The human brain is a delicate yet highly complex organ which controls and performs extremely significant functions. It is of utmost importance to keep it in a good shape through proper nutrition for the brain. Research has shown that you can sharpen up your memory, enhance your thinking power and make your mind more alert by taking care of your brain’s nutritional needs. It is also possible to avoid degenerative diseases, such as the Alzheimer’s disease by eating right.
Read on to find out about the top nutrition for the brain and where to find them.
List of Necessary Nutrition for The Brain
This important vitamin is well-known for its powerful antioxidant characteristics. It is most popularly used in supplements and skin care products for slowing down aging. A vitamin E night cream for face might ring a bell for women. Apart from its topical use, however, it is also beneficial when consumed through natural foods. Owing to its antioxidant properties, vitamin E can protect brain cells against free-radicals which can lead to age-related damage. Therefore, it can prove to be beneficial at preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
You can nourish your brain cells with vitamin E by consuming the following foods.
- Salad dressings which are based on vegetable oil are rich in vitamin E. Enjoy the health benefits of fresh foods with savory salad dressings.
- A handful of crunchy peanuts can satisfy your mid-day cravings and supply you with a good dose of vitamin E at the same time. You can also enjoy a peanut butter sandwich for this purpose.
- Cook your food using extra virgin olive oil which is one of the best sources of vitamin E.
- Munch on a handful of assorted nuts as a mid-day snack. Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and other types of nuts contain a good amount of vitamin E for your brain.
- Not everyone is fond of it, but only half a cup of cooked spinach can provide you with twenty-five percent of your daily vitamin E requirements.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
There are some important nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, which the body is unable to produce. These must be obtained from external sources. Research has linked low levels of this nutrient to memory loss and vulnerability to the Alzheimer’s disease. So, keep replenishing your stores of omega-3 through the following brain boosting foods.
- Oily fish, such as salmon, herring, trout and sardines make a delicious meal. Grilled or oven-baked, the fish serves as a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Substitute your ordinary cooking oil with one of these rich sources of omega-3 – flaxseed oil, walnut oil and soy bean oil.
- Sprinkle some pumpkin seeds or flaxseeds over your morning cereal. This can boost your store of omega-3.
A fiber-rich diet is not only good for the heart and the circulatory system, but it can also prove to be extremely beneficial for the brain. A research carried out at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York has linked a fiber-rich diet with a lower risk of cognitive impairment. The latter condition can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, fiber must be a considerable part of your daily diet. You can find it through the following foods.
- Instead of reaching out for a packet of potato crisps, turn to assorted nuts for munching. Almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, walnuts and other types of nuts are low in calories and high in fiber.
- Begin your day with a highly fibrous meal. Your options include wholegrain bread, oatmeal or other types of whole grain cereals.
- Bananas can satisfy your sweet tooth along with providing you with a high content of fiber.
- Eat fresh salads which include fibrous vegetables like carrots, cucumber and cabbage.
The mineral is essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin – an important component of your blood which helps in the circulation of oxygen throughout the body, including the brain cells. Therefore, iron can help your mind stay alert and focus better.
Obtain iron through the following sources.
- Organ meat, like liver, comes loaded with iron as well as other vital minerals and vitamins.
- A cup of chickpeas provides 5 milligrams of the mineral. This low calorie food is also rich in fiber and makes a filling snack.
- Enjoy oysters as a delicacy every once in a while. One medium sized oyster can provide between 3 to 5 milligrams of iron.
- Make beans and pulses a part of your everyday diet. Not only do these deliver lots of fiber but also plenty of iron.
- Treat yourself with a bar of chocolate. A 100 grams bar can provide 17 milligrams of iron.
The right nutrition for the brain can help in boosting cognitive function. Vitamin K is one of such nutrients. Studies have linked it with an enhanced brain power.
The following foods provide high amounts of vitamin K.
- Nobody is fond of a serving of broccoli at lunch time. But if you want to boost your brain power, this green vegetable must be a part of your meals.
- Give your chicken, salads or other foods a flavorful twist by sprinkling some herbs over them. Dried coriander, basil, dried thyme and parsley are all high in vitamin K.
- Do you like your food to be spicy? The good news for you is that hot spices like red chili powder and cyanine pepper can also provide you with vitamin K. However, do not go overboard with your spices.
- Cooked asparagus is also a good source of the vitamin.
Some of you might not be aware of the term “neurotransmitters”. It is not actually a nutrient. In fact, they are special chemicals which help nerve cells in performing their function. A well-maintained balance of neurotransmitters can help in preventing several mental disorders. Precursors, on the other hand, are nutrients which help in the synthesis of these important chemicals. You can obtain them through the following food substances.
- Aspartic acid is an amino acid which synthesizes aspartate neurotransmitter. You can find it in eggs, a variety of grains, potatoes and peanuts.
- Choline produces acetylcholine. It can be obtained by consuming soybeans, chicken liver as well as eggs.
- Phenylalanine is another amino acid which produces dopamine – a chemical controlling many functions like behavior, memory, mood and learning. The precursor is found in eggs, meat, soybeans and various grains.
- Another significant neurotransmitter, serotonin is produced by the amino acid tryptophan. It is found in dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese.
- Tyrosine makes the important chemical norepinephrine – a neurotransmitter linked to proper heart function. Its precursor can be obtained by consuming fish, meat and legumes.
This is how the right nutrition for the brain can lead you towards an enhanced brain power, sharper memory and better thinking skills. Prevent memory loss and degenerative brain diseases in your old age by giving your brain all the necessary nutrients.