Like all parts of the human body, your brain’s health is heavily dependent on your diet. There are legitimate foods that you can eat to ensure that your brain is operating at optimal capacity. Most of these foods contain antioxidants or omega-3 fatty acids which work to keep your brain cells healthy. Other good brain foods tend to affect hormone production, which is important because your brain relies on hormone production to properly operate. Below are some of the best foods to eat to keep your brain healthy.
1. Fatty fish
Fatty fish are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which makes them top tier brain foods. Omega-3 fatty acids are some of the best nutrients to keep your brain healthy and functioning properly. They help to construct the vital membrane that surrounds every cell inside your body; that includes brain cells. Including them in your diet will help to improve the overall structure of your brain cells.
One recent study discovered that individuals containing high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their diet had increased blood flow inside the brain. This led to better cognitive functionality, thinking, and reasoning skills. Some of the best sources of fatty fish are salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, and tuna.
Berries contain very high amounts of flavonoids in the form of antioxidants. Antioxidants have long been associated with good health. In general, antioxidants help to boost the immune system which keeps your body healthy. But they also help to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which can affect your brain’s functionality.
Antioxidants not only reduce inflammation, but they also improve communication between brain cells, making brain processing more efficient. And they increase the brain’s plasticity, which helps your brain cells form new connections. This can improve learning and memory. There are Bluetooth trackers to find your keys and wallet, but there are no trackers yet to nudge your memory on what you need to be speaking in a meeting, so make sure you eat your berries!
Some great antioxidant rich berries are:
3. Dark chocolate
Turns out that chocolate can be considered a health food; you can eat healthy and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time. Much like berries, dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, thanks to the cacao content. The antioxidants help to combat oxidative stress which is a major contributor to age-related cognitive decline and similar brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
Cacao flavonoids also encourage blood vessel and neuron development in parts of the brain that are concerned with memory and learning. They also help stimulate blood flow to the brain which improves overall brain activity. Some research has also suggested that eating chocolate with a minimum of 70 percent cacao may have the ability to improve brain plasticity which is good for improving learning abilities. Brain plasticity is one of the reasons children are able to learn new languages and skills so quickly.
There’s a reason that we drink coffee to improve our focus. Coffee is typically consumed to help wake us up in the morning and give us a bit of an energy boost. But it does more to improve our focus than just wake us up. The caffeine component in coffee blocks adenosine, the compound that makes people feel sleepy
Research also suggests that drinking caffeine can result in an increase in brain entropy, which has to do with variable and complex brain activity. A brain with high entropy can process more information than a brain with low entropy. Coffee also contains a sizable number of antioxidants which can reduce the risk of age-related brain diseases, such as: stroke, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
5. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts aren’t just fantastic snack foods, they are also great brain foods because they contain lots of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. They are the perfect food for people who can’t eat fish like vegetarians or vegans. For the most part, nuts and seeds have similar benefits to fish and fish oil like combatting oxidative stress via the elimination of free radicals. But their biggest advantage is their large variety. You can find the right nuts and seeds that suit your palette and fit into your diet.
These are just a few of the foods that you can include in your diet to keep your brain healthy. There are lots of options out there, just look for foods with heavy amounts of antioxidants. Also, make sure that whatever food you’re eating is a part of a balanced diet.