In this blog post, we explore 6 key nutrients that will boost your brain and keep it sharp as a razor and ticking over nicely.
Since it's the control centre of your body, your brain is a huge deal. Although there's no magic pill to keep it in an excellent working condition, certain foods can enhance the way it functions in terms of memory and concentration.
When you incorporate these foods into your diet, you will improve your short- and long-term brain function. On average, 20% of consumed calories goes to your brain, making it vital to fuel your body with the right nutrients.
Foods That Contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids
It's no secret in the health world that omega-3 fatty acids play a significant role in sharpening memory, improving mental state, and protecting your brain against decline. Followed by earthbound sources like avocados, flaxseeds, soybeans, and nuts, fatty fish is the primary source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are excellent for your overall health, though they're used to build cells essential for learning and memory in the brain. Learning challenges and depression has been widely linked to low levels of omega-3 acids.
If you'd like to enjoy the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, experts recommend that you incorporate various food sources high in omega-3s in your diet at least twice a week.
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Salmon is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Just one portion a week is a recommended intake for one week. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids can also improve your cardiovascular health.
Foods That Contain Choline
Choline is an essential nutrient which aids in supporting memory function and retention. The most critical memory function influenced by your choline levels is visual memory. Choline also speeds up the creation and release of proteins that carry signals from one brain cell to another, contributing to a healthy mood and muscle control.
Foods with high Choline levels include liver, egg yolks, beef, chicken breasts, fish, broccoli, and lima beans. Choline's recommended average daily intake is 500 milligrams, so if you follow a plant-based diet, it's best to take a supplement.
Foods That Contain Antioxidants
Another key nutrient that contributes to a healthy brain is antioxidants. It's common for your brain to experience oxidative stress, and consuming antioxidants have been shown to prevent this.
Oxidative stress is a primary culprit of age-related cognitive decline and the most common brain diseases. Antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties which are linked to improved memory-recall and blood flow to the brain.
Chocolate, nut, berry and dark-green vegetable lovers will be happy to know that these food sources are the highest in antioxidants. Consuming these daily will boost your brain function and reverse some symptoms associated with ageing, such as memory loss.
Foods That Contain Natural Stimulants
Caffeine, which is most commonly found in coffee, tea and dark chocolate, act as a natural brain stimulant when ingested. When the brain and central nervous system is stimulated, you feel more energized, have an enhanced reaction time, better memory, and your overall brain function improves.
Adults should generally not ingest a surplus of 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. Consuming more than this recommended amount can leave you feeling nervous and jittery, especially if you're caffeine-sensitive.
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Foods That Contain Vitamin E
Foods high in vitamin E include nuts, seeds, whole grains oils and various leafy greens such as spinach, swiss chard and turnip greens. Eating a handful of seeds or nuts per day isn't a difficult task, and doing this will ensure that you get the essential benefits of vitamin E.
While more research is needed, experts don't contest that vitamin E delays mild to moderate memory-loss related diseases. It's a well-known fighter against brain damage, making vitamin E vital in shielding cell membranes, helping slow mental decline.
Foods That Contain Vitamin B
Although vitamin B is known for improving energy levels and cell metabolism, recent studies suggest that it directly impacts brain function and mood. Depression, dementia and brain shrinkage have all been linked to low levels of vitamin B.
While the recommended daily amount of vitamin B for an adult is relatively easy to ingest, your body will expel any excess vitamins absorbed. Feel free to incorporate an abundance of whole grains, red meat, fish, eggs and other dairy products, legumes, dark-green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, nuts and seeds into your diet.
Your brain functions best when it is fuelled with nutritious foods. Likewise, it will deteriorate when you ingest anything other than that. Diets high in refined sugars have been found to result in weakened brain function. Steering away from this lifestyle type will be beneficial to your brain health.
Fuelling your brain with the right nutrients will ensure that it functions at an optimal level while being protected against oxidative stress and decline. Whenever you want to consume something, remember that it directly affects your brain's structure, function, and limbic system.
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