It’s no surprise that the brain is the control centre of the body, it is tasked with everything from keeping our hearts beating, our lungs functioning to even being responsible for feeling, thinking and moving. Hence, it’s no surprise why it is important to keep our brains functioning at its peak. In fact, the foods we consume play a large role in not only keeping our brain healthy but also work to boost our concentration and memory. Let’s find out more about the foods that affect the health of our brain.
Foods For Brain
There are several types of fish that are great for keeping the brain in tip-top shape. From fatty fish to coffee, here are some foods that keep our brains healthy and functioning at its peak.
Trout, salmons, sardines are just some of the fishes that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids don’t just keep our skin hydrated, plumper and youthful-looking, but are also needed to create nerve and brain cells. Additionally, they have the ability to stall age-related mental degeneration and aid in preventing a number of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Eating fish provides the body with numerous health benefits besides the one that was stated. Studies have shown that people who ate fish on a regular basis had more grey matter in their brains. If you are not already aware, grey matter is comprised of nerve cells that are responsible for memory, emotions and decision-making. Hence, fatty fish is one of the best foods for brain health.
Coffee contains two main components that make it a great beverage for the brain; these are caffeine and antioxidants. Caffeine affects the brain in several ways, including increasing the alertness, improving mood and sharpening the concentration. Caffeine has the ability to keep the brain alert by negating and blocking the effects of adenosine, a chemical compound that is responsible for making you sleepy. Additionally, coffee is said to boost your mood and has been proven to improve concentration, making you more effective at completing tasks in a timely manner. The long-term consumption of coffee has been proven to lower the risk of neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This could be due to the high antioxidant content found in coffee. Antioxidants play a huge role in combating and negating the harmful effects of free radicals in the body. In turn, ensuring the risk of chronic diseases and slowing the visible signs of ageing, such as wrinkles, fine lines and blemishes from forming on the skin.
Berries contain a significant number of benefits for the health, especially when it comes to your brain. Blueberries and other types of berries including strawberries and raspberries contain anthocyanins, which are responsible for giving these berries their colour. Anthocyanins contain are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant as well. The antioxidant properties combat the harmful effects of oxidative stress and inflammation on the body, which can lead to neurodegenerative diseases and brain ageing. The antioxidants found in these berries have a tendency to build up in the brain and in turn, have been shown to enhance the communication between brain cells. Studies have also shown that berries can do wonders to improve memory and even prevent short-term memory loss. Since berries can be eaten in a number of ways, it shouldn’t be too hard to add them to your cereal or yoghurt cups.
Besides being the main ingredient in curries, turmeric has many uses; for one, it functions as a potent ingredient that can address skin conditions and other ailments. Tumeric has long been touted for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, which have been used to treat blemishes, keep acne at bay, lower heart disease, prevent Alzheimer’s disease and many more. Aside from that, turmeric has shown to benefit the brain in more ways than one. This can be credited to the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin. Curcumin has been proven to boost memory in people affected by Alzheimer’s. Additionally, this compound eases depression by boosting dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain, which in turn, will improve your overall mood. Lastly, curcumin contributes to the growth of new brain cells; it supports the brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which is a type of growth hormone that is responsible for multiplying brain cells.
Broccoli is packed with compounds that benefit the overall health of the body. Some of the nutrients that can be found in broccoli are antioxidants and vitamin K. Vitamin K is responsible for creating sphingolipids, which are a type of fat that is found in brain cells. Studies have shown that people who increased their intake of vitamin K have better memories. Additionally, vitamin K boosts bone health and contributes to the strength of your bones. This essentially prevents bone diseases such as osteoporosis from developing and leaves you less prone to fractures. Broccoli consists of nutrients that are high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These not only keep free radicals in check but also works to negate the harmful effects of free radicals on the body and protect the brain from damage.