Foods for Healthy Brain Function
You may have heard the saying ‘we are what we eat’, and it turns out that it is truer than ever in relation to our brain health and function, as scientists are finding out. Brain foods really do matter. Here’s a list of the top ten foods regarded as being beneficial for brain health, function and clarity.
Regarded as an incredible brain food, it is high in choline, which is involved in supporting brain energy, general brain function and healthy brain development. It is also high in vitamins C and K and is a powerful antioxidant.
Full of monosaturated fats ‘the good type’, avocados provide energy for the brain, contain folate and vitamin K and are believed to help prevent clots in the brain and improve cognitive function.
BEETS AND BERRIES
Deep coloured and red fruits, berries and vegetables are high in antioxidants which reduce cellular damage by stress, reduce inflammation, help remove toxins from the body and boost blood flow to the brain increasing mental performance.
Blueberries get a separate mention because they are one of the richest antioxidant foods we know of. Containing vitamins C and K, fibre and gallic acid, they are particularly efficient at protecting our brains from stress and degeneration.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
A powerful brain antioxidant rich in polyphenols. Believed to be able to fight ADDLs (Amyloid beta-Derived Diffusible Ligand) proteins which are toxic to the brain and known to induce Alzheimers[i]. Including it in your diet may also help with learning, memory and even reverse age-related degeneration[ii].
ALASKAN WILD SALMON
Rich in omega-3 oil DHA which plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy brain cells.
Found in egg yolks, cholesterol is an important component of brain cell membranes and is a brain cell antioxidant. Rich in choline, a precursor for one of the most fundamental neurotransmitters, choline also helps with foetal brain development.
GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES
Studies show that eating green leafy vegetables daily slows mental deterioration and may help keep dementia at bay[iii]. High in vitamins A and K which can help fight inflammation.
Containing cucurmin an extremely powerful antioxidant and natural anti-inflammatory, turmeric increases the brain’s oxygen intake helping you to stay alert and process information more easily.
And finally – yes chocolate really is on the list, but before you head to the confectionery aisle, it must be dark chocolate, minimally processed and a minimum of 70% cocoa. Dark chocolate is a wonderful antioxidant, full of flavanols and can increase blood flow to the brain and heart. (You only need one square though to get the antioxidant benefits- enjoy!!)
[i]. Source: http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/nutrition-101/brain-foods#extra-virgin-olive-oil-nutrients
[ii] Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21955812
[iii]. Source: https://consumer.healthday.com/senior-citizen-information-31/misc-aging-news-10/lots-of-leafy-greens-might-shield-aging-brains-study-finds-697909.html