the goal is to optimize nutrition during examinations or to put in your best at work, there is a need to keep your brain stimulated and happy with the right kinds of foods.
Here are some brain food recommendations:
Wholegrains: Just like the rest of your body, your brain also requires energy to function. The ability to concentrate, in fact, is derived from an adequate, steady supply of energy in the form of glucose in your blood, which goes to the brain. You can optimize this by choosing whole grains with a low glycemic index, which release glucose gradually into the bloodstream, thereby keeping you mentally alert throughout the day. Opt for brown wholegrain cereals, wholewheat bread, brown rice, and pasta.
Oily Fish: Essential Fatty Acids which are necessary for brain health, cannot be made by the body, and therefore must be derived from your diet. You will find the most effective Omega-3 Fats occur naturally in oily fish like Salmon, Mackerel and Sardines. Good plant sources include flaxseed, soya beans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and their oils. These fats not only benefit the brain, but also the heart and joints. What makes these oily fish so beneficial is that they contain the active form of these fats, EPA and DHA, in a ready-made form, which is easily assimilated by the body. Low DHA levels have been linked to an increased risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and memory loss, whilst sufficient levels of both EPA and DHA is believed to enable you to manage stress.
Tomatoes: There is sufficient evidence to indicate that Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes, could help protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells which occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s. Cooked tomatoes, lightly tossed with olive oil are a good way to get Lycopene working for your brain.
Eggs: Vitamins B6, B12 and Folic Acid are known to reduce levels of a compound called Homocysteine in the blood. High levels of Homocysteine are related to stroke, cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s Disease. Eggs are an excellent source of B Vitamins, apart from chicken, fish and green leafy vegetables.
Pumpkin Seeds: These seeds are believed to enhance the memory and boost the mood. This is because they are rich in zinc, which is vital for memory and thinking skills. They are also full of stress-busting magnesium and B Vitamins.
Broccoli: Broccoli is an excellent source of Vitamin K, known to enhance cognitive function and improve brain power. Broccoli is high in compounds called Glucosinolates and can slow the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is vital for the central nervous system to perform properly, and to keep our brains and memories sharp. Low levels of acetylcholine are associated with Alzheimer’s.
Nuts: Nuts are a powerful source of Vitamin E, which is believed to prevent cognitive decline, particularly in the elderly. Vitamin E is also derived from green leafy vegetables, olives, seeds, eggs, brown rice, and whole grains.
Though ultimately these brain foods do not act as a cure, they most certainly promote brain health, and when coupled with a healthy exercise regimen, and stimulating social interaction, they can keep your brain health in top form.
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