Brain is the most vital organ of our body. A complex organ, the brain, controls other organs of the body and performs critical functions like thinking, feeling, remembering and monitoring reflexes among others. This makes it essential to take good care of the brain. The right foods and regular exercise can boost brain health and go a long way in preventing memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other brain ailments. Foods rich in antioxidants, Vitamin-B, Vitamin-E, folates and omega-3 fatty acids improve brain health and delay the onset of such diseases. Here we list the top brain foods which must be consumed to improve and maintain healthy brain.
Blueberries for Brain Health
Blueberries are wonder foods when it comes to brain health. They are rich in antioxidants called flavonoids. These help in increasing the flow of oxygen and blood in the brain, thus keeping the brain cells healthy.
Brain Foods – Salmon
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and docosahexaenoic acid which have been proven to be highly beneficial for brain health. These nutrients help in improving cognitive functions. Protectins are compounds made from docosahexaenoic acid which have anti-inflammatory properties and can help in keeping the brain active and efficient. Omega-3 is also known to decrease the level of stress and depression. Vitamins A and D, amino acids and selenium can improve the health of nervous system. They can also delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson.
Walnuts for the Brain
Walnuts are a rich source of polyphenols and anti-oxidants which help in making the brain efficient. Alpha-linolenic acid found in walnuts helps in protecting the brain cells from oxidative damages. They also help in protecting against oxidative stresses and cell damages caused by beta amyloidal protein. Diseases like Alzheimer’s can be significantly combated by its intake as it restricts the deposition of senile plaque and amyloids in the brain. It is also known to restrict neural death. Melatonin is present in walnut which can alter the electrophysiological processes such as long term potentiation. Walnut also helps in maintaining the cognitive functions like problem solving, reaction time, reasoning and learning.
Avocado for Healthy Brain
Avocados are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help in the development and proper functioning of neural network. Folates in this fruit are known to prevent brain tangles, which is one of the major reasons for diseases like Alzheimer’s. These are even known to increase blood and oxygen supply to the brain. Astrocytes are the brain cells which bolsters information carrying nerves. These cells are activated by MUFA present in avocados.
Wholegrains for Brain
Whole grains provide steady energy, which aids in the proper functioning of the brain. High amount of dietary fibre monitors the amount of glucose supply into the brain. They are rich in Vitamin-E and omega-3 fatty acids, which can make the brain function efficiently without any fatigue. Vitamin-E is associated with the protection of nerve cells.
Brain Foods – Turmeric
The primary causes of Alzheimer’s disease are the formation of beta-amyloid plaques and oxidative stress. Curcumin, a powerful antioxidant present in turmeric, is speculated to work against these factors and thus prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Ongoing research suggests that turmeric supplements may even slow down the progression of dementia. In fact it is widely known that India, where turmeric is regularly consumed, has a low rate of Alzheimer’s disease than most western countries.
Celery for Neural Health
Celery is rich in luteolin. Luteolin aids in decreasing inflammation in the brain. Various neuro disorders and decrease in cognitive functions are caused due to inflammation. Consumption of celery can help in delaying the onset of age related memory loss.
Brain Healthy Foods – Spinach, Kale and Collard
These green leafy vegetables are rich in Vitamin-E and folates. Alpha-tocopherol is a form of Vitamin-E, whose deficiency can cause cognitive impairment. Folates help in lowering the level amino acid, homocysteine. Homocysteine can damage nerve cells, thereby increasing the chances of memory loss.
Brain Foods – Broccoli
Broccoli helps in maintaining brain health. It is a good source of choline, which aids in brain development. It is recommended for pregnant women as it boosts cognitive ability in infants.
Peanuts for Brain
Peanut contains bioflavonoid which helps in improving blood flow in the brain. It is high in niacin which aids in triggering the memory and increases brain activities. Vitamin-B2 present in peanuts has been found to maintain cognitive functions and decreases the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s. Nervous system remains active by the presence of resveratrol which helps in reducing degenerative nerve diseases. Riboflavin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B-6, and folates present in peanuts increase the flow of blood into the brain and play a vital role in improving its health.
Brain Foods – Red Wine
Red wine when consumed in moderate amount helps in boosting memory and brain functions. They have been found to be helpful in preventing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Red wine contains acetylcholine which increases brain functions and increases memory retention.