The brain, which accounts for 2 percent of our body weight, consumes roughly 20 percent of our daily calories. It requires nutrients just like our heart or muscles do. But it is a picky eater, not every food that we consume is good for it.
The following 10 foods are superfoods for the “supervisor” in our body. They will help you to protect your brain against degeneration, nourish your neurons and even boost the production of neurotransmitters.
Salmon, tuna, mackerel and other fish are rich in omega–3 fatty acids including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and your brain just loves them. They are very important in cognitive functions. These fatty acids have the potential to improve communication between brain cells, which, in turn, ensures better overall brain health. According to University of Pittsburgh research, adults under age 25 who increased their omega-3 intake over six months improved their scores on tests measuring working memory.
These dark blue balls are rich in vitamins and antioxidants that strengthen the brain. Regular consumption of these healthy fruits increases memory power, and their antioxidants eliminate free radicals and reduce oxidative stress that affects the brain. “Brainberries” is what Steven Pratt, MD, author of Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life, calls these fruits.
A Harvard study published last year in the journal Annals of Neurology found that women who reported eating more blueberries and strawberries were likely to have less-rapid cognitive decline than those who ate fewer of the fruits. (The research was partially funded by the California Strawberry Commission.)
Avocados are almost as good as blueberries in promoting brain health. According to Ann Kulze, MD, author of Ann’s 10-Step diet: a simple plan for permanent weight loss & lifelong vitality, these amazing fruit is rich in monounsaturated fat that contributes to healthy flow in the brain.
Enriched with vitamin C, vitamin K, and choline, broccoli is a super food for the brain. While choline is essential for maintaining healthy neurotransmitters and increases memory power, vitamin K boosts cognitive power, and thus delay the dementias associated with aging.
Blessed with a cradle full of Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega-6 fatty acids, folic acid, vitamin E and vitamin B6; nuts-walnuts, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts etc.-boost your brain on a major scale. Vitamin E helps delay memory loss associated with aging and the presence of essential fatty acids provide better circulation, thus providing better health for the brain.
Originally chocolates were made from cocoa, but today you can find only traces of this compound in milk chocolate. However, dark chocolate is a good source of cocoa. Studies conducted on cocoa benefits for the brain suggest that these dark brown grains can actually help prevent cognitive decline and dementia.
7. Pumpkin seeds
They are powerhouses of zinc, a mineral that boosts memory. Along with adding enough energy to the brain, zinc plays a major role in the overall health of the brain. A handful of pumpkin seeds a day prevent brain damage.
8. Flax seed
Flax is a good source of omega-3 fatty-acids, which help in the production and protection of neurons. It also contains AA and GLA-Members of Omega 6 fatty acids. They can help in the development of neurons and regulate the functioning of the brain. Regular use of 1-2 teaspoons of seeds per day is beneficial to improve the overall health of the brain.
Eggs are rich in choline-a basic nutritional substance. This nutrient plays an important role in maintaining a healthy brain. Including eggs in your diet can help you in getting the recommended daily intake of choline. Eggs also contain cholesterol, which is essential for maintaining healthy neurons. The presence of DHA in eggs allows better communication between neurons.
Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene. This antioxidant fights free radicals and eliminates them from the body, thus preventing brain damage. It is good for the overall brain health and is a safeguard against memory loss and other adverse conditions, such as Alzheimer’s syndrome.