A healthy brain plays a pivotal role in maintaining our overall physical health. The brain is responsible for storing information and controlling all bodily functions. At times most of us may neglect our mental health over physical well-being.
When we are young, we don’t consider memory lapses dangerous. Things forgetting your keys or not being able to recall what did you need from the fridge, are ordinary incidents that may occur with any of us even when we’re as young as 20. As we grow old, the same episodes that we once took for granted get us worried. Well, they should, because one new case of dementia is recorded every 4 seconds in the world!
Dementia—Memory Loss Isn’t Okay
Dementia is a harmful disease as it affects mental health, and people begin to forget things. This forgetfulness may cause more damage than we can think of and thus eventually requires medical attention. Not just that, but it becomes frustrating for a person when they cannot recall something during a conversation, or have trouble remembering things as ordinary as daily chores.
A significant problem is the assumption that the brain function worsens with age. Your brain may lose its acuity, and the abilities may decline, but excessive memory loss isn’t okay. You need to check with the doctor right away if you feel your brain activity is deteriorating and you have become extremely forgetful.
Causes of Memory Loss with Age
The hippocampus is a part of the brain that forms and retrieves memories, as we age it gradually deteriorates. The hormones responsible for neural growth also weaken, and the circulation of blood to the brain may also decrease. These are the primary causes of forgetfulness and waning brain power.
Can We Improve Our Brain Power Naturally?
Well yes, brain power can be increased by making few lifestyle changes. There are various methods to boost your memory such as exercising, or changing your eating habits. Exercise can aid in improving blood flow to the brain. It also lowers insulin resistance and inflammation; research shows that specific workouts may even increase the size of the hippocampus.
Now let’s talk about the role of food in improving memory and focus. Of course, eating a diet consisting of essential nutrients is crucial for our brain.
Omega 3 is one such nutrient that is known for improving cognitive functions. Other foods that help improve concentration are eggs, and plant-based foods that are high in antioxidants content. These foods help stimulate the release of feel-good chemicals.
So, how do we incorporate such foods into our diet to reap the maximum goodness out of them? A simple and effective method is making nutritious drinks and juices. They aren’t just beneficial for performing juice cleanses for weight loss. They can be quickly prepared and are useful for strengthening and improving cognitive functions.
6 Super Brain-Booster Drinks
1. Beetroot Juice
Beetroot contains nutrients including folate, magnesium, iron and vitamin C. It is favorable for health due to the high content of nitric oxide. The nitrate gases convert into nitrites that help improve blood flow to the brain.
An experiment was conducted to authenticate this characteristic of beets. Several people were made to drink beetroot juice, and their brains were scanned before and after the intake of the beverage. The scans revealed that after drinking the juice, the blood circulation improved to the white matter in the frontal lobes.
2. Carrot Juice
The superfood contains various nutrients that support mental health and cognitive functions. Carrots are rich in potassium which encourages normal functioning of the brain thereby preventing stroke. It is also an excellent source of beta-carotene, a substance known for boosting brain power.
Research indicates that oxidative stress links to the decline of cognitive functions and deterioration of the brain. Beta-carotene was shown to reduce oxidative stress hence improving brain function.
Like tea, cocoa also contains flavonols that help reduce blood pressure, thereby lowering the risk of stroke. They guard the cells against damage and improve circulation to the brain.
The flavonols in cocoa are known for enhancing attention and boosting the memory. A study disclosed that individuals who consumed cocoa on a daily basis felt a noticeable improvement in their thinking skills. Confused about which chocolate to choose? Well, dark chocolate has a higher content of flavonols, so that is what you need to buy to make the delicious cup of hot chocolate.
4. Green Tea
Green tea was found to be fruitful for brain cognition. Research conducted in China among older adults revealed that those who had at least one cup of green tea daily had lower chances of cognitive dysfunction. Green tea contains both antioxidants and flavonoids; it also protects you from the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The catechins found in green tea have proved to prevent cognitive deterioration and enhance brain activity. Tea also contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a compound that safeguards the neurons against damage due to age. Regular consumption of green tea may also reduce the risk of dementia.
5. Berry Smoothies
What is better than a glass of a delicious smoothie for breakfast that benefits your mental activity? Berries contain flavonoids and the chemical anthocyanins that repair the damage caused due to inflammatory mediators.
They may also prevent the loss of memory due to aging. Berries enhance the functioning and creation of neurons. These are also fantastic for protection against dementia as they reduce oxidative stress and protect the veins and arteries from clogging.
6. Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate is a powerhouse packed with antioxidants, phytochemicals and other compounds that are beneficial for mental health. Antioxidants are useful because they protect the cells from free radical damage.
Studies have proven that pomegranate juice can also safeguard you against Alzheimer’s disease. In an experiment, mice that displayed symptoms similar to that of Alzheimer’s were given pomegranate juice. They were then assigned a task to navigate a maze; results showed that they were able to find their way to the maze quickly.
Author: Kelly Newman is a Fitness Trainer and blogger. She loves to write about everything related to fitness and diet and wants to help people adopt a healthier lifestyle. She works with the team behind Health Listed and does extensive research to provide people actionable health and nutrition information.