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The one thing that differentiates humans from other species is the complex, jaw-dropping beauty, ‘Our brain’. Partly, the evolution of this miraculous organ is attributed to our nutrient-rich diet. But today, we are facing an unusual challenge of incurable neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, etc.
Cognitive decline as the age advances is inevitable, but to delay it and prevent diseases is in our hands. Research supports the fact that balanced nutrition can help us in keeping our brain healthy & arm us up against neurological disorders.
We have come up with 9 foods that are good for the brain in this article. Make sure you include them in your diet regularly to keep your brain fit as a fiddle. Needless to say, they need to be consumed regularly along with lifestyle modifications.
1. SALMON FISH
DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), an Omega-3 fatty acid, is vital for the development & normal functioning of the brain. Its deficiency may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. It not only slows age-related cognitive decline but also enhances memory & learning prowess. Good news for fish lovers! Salmon is an abundant source Omega-3 fatty acid. Consuming this fish twice a week keeps the brain as well as our heart in its most healthy state. So, what are you waiting for? Next time you go grocery shopping, don’t forget Salmon!
Another rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, Walnuts have neuroprotective properties. Walnuts contain anti-oxidants and anti- inflammatory components that fight free radicals & reduce neuro-inflammation respectively. Many researchers support the notion that regular consumption of walnuts may decrease the risk or delay the progression of brain-related diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Stroke, and Depression. Hence, we suggest you eat 4-5 walnuts every day without fail & the nut will do the rest.
3. CHIA SEEDS
These tiny seeds are the brain’s super-food. They are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids & fiber. A group of researchers in 2018 conducted a study on this wonder food’s effect on the brain & found surprising results. Only 5 grams of chia seeds over a period of 21 days improved intelligence & problem-solving skills of the participants. Thus fellas, without any further ado, get this tiny super food from the market. Chia seeds should always be soaked overnight before consumption. As a morning ritual, have lemon juice mixed with apple cider vinegar & chia seed daily. It will no doubt make you adroit but as an icing on the cake help shed few pounds too.
4. Coffee & Tea
Research suggests that moderate consumption of an alkaloid named Methylxanthine helps in preventing brain-related diseases. This very alkaloid is found in high amounts in Caffeine, Tea, etc. Caffeine slows cognitive decline, reduces the risk of stroke & increases alertness. Having said that the consumption should be in limited amounts. Ideally, 2 cups per day may prove beneficial. Ingesting caffeine more than the recommended amount may present its harmful effects. Hence, drink it in modest amounts & avoid it at night for the reasons you know well!
Almost everyone knows about the benefits of almonds for the brain. They are a rich source of Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Manganese & Magnesium. Deficiency of Vitamin E & B6 causes a decline in cognition & alertness. Research says that consuming almonds daily may support brain cell repair, prevent neurological disorders, enhance memory & brain function. Well, for the reasons cited above, we suggest you eat 5-6 almonds daily to avoid going nuts as you age.
Turmeric contains a powerful antioxidant called Curcumin which is anti-inflammatory in nature. We all know turmeric is a medicinal herb. But not many people know its amazing benefits for our brain. Curcumin helps in reducing inflammation & fighting free radicals. It also protects mitochondria in the brain against oxidative stress. It may ease the symptoms that accompany Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric prevents toxicity in the brain by interacting with heavy metals like cadmium & lead. We suggest you include a teaspoon of turmeric daily in your food preparations to avoid letting this advice slip from your memory.
7. Green Vegetables
A group of researchers studied the effect of consuming green leafy vegetables daily on the cognition of older adults (58-99 yrs). They concluded that consuming a serving of green leafy vegetables daily over a period of time helps in delaying the age-related memory decline. Therefore, to amass the neuro-protective benefits of green leafy vegetables, consume a portion daily please, will ya?
Berries such as strawberry, bilberry, blackcurrant, blackberry, blueberry, and mulberry have powerful antioxidants called flavonoids. These flavonoids provide neuroprotection by fighting free radicals & reducing inflammation. Consuming a handful of berries regularly shall load your body with antioxidants that will protect your brain, reduce your risk of brain diseases and impede age-related cognitive decline.
If you keep forgetting important points in an argument, we recommend you to munch on these fleshy fruits for sharper comebacks.
9. Dark Chocolate
Like berries, Dark Chocolate also has flavonoids. These cocoa flavonoids are good for your memory & cognition. For maximum benefits, get a bar of dark chocolate with more than 70% cocoa & have 35 grams daily. Bitter we know but better for the brain. Ergo, keep calm and have some dark chocolate!
These were our 9 best foods for brain. Treasure your brain by consuming these brain healthy foods regularly and unlock your inner genius.
- Abha Chauhan, Ved Chauhan, Beneficial Effects of Walnuts on Cognition and Brain Health, PMID: 32093220PMCID
- Onneken, Peter. (2018). Salvia Hispanica L (Chia Seeds) as Brain Superfood – How Seeds Increase Intelligence. Global Journal of Health Science. 10. 69. 10.5539/gjhs.v10n7p69
- Nehlig, Astrid. (2015). Effects of coffee/caffeine on brain health and disease: What should I tell my patients?. Practical neurology. 16. 10.1136/practneurol-2015-001162
- Morris MC, Wang Y, Barnes LL, Bennett DA, Dawson-Hughes B, Booth SL. Nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables and cognitive decline: Prospective study. Neurology. 2018;90(3):e214-e222. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000004815
- Subash S, Essa MM, Al-Adawi S, Memon MA, Manivasagam T, Akbar M. Neuroprotective effects of berry fruits on neurodegenerative diseases. Neural Regen Res. 2014;9(16):1557-1566. doi:10.4103/1673-5374.139483
- LAMPORT, D.J.; CHRISTODOULOU, E.; ACHILLEOS, C. Beneficial effects of dark chocolate for episodic memory in healthy young adults: A parallel-groups acute intervention with a white chocolate control. Nutrients; 12(02):483, 2020
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