The foods we eat can have a big impact on the health of our brains. Eating a brain-boosting diet can improve both short-term and long-term cognitive function. Our brain needs plenty of good fuel to maintain proper function throughout the day.
Some may also reduce the risk of stroke and age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, by eating brain-healthy foods. Some of these foods contain beneficial natural compounds such as healthy fatty acids, which can help nourish the brain's neurons. On the other hand, sugar and seed oils may damage brain cells.
Eggs, Berries, And Other Brain Boosting Foods
These foods contain a variety of beneficial compounds known to help nourish brain cells. These compounds also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The best brain-boosting foods are discussed below.
1) Fatty Fish
Fatty fish are rich in protein and contain brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega-3 fatty acids help build membrane structures around our body cells, including brain neuron cells. Some studies have shown an association between omega-3 levels and improved cognition and thinking abilities. The best fatty fish are sardines, herring, salmon, mackerel, and anchovies.
Berries are packed with several nutrients and strong antioxidants. Antioxidants benefit the brain by assisting in the fight against free radicals, which can cause damage to our cells, including brain cells. The most popular ones are blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. They are also known as "superfoods" since they offer a wide variety of health benefits.
The antioxidants present in berries are anthocyanin, caffeic acid, catechin, and quercetin. These antioxidants might help reduce age-related neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline. These compounds are known to help brain cells form new connections, boosting learning ability and memory. They are also known to lower the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
3) Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds contain vegetarian sources of omega-3 fatty acids that are immune-boosting. Several studies claim that regular nut consumption is associated with improved brain function. They are also rich in Vitamin E, which is a popular antioxidant.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that fights free radicals and protects our cells from damage and oxidative stress. Vitamin E may also be associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Almonds and almond oil contain the highest amounts of Vitamin E.
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages and is loved by many around the world across different cultures. It contains caffeine, a compound that improves mood and increases energy availability. Caffeine blocks adenosine, which is responsible for making a person sleepy. Coffee is also a source of antioxidants that fight free radicals. It might be brain-boosting, but too much of this beverage can affect the sleep cycle due to its caffeine content.
Eggs are versatile, simple, nutritious, brain-boosting, and a popular breakfast choice. They’re a rich source of protein, which is required for muscle synthesis and repair. They are rich in folic acid and vitamin B12. These vitamins protect the brain from cognitive decline and degeneration of the brain. Egg yolks contain healthy fats that provide energy to the body.
Broccoli may be beneficial for the brain. It contains vitamin C and flavonoids, which are antioxidants. Broccoli is also known as a superfood and is ideal for a weight loss diet. This brain-boosting vegetable can be added to a variety of dishes. They are also rich in dietary fibers, which keep our gut healthy and promote probiotic bacteria.
7) Dark Chocolate
Yes, you heard it right! Chocolate and raw cocoa are known to contain several beneficial plant compounds. However, they must be consumed without sugar. Dark chocolate generally contains very low sugar or no sugar at all. Cacao fruit contains flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. These antioxidant compounds fight oxidative stress, which contributes to brain diseases. Flavonoids are also known to improve memory and concentration.
The brain is the control hub of our body and requires a lot of fuel and nutrients to function. To maintain and boost our memory and cognitive functions, we need to consume foods that are rich in nutrients. Brain-boosting foods often contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules that help protect the brain. Good fats are essential to nourish the brain as well. A diet full of these brain-boosting foods can keep our brains healthy and improve our memory.