- 14 May - 20 May, 2022
5 foods to improve brain function
- 07 May - 13 May, 2022
- health & nutrition
The brain is a very important organ. It's the control centre of your body and allows you to move, think, feel, breathe and more. Because the brain has such a big job, it's imperative that we provide it with an abundance of fuel and nutrients to help it function properly and stay healthy. The foods we eat play a huge role in the structure and health of our brains. Research shows that foods rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavanols, polyphenols and omega-3 fatty acids can help protect your brain. They can help to improve memory, concentration and overall brain health. Here are five things you should be eating for better brain health.
Leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, are packed with nutrients, including vitamin K, beta carotene (a precursor to vitamin A), folate and vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects the cells from free radical damage and has been linked to preventing cognitive decline in the aging population. Vitamin K and beta carotene have also been linked to improving brain health by helping to prevent memory loss and improve cognition. Increasing your intake of leafy greens doesn't have to be hard. You can try adding a handful of greens when preparing a smoothie or adding a serving of greens to your favourite recipes.
Eggs are possibly the most popular breakfast food – and for good reason. They are inexpensive and offer a host of health benefits, especially when it comes to brain health. Did you know that regular consumption of eggs has been associated with improved cognitive performance in adults? Eggs are one of the best food sources of choline. Choline has been linked to reducing inflammation and promoting brain function, like maintaining memory and communications between brain cells. Even though eggs are commonly served at breakfast, you can enjoy them at any meal. Try using eggs to make a savoury dinner quiche, or fabulous creamy custard for dessert.
Salmon is commonly known as a great source of protein, but did you know that it was also great for brain health? Fatty fish like salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are critical for brain development and function. In addition to improved brain health, these fatty acids have been associated with lowering the risk of heart disease and arthritis. Salmon can be prepared in a variety of ways. It can be seared and paired with hearty serving of vegetables or added to your favourite pasta dish.
While all berries are beneficial for brain health, blueberries are at the top of the list. They contribute essential nutrients to the body, including vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and phytonutrients. These nutrients help to stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen in the brain, resulting in improved concentration. Evidence suggests that eating a diet containing a variety of vegetables and fruits, such as blueberries, is associated with lower risk of age-related cognitive impairment, dementia and Alzheimer's disease. There are many ways to enjoy this tasty fruit – try adding a handful to your smoothie recipe or pureeing a few berries to make a delicious blueberry chia jam.
Nuts are a great addition to any diet regimen, but the one that contributes most to brain health is walnuts. When compared to other nuts, walnuts offer twice as many antioxidants. They contain an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid that helps to counteract cognitive decline by suppressing inflammation and oxidative stress.
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