The food that pampers your taste buds also provides nutrition and energy to your body, especially the brain that is an energy-intensive organ. As a power center of the body, the brain controls all vital organs and it requires a huge amount of energy to keep working at its optimum level. And it gets energy from the food you eat.
You could be choosy in selecting your food because you are unaware about superfoods for the brain. Do you know that even a little deficiency of essential fatty acids could lead to neurological disorders and that you can get fatty acids from both animal and plant sources?
Here’re 20 superfoods that can improve your brain function and keep it healthy even in advanced age.
1. Oily Fish
Fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring and sardines are good for the brain as they contain essential fatty acids Omega-3. These fatty acids slow down decline of brain function, lowering the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Also, they enhance memory and manage stress.
2. Dark Chocolate
Those with sweet tooth for chocolate have something to rejoice. Dark chocolate improves blood flow in the brain and reduces inflammation as it has strong antioxidant properties. It boosts mood, focus and alertness by providing a very respectable dose of stimulants including magnesium, zinc, fiber and caffeine.
Curcumin, the most potent and natural anti-inflammatory agent, is found in turmeric. And it is necessary for brain as researches have proved that inflammation is the biggest destroyer of brain. Curcumin improves oxygen level in the brain, increases cognitive function including memory and benefits the immune system.
Coffee does many things in addition to freshen up your mood. It contains caffeine that is a good thing for brain as it improves brain’s capacity for processing information. It contains antioxidants that can improve brain health as you age. A cup of coffee can save you from cognitive decline, stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
5. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds can be called superfood for brain as they contain many nutrients including Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamin E. Packed with nutrients, these superfoods can improve brain function in older age, protects brain from oxidative stress, boost cognitive power and prevents Alzheimer’s disease.
This ancient herb is said to be good for brain function. It quickens nerves and memory and is believed to be a reliable medicine for curing Alzheimer’s disease. Also, recent studies have found memory enhancing properties in Sage. Students should take this herb to increase their memory and concentration. Advantage of Sage is that you can rub its oil on your wrist inhale its smell to get all the advantages of Sage.
This fruit provides monosaturated fats and a number of nutrients including folate, copper and vitamin C and E. And it is good for brain in many ways like combating cognitive decline, enhancing blood flow to brain and supporting information carrying nerves. Tufts University traced improved brain function in older adults to avocados in its 2018 study.
8. Whole Grains
Brown rice, barley, oatmeal and other whole grains maintain a steady supply of glucose to brain. The brain needs energy to function and for energy is relies on glucose that it derives from blood. The whole grains release glucose in the bloodstream to power the brain to keep working at its optimum level. Also, the whole grains have vitamin E that supports brain functions.
They are the ultimate in superfoods and can be called brain-friendly because of their power packed punch that includes magnesium, zinc, fiber, antioxidants and folate. According to a study, folate is more important as it prevents neurological disorders like depression and cognitive impairment. And this slowly-digested, nutrient rich starch provides glucose that is essential for development of brain.
Blueberries are good for combating age-related conditions like short-term memory loss and even Alzheimer’s. Also, it can reduce inflammation of brain cells by increasing communication between cells. Also, it creases plasticity that helps brain cells in building new connections, learning and memory functions.
11. Pumpkin Seeds
Rich source of magnesium, iron, zinc and copper, pumpkin seeds can fight free radicals to prevent disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, migraine, epilepsy and depression.
Peanuts pack an excellent nutritional profile that includes plenty of unsaturated fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. A reservoir of vitamin E and resveratrol, peanuts improve brain function by preventing development of disorders like Alzheimer’s and even cancer.
Consumed as quick breakfast food across the globe, eggs pamper taste buds and provide energy to brain. Rich in folic acid and vitamin B-6 and B-12, eggs can do good to the brain in many ways. For example, they protect the brain age related problems like shrinkage and cognitive decline.
It is a low-calorie source of dietary fibers and rich in compounds called glucosinolates. It also contains vitamin C and flavonoids that are good for brain. Its advantage is that it reduces oxidative stress and prevents neurodegenerative disorders.
It is also rich in glucosinolates, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that make it a superfood for brain function and activity.
16. Soy products
Rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, soybean products have a range of health benefits for brain in regular aging process. For example, they improve cognitive abilities of the brain to reduce affect of aging and lower risk of dementia.
There are plenty of evidences to suggest that lycopene found in tomatoes is helpful for brain functions. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant good for preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s. And tomatoes can be taken in recipes, chutneys and salads. They can even be consumed raw.
Oranges are a prime source of vitamin C that fights free radicals and protects brain cells from age related damage that is a major cause of disorders like dementia.
19. Green Tea
Green tea contains caffeine and it is also rich in polyphenols and antioxidants that reduce cognitive decline with aging. It also boosts memory power.
Another source of vitamin C, blackcurrants are also helpful in age-related brain degeneration like dementia. Also, it is helpful in managing stress and anxiety.