It’s no secret that the foods you eat contribute to your total health and wellbeing, and that also includes your brain health.
If you’d like to take better care of your brain health, you can start right now with these brain-nourishing foods.
- The first one on our list is easy to remember because it looks like a little brain! This brain ‘look-alike’ food is the walnut. Walnuts contain many nutrients including vitamin E and have been found to be help improve memory and brain function. So, if you want to take care of your ‘nut’ eat approximately 7 walnuts daily!
- Wild Salmon
- This deep-water fish has earned a healthy reputation for being rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help keep the brain cell membranes healthy while also aiding in the formation of new cells. Omega 3s are also important for reducing inflammation and assist nerve transmission. If you can add 3 x 4-ounce servings of wild salmon a week to your diet, your brain will thank you.
- The brain needs healthy fats to function at its best, so eating avocados is a great place to start. Avocados contain monounsaturated fats that promote a healthy flow of blood to the brain. They also contain potassium which is important for blood pressure regulation and Vitamin K is another essential nutrient found in avocados.
- Beets contain a high nitrate content. These natural nitrates are converted by the body into nitric oxide which promotes oxygenation all throughout the circulatory system.
- Studies have shown that the consumption of beet juice leads to an increase in oxygenation to the brain. More oxygen to the brain boosts cognitive function and reaction time. It also improves the neuroplasticity (or the neural pathways) of the brain.
- Eggs are full of protein which is important for the production of essential neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and dopamine. These neurotransmitters largely contribute to feelings of alertness and improved energy levels. Eggs are definitely a superfood.
- These little powerhouses also contain B vitamins, such as folic acid, B12 and B6. These B vitamins play a crucial role in reducing the amount of homocysteine in the blood. High levels of homocysteine have been linked to cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.
- One cup of broccoli gives you more than 100% of your daily requirement of vitamin K. This fat-soluble nutrient plays a significant role in the formation of sphingolipids which are fats found in the brain cells. Vitamin K helps promote better memory and it helps to fight against inflammation which protects the brain from degeneration.
- Broccoli also delivers sulforaphane which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities, which help promote the development of brain tissues. Sulforaphane is also found to be beneficial for repairing damaged brain tissues.
- Dark Chocolate
- If you don’t like broccoli, perhaps you like eating dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is full of flavonoids which are important for healthy brain function. They assist with boosting memory and learning processes. Flavonoids also help slow down the decline in mental skills as we age.
- Another important aspect of brain health is our moods. The consumption of dark chocolate has been linked to improved moods. It tastes good and makes us feel good, as it promotes the production of ‘feel-good’ endorphins. It also has a naturally-occurring compound called anandamide which is referred to by experts as the ‘bliss molecule’.
Of course, with anything that tastes good, eating dark chocolate in moderation is key! You don’t want to become a ‘chocaholic’!