Foods for your Brain
Brain foods are those rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. They nourish both the body and the mind or help boost energy levels without caffeine or other stimulants. The best brain foods help to produce hormones that increase awareness and attention while helping the mind to process new information. However, scientists have confirmed these foods increase focus, making them great snacking options when studying for a big test or preparing for an important meeting.
This type of fish includes salmon, trout, albacore tuna, herring and sardines all of which are rich in sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Remember about 60% of your brain is made of fat and half of that fat is containing of omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain uses omega-3s to build brain and nerve cells and these fats are essential for learning and memory. However, if you not getting enough omega-3s you may experience learning impairments, as well as depression.
Coffee is good for you because it contains caffeine and a high concentration of antioxidants that can help to support your brain health. However, the caffeine found in coffee has a number of positive effects on the brain including increased alertness. Caffeine keeps your brain alert by blocking adenosine (a chemical messenger that makes you feel sleepy) and may improve your mood. Caffeine may also boost some of your feel-good neurotransmitters, such as dopamine which sharpen your concentration.
Blueberries provide plentiful health benefits for your brain. However, blueberries and other deeply colored berries deliver anthocyanins (a group of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects). Moreover, antioxidants act against both oxidative stress and inflammation. Conditions which can contribute to brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Antioxidants in blueberries have been found to accumulate in the brain and help improve communication between brain cells. Blueberries may also help to improve memory and certain cognitive processes in children and older adults.
Broccoli is packed with powerful plant compounds, including antioxidants. It’s also very high in vitamin K, delivering more than 100% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) in a 1-cup (160-gram) serving of cooked broccoli. This fat-soluble vitamin is essential for forming sphingolipids (a type of fat that’s densely packed into brain cells). However, it has been proven that a higher vitamin K intake leads to better memory and cognitive status.
Pumpkin seeds contain powerful antioxidants that protect the body and brain from free-radical damage. They are also an excellent source of magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper.
Important nutrients for your brain health:
- Zinc is important for brain health. This element is crucial for nerve signaling. However, zinc deficiency has been linked to many neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, depression.
- Magnesium is essential for learning and memory. However, low magnesium levels are linked to many neurological diseases, including migraine, depression, and epilepsy.
- Copper - your brain uses copper to help control nerve signals. And when copper levels are out of whack, there’s a higher risk of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimers.
- Iron deficiency is often characterized by brain fog and impaired brain function.
Dark chocolate and cocoa powders are packed with a few brain-boosting compounds, including flavonoids, caffeine and antioxidants. It has has a 70% or greater cocoa content. However, these benefits are not seen with regular milk chocolate, which contains between 10–50% cocoa. Flavonoids are a group of antioxidant plant compounds. The flavonoids in chocolate gather in the areas of the brain that deal with learning and memory.
Nuts contain nutrients such as healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamin E. They have beneficial effects on brain health. Research has shown that eating nuts can improve heart-health and having a healthy heart is linked to having a healthy brain. However, vitamin E found in nuts protects cells against free-radical damage to help slow mental decline.
Oranges contain all the vitamin C you need in your body. It’s important to eat oranges for brain health since vitamin C is a key factor in preventing mental decline. Having higher levels of vitamin C in the blood may be associated with improvements in tasks involving focus, memory, attention and decision speed. However, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off the free radicals that can damage brain cells. Vitamin C also supports brain health as you age and may protect against conditions of depressive disorder and anxiety.
Eggs are a good source of several nutrients joined to brain health, including vitamins B6 and B12, folate and choline. However, an egg contains choline an important micronutrient that your body uses to create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory. Moreover, higher intakes of choline are linked to better memory and mental function. Furthermore, the B vitamins found in eggs also have several roles in brain health.
As is the case with coffee, the caffeine in green tea boosts brain function. However, green tea has been found to improve alertness, performance, memory. L-theanine (an amino acid that can cross the blood-brain barrier) found in green tea, increase the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps reduce anxiety and makes you feel more relaxed. L-theanine also increases the frequency of alpha waves in the brain, which helps you relax without making you feel tired
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