Boost Your Brain Power
We are what we eat! As we try to maintain physical fitness, it’s easy to lose sight of the importance of a healthy brain. Eating well is good for physical and mental health, as the brain requires nutrients like all other body systems. Certain nutrients significantly boost cognitive function! But which foods are essential in promoting our brainpower?
Oily fish such as wild salmon, sardines, and anchovies are a great natural source of omega-3 oil, DHA. DHA has been shown to aid cognitive functions like memory, speaking ability, and motor skills. DHA also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, a key player in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Increasing dietary levels of omega-3s have also been shown to improve conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, and ADHD.
When it comes to brain protection, there is nothing quite like blueberries. Evidence found at Tufts University suggests that consuming blueberries may be effective in improving or delaying short-term memory loss. Blueberries are packed with brain-proactive antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation, a cornerstone of virtually all brain degenerative disorders. After testing 24 varieties of fresh fruit, 23 vegetables, 16 herbs and spices, 10 different nuts, and four dried fruits, the US Department of Agriculture determined that blueberries scored highest overall in total antioxidant capacity per serving.
Asparagus is high in anti-inflammatory nutrients and folate. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, folic acid is crucial for proper brain function and vital to mental and emotional health. Increased folate intake is associated with a lower risk of depression and aids in the production of DNA and RNA. Leafy green vegetables, like spinach or kale, fruits, nuts, beans, and asparagus, contain high amounts of folate or folic acid.
Surprisingly, the brain is composed of 60% fat. It makes sense that the brain needs fat to function correctly. The monounsaturated fat content found in avocados prevents the hardening of blood vessels, which assures proper blood supply to the heart and brain. The vitamin K and folate found in avocado is particularly helpful for memory and concentration.
Nuts are an excellent source of unsaturated fats and vitamin E, contributing to improved cognitive function. Almonds, pecans, and walnuts can also help protect against cognitive decline. Adding walnuts to your diet may help reverse some forms of age-related brain deterioration, according to a Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry study. Researchers also noted that walnuts boosted the brain’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.
If you want to learn more about diet’s effect on overall health, consider making an appointment.
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