Stress and the daily hustle bustle of life take an eventual toll on the performance of our brain. It’s only natural for information to slip from your mind. Except, a goldfish memory should not become a norm. If there’s a lot of pressure on your mind and you feel that your central processing unit is not delivering enough, then you can always take preventative measures to control further decline of your brain power.
There are multiple ways to restore your cognitive performance to its optimal. Some of these ways include regular physical activity, learning a new language, challenging your brain with puzzles, and more. A dietary intervention also falls among this list of activities. Food items that exhibit a high antioxidant content, omega-3 fatty acids, and provide sufficient nutrients to the brain are highly appreciated in this regard.
Here is a list of foods you should add to your diet to enhance your cognitive performance and memory:
So far, avocados have made to every list concerning a healthy skin and strong hair. It’s an amazing ingredient to add to your DIY recipes for boosting your skin’s radiance and the shine of your hair. The benefits of avocados are not limited to these only though. These are helpful in enhancing memory too. Avocados are powerhouses of monounsaturated fats or the good fats that maintain steady sugar levels in your blood.
Avocados are loaded with both folate and vitamin K that keep blood clots at bay in the brain. In doing so, this fruit helps protect against stroke and improves cognitive performance, particularly, concentration and memory. Avocados are also rich in vitamin C and vitamin B.
- Fatty fish
Fatty fishes are often ranked at the top of brain food lists. These fishes have a high content of omega-3 fatty acids. You can get your fair share of omega-3s from fishes such as sardines, salmon, and trout. Roughly 60% of the brain comprises of fat, of which half is the omega-3 fatty acid kind.
The brain uses omega-3s to build nerve and brain cells, which makes these fat all-important to your brain food diet. This is also why these fishes are crucial for improving your memory and learning. Additionally, Omega-3 fatty acids exhibit some more benefits for the brain. These help stave off the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Omega-3s are also helpful in dealing with depression.
A study also found out that participants that had broiled or baked fish on a regular note had more gray matter in their brain. The gray matter contains numerous nerve cells and is linked with control, emotions, memory, and decision-making.
- Leafy green vegetables
Leafy green veggies such as collard greens, broccoli, kale, and spinach are rich sources of folate and vitamin E. For instance, one raw spinach cup provides you with 15% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin E. Likewise, half a cup of cooked spinach offers 25% of your RDA for vitamin E.
The vitamin is a powerful antioxidant and it plays a crucial role in protecting the brain cells. This characteristic is also what makes vitamin E a good protective agent for the brain that helps against cognitive decline. Other sources of vitamin E are whole grains, seeds, nuts, olive oil, and more.
On the other hand, the working of folate is unclear. However, it is thought that it benefits the brain by reducing the amount of an amino acid called homocysteine in the blood. Soaring markers of this protein in the blood are known to trigger nerve cells damage in the brain. However, folic acid breaks down this amino acid.
Blueberries contain one of the highest content of antioxidants. These are also rich in fiber, vitamin K, and vitamin C. The antioxidants present in these berries help curtail inflammation, which is otherwise dedicated to chipping in brain damage and subsequent decline in cognitive functioning.
What’s more is that the substantial amounts of gallic acid in blueberries is helpful in protecting the brain from and stress and degeneration too. Therefore, besides the good candy-like taste, you will be able to reap brain benefits by including these berries to your diet.
These root vegetable are nutritious plant sources to add to your diet that is centered around improving brain power and memory. Beetroots fight inflammation, help eliminate toxins from your blood, and contain a significant amount of cancer-protecting antioxidants.
Beets also contain nitrates that improve blood flow to the brain. An increased blood supply to the brain translates into higher amounts of oxygen and nutrients to the brain cells, which ensures better performance.
Turmeric has been greatly applauded for its multiple health benefits for the brain, body, as well as your skin. The golden yellow spice showcases an active ingredient called curcumin. This element can pass the sensitive blood-brain barrier, which is why it succeeds in yielding numerous advantages for the brain.
Curcumin exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it useful in protecting the brain from inflammation. It is also an antioxidant, which is why it plays a critical role in improving brain function.
Research indicates that this ingredient is helpful in boosting the growth of new brain cells. It works by increasing the pointers of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which is a growth hormone type that is responsible for the growth of brain cells.
Preliminary research also indicates that curcumin may be useful in delaying age-induced mental decline. Over and above that, curcumin is known to amp up the levels of dopamine and serotonin that correspond with improved mood.
- Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are potent antioxidants, which protect the brain and body from free radical damage. On top of that, pumpkin seeds boast a high amount of cooper, zinc, iron, and magnesium. All these nutrients are essential for optimal brain health.
Cooper, for example, is used by the brain to regulate nerve signals. When copper levels are on a fritz, your odds of developing neurodegenerative disorders go up. Similarly, zinc is also vital for nerve signaling. A deficiency of this mineral is linked with numerous neurological ailments such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and depression.
A drop in the levels of iron is associated with impaired cognitive function and brain fog. Lastly, magnesium is critical for memory and learning. Low levels of this element are associated with depression, migraine, epilepsy, and other neurological diseases.
- Coconut oil
Coconut oil is credited for its anti-inflammatory properties that help fight free radical damage in the brain. It is also a great solution for improving memory loss. In fact, coconut oil is considered a good supplement for helping improve the memory decline concerned with dementia, a neurodegenerative disorder.
Celery offers a high amount of polysaccharide and antioxidants that curb the pain and damage that is associated with inflammation. It is also a powerhouse of important nutrients including vital mineral and vitamins that make it a good brain food. Moreover, celery has a low calorie content so that you don’t have to worry about packing pounds with the intake of this food.
Oranges boast a substantial amount of vitamin C. This is an important ingredient for preventing mental decline. In fact, vitamin C enriched foods are commended for their role in lowering the odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This vitamin is a potent antioxidant that fights inflammation. You can also get more vitamin C from sources such as kiwi, tomatoes, guava, bell peppers, and strawberries.