Our brain health is a topic of growing importance. In this article, learn about five brain healthy foods and their beneficial effects on our cognitive abilities.
Following four top-five food lists, we’ve rounded up five ways to eat brain health-supporting foods:
Research shows flaxseed oil can protect the brain from age-related cognitive decline. Read about why more people are choosing to fuel their brains with this heart-healthy plant oil and how it may aid concentration, mood regulation and mood elevation.
The valuable anti-inflammatory properties found in blueberries (Berry), plums (Pearson), mandarin oranges (Mendocino) and broccoli (Miranda) can benefit cognitive function. Read about how a diet high in these colourful fruits and veggies may open up your brain’s doors to potential health benefits.
The beneficial effects of cranberries (Cranberries) have been substantiated in numerous studies and seen in clinical trials; in particular, cranberry juice has been shown to reverse oxidative stress in the brain. Try using it in your morning smoothie or in your post-workout recovery drink to support your ability to focus.
Health Benefits of 5 types of Brain Healthy Foods
Now that you’re filling your brain with the five top-performing foods for brain health, you’ll have no choice but to get on board to support the health of your brain. Aim to lunch a half hour before bed to consume a meal that supports sleep quality and brain health.
Here are a few ideas to get your five days of eating brain healthy foods started:
- Herbs and spices like turmeric and ginger have been reported to have significant brain health benefits. Turmeric can enhance the effectiveness of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or drugs used to treat depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
- Get more information on how spices like turmeric can help improve how your brain works — and how you feel.
- The sugar found in bananas (Unfortunately), may contribute to brain ageing. However, for cognitive health, it’s important to consume the fruit in moderation. Bananas, instead of being consumed before bed, can be enjoyed in mid-morning or late afternoon to promote waking up and healthy brain function.
When eaten daily, aminos, or naturally-occurring omega-3 fatty acids, play a special role in brain health. A study on mice, published in The Lancet, found obese Zucker rats fed a high-fat, omega-6-heavy diet had decreased blood brain levels of an important second messenger, Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
Headaches and cognitive decline are two likely issues associated with sluggish brain function. Instead of skipping the fats or cutting back on your intake too much, go ahead and add 25–35 grams (half a cup) of flaxseed oil into your diet daily.
Several studies have noted the connection between celery juice (Zinfandel) and its ability to improve concentration and decrease stress.
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The brain’s billions of nerve cells make trillions of connections with each other. These are called synapses. These chemical signals are carried by specific messenger substances called neurotransmitters (or simply “transmitters”).
Hunger and Depression
The ability to make decisions and solve complex problems is a hallmark of healthy brain function. Getting support for this critical brain function is essential for every brain health practitioner, as well as patients and their loved ones.
Appetite could speak for hunger, lack of energy or sadness. If you feel continually hungry, respond by eating some brain healthy foods. If you are constantly sad, start a positive habit of smiling, singing happy songs or getting some exercise. It’s OK to feel negative at times, life events, stressors and imbalances are normal reactions to health issues and can—and should—be dealt with.
Eating brain healthy foods helps protect the brain from harmful toxins (such as alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and heavy metals) as well as promoting sleep, learning, memory and mood. Notably, a lack of chewing creates anxiety.
Dehydration and hunger also impact cognitive abilities. Consuming water is vital for cognitive function, and drinking carbs within 45 minutes of your desired diet can help promote hydration and promote brain health. A low-carbohydrate intake can also change hunger signals, causing you to feel hungrier if you are already feeling full, and may cause you to break your meal into several smaller ones.
We know happiness and well-being are tied to our brains. What’s more, being happier and having a more positive personality impacts brain health by improving our cognitive abilities. Mindfulness meditation, exercise and goal-setting help improve your mood and performance.
Focus & Energy (Supplement)
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Why we need Brain Health
Precious cognitive resources like grey matter are vital in their ability to solve problems, learn from experience and make intelligent decisions.
Unfortunately, a good percentage of the brain’s total volume is lacking. This is particularly detrimental to the ability to learn, remember and generate new skills, among other responsibilities.
Fortunately, some foods can actually help out. Recent research identifies five brain-healthy foods and their effects on cognitive functioning.
Quick note: Functional foods are food products that help support and promote brain health. Symptoms (for example, specific learning, memory and cognitive decline) associated with functional foods typically do not imply nutritional deficiencies.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of anthocyanins, a type of polyphenol that protects brain cells from oxidative damage. The compounds are also believed to improve neurotransmission, cellular survival and cognition among other advantages.
The Health Benefits of Brain Friendly Foods
The combination of fibre, antioxidants and carbs have lots of punch for boosting your brain health.
Chia seeds contain omega-3 fats that help improve cognitive functioning, reduce depression, influence inflammation and build brain cells. They’re also chock-full of magnesium that reduces inflammation and depression-like symptoms.
They have also been shown to reduce the risk of dementia by helping maintain blood pressure. And reducing inflammation in the brain.
Are you a fan of nuts yet? Opt for one of their delicious flavours like chai or tahini. To truly make your brain feel like it’s on vacation. Like sweet potatoes, pomegranate seeds are rich in antioxidants. And, like sweet potatoes, they contain tryptophan, an amino acid that is thought to improve cognition.
One interesting study noted that pomegranate juice actually enhances specific cognitive abilities. Such as information extraction and visualizing objects. Leading researchers to speculate that pomegranate juice could be effective in preventing cognitive decline in ageing populations.
In addition to having tons of benefits for promoting brain health, tart cherries might just be the best natural source of vitamin C available today. In a small study of three women with mild cognitive impairment, drinking tart cherry juice for a month boosted their cognitive abilities.
Finally, acerola root is loaded with vitamin C and protein, boosting the health of your brain and even helping decrease stress hormones.
Certain foods possess brain-friendly attributes while other foods are decidedly less so.