Amongst various brain-enhancing factors, stands the food you eat. Yes, diet plays an important role in brain health. Well, there is no one food but a balance of various foods that affect brain function. Foods can strengthen brain function with aging.
The effect of wrong foods on the heart is well known, the same concept applies to the brain. Foods rich in saturated fats, and trans fats, have a damaging effect on the blood vessels. Such foods cause plaque formation in the blood vessel supplying the brain.
Food and Memory
A gene called apolipoprotein E (APOE) is linked with a high level of blood cholesterol. According to the studies, 65% of people with a variation of the gene (APOE) are vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease.
The level of high blood cholesterol is a result of eating high cholesterol foods accompanied by lifestyle disorders. It leads to plaque formation in the blood vessels of the brain leading to a decrease in the flow of oxygenated blood required for normal brain function.
Foods for brain
There are no pills or medicines that can oppose the retarding function of body organs caused due to age factors. But eating healthy balanced foods can control or manage the aging effect on the brain. The brain foods are not special foods but the same that is good for the heart and blood vessels.
The purpose of brain foods is to keep the blood vessels in a healthy state and prevent plaque formation. This ensures the supply of oxygenated blood to vital organs such as the brain and heart. It also repairs and builds brain cells and reduces inflammation of the brain cells.
Best Brain Foods
Oxidative stress causes memory loss and other age-related brain diseases. Antioxidants can fight against oxidative stress. Dark chocolates contain flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that is good for the brain. It helps in the growth of neurons and blood vessels and improves the blood flow in the brain.
Berries include blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, mulberries, and blackcurrants.
All the berries contain flavonoid antioxidants which makes them good brain food. Also, berries are rich in other antioxidants such as anthocyanin, catechin, caffeic acid, and quercetin. Enriched with various antioxidants, berries support brain health in the following ways –
Whole grains include brown rice, barley, oatmeal, whole grain bread, etc. They are rich in vitamin E. So, whole grains make healthy brains.
Dry fruits and seeds
These are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin E. All of which are essential for the brain. Eating nuts and seeds improves the aging effect on the brain. Nuts and seeds such as almonds, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts have a high amount of vitamin E. Vitamin E is essential to decrease oxidative stress and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The most common beverage to keep you awake and focused is also good for the brain. Coffee increases brain activity and this helps the brain function efficiently. The antioxidant content in coffee reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke. It also improves cognition.
A regular part of breakfast, eggs are good for brains. Being rich in vitamin B-6, B-12, and folic acid, eggs may delay cognitive decline and prevent damage to brain cells.
Low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in glucosinolates, vitamin C and flavonoids, broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables make brain foods. Other cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, turnips, etc.
The compound glucosinolate produce isothiocyanates which may reduce oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases.
Fresh organic fruits rich in vitamin C supports brain health and prevent cell damage. Vitamin C-rich fruits include oranges, guava, kiwi, bell peppers, etc.
An essential spice in every Indian kitchen, turmeric is a rich antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric decreases stress, improves memory, and enhances the growth of brain cells.
Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are rich in folate, lutein, vitamin K and beta carotene. They help improve memory and support brain health.
Using a little brain to decide what to eat can significantly improve your overall health which includes brain health and age-related memory loss. Making some changes and adding a few goodnesses to your table is something that all of us must do to live a healthy life. Behind every decision you make is a healthy brain. So, eat healthily and think healthy.