The thought of losing our memory, not being able to recognize our loved ones, forgetting our histories, down to simple things such as taking care of our own hygiene, is scary. Yet, that is happening to more than 5 million people in North America who suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease.
Forgetfulness starts so subtly, like not remembering what we ate for lunch. Or, where we left the house keys, and gradually takes over in more serious matters, and eventually robs the victims of the brain’s ability to function.
Many studies have been done on whether there is any correlation between diet and the brain function. The results are promising, that there might be help after all: by reducing free radicals in the body. Foods high in antioxidants and that are anti-inflammatory are listed as the most important and beneficial for helping to boost brain power.
For example, a few studies found that fatty fish have high content of omega-3 fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory, and helps neutralize free radicals that attack the brain.
Top Brain Foods
So, what foods are integral to the health of your brain? Researches show that the following foods are beneficial for a brain health-friendly diet:
- High Protein Fish: If you like seafood, you’re in luck. Studies have found that oily fish is a huge booster of brain power; in particular, cold water fish like tuna, mackerel, salmon and sardines. All of these fish are chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital to the health of your brain.
- Turmeric powder: Turmeric powder (not just curry powder which contains only a small amount of turmeric powder) is a common culinary spice used in Indian cuisines that contains an anti-inflammatory antioxidant curcumin. It is a potent neuroprotective agent that protects from a wide range of neurological disorders. Curcumin has been shown to be effective in boosting memory and stimulate the production of new brain cells.
- Leafy greens: Remember all of those green things your mom told you to eat when you were a kid? In particular, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, Swiss chard and Brussels sprouts are jam-packed with key nutrients that will keep your brain healthy. They are nutrient-powerhouse, packed with vitamin C and carotenoids (plant compounds) that help to boost your brain power, as well as protect it from wear and tear. Learn how to make tasty green juices to increase your greens intake.
- Coconut oil: When your body converts fat from coconut oil into energy, it produces ketones that are released into your bloodstream and transport them to the brain to be used as fuel.This “fuel” helps restore and renew neurons and nerve function, reversing even damages in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s patients. Besides that, coconut oil is also very potent for healing of the gut, and gut health is directly linked to our brain health.
- Avocado: You may have heard that avocados are bad for you because they are high in fats. In reality, avocados are high in the right kind of healthy, healing fats that are essential for the health of the neurotransmitters in your brain, thus a booster for your memory and mental performance.
- Banana: Banana might be the first thing you think of when we talk about brain food, and it is too! Banana contains tryptophan that helps elevate our mood by stimulating serotonin production. Serotonin keeps our mood steady and bright by eliminating foggy and depressive tendencies.
- Walnuts: Walnuts look like our brain and has long been known as a brain food. They are a good source of plant-based omega-3 fats that have natural phytosterols and antioxidants that may play a role in reversing brain-aging, boost brain function and healing.
- Garbanzo beans (chickpeas): Chickpeas are one of the best food sources of magnesium that is necessary for our brain health. They help neurotransmitters improve the speed of transmission of messages, relax blood vessels, allowing easy blood flow that supplies oxygen to the brain for mental clarity. So, include hummus regularly in your diet!
- Dark chocolate: If you’re a chocolate lover, you’re going to love this news: Science has determined that chocolate, the dark variety in particular, provides exceptional benefits for your brain power. Dark chocolate is as beneficial for the brain as apples, grapes and onions.
- Berries: Add more blueberries and raspberries to your diet. They are loaded with antioxidants that fight free radicals and help protect your brain from the normal wear-and-tear that occurs over the years.
Next to your heart, your brain is the most vital component of your body. Keep it healthy and happy, and boost your memory, by adding these valuable foods to your diet.