The foods we eat play a huge role in our body structure and function. Eating healthy foods full of antioxidants is important when it comes to brain health as it plays a role in memory and concentration.
1. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish usually includes salmon, trout and sardine. Fatty fish is a super food for your brain as 60% of your brain is made out of fat and half of that is the omega 3 kind. Omega 3s have lots of great benefits for your brain. It is proven to slow age related mental decline and help ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Your brain also uses omega 3s to build nerve cells as well as building memory and concentration.
Blueberries and other colored berries deliver anthocyanins, a group of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Antioxidants act to fight against both oxidative stress and inflammation, conditions that may contribute to brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Some of the antioxidants in blueberries have been found to accumulate in the brain to help improve communication between brain cells, improve memory and delay short-term memory loss.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds contain powerful antioxidants that protect the body and brain from free radical damage and contain an excellent source of magnesium, iron, zinc and copper. Magnesium, iron, zinc and copper all play an important role in brain health.
Zinc is crucial for nerve signaling. A deficiency in zinc has been linked to many neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, depression and Parkinson’s disease. Magnesium is essential for learning and memory. Low magnesium levels are linked to many neurological diseases, including migraines, depression and epilepsy. Your brain uses copper to help control nerve signals. And when copper levels are low, there’s a higher risk of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s. Iron deficiency is often characterized by brain fog and impaired brain function.
4. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are packed with a few brain-boosting compounds, including flavonoids, caffeine and antioxidants. Flavonoids are a group of antioxidant plant compounds. The flavonoids in dark chocolate gather in the areas of the brain that deal with learning and memory. Researchers say these compounds can enhance memory and also help slow down age-related mental decline. In one study including over 900 people, those who ate chocolate more frequently performed better in a series of mental tasks, including some involving memory, than those who rarely ate it.
Eggs are a good source of several nutrients tied to brain health, including vitamins B6 and B12, folate and choline. Choline is an important micronutrient that your body uses to create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory. Adequate intake of choline is 425 mg per day for most women and 550 mg per day for men, with just a single egg yolk containing 112mg. Furthermore, the B vitamins have several roles in brain health. They may help slow the progression of mental decline in the elderly. B12 is also involved in synthesizing brain chemicals and regulating sugar levels in the brain.