Don’t forget your brain when you eat. You know, it needs nutrition just like every other part of your body. In fact, you have to pay attention to your brain health as much as you do to your heart health. What are excellent foods for your brain?
1. Whole grains
Just like every part of your body, your brain needs glucose. The best way to provide fuel for your brain is the same as the best way to fuel your body. Eat complex carbohydrates, which provide a steady supply of glucose. Whole grains are the most popular complex carbs. Whole grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, and brown pasta are some examples.
2. Cold water fish
Cold water fish, like salmon, mackerel, herring, trout, and sardines are rich in essential fatty acids and DHA. Essential fatty acids (omega-3 fatty acids) keep your arteries, including those in the brain, healthy by lowering the levels of LDL and bad cholesterol. DHA, on the other hand, is essential for proper cognitive function. People with low DHA tend to suffer from from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive decline.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that protects brain cells against free radicals. Free radicals in the brain tend to hasten damage of brain cells, which increases one’s risk of dementia and cognitive decline.
Eggs are rich in B-complex and choline. B-complex vitamins are necessary for proper nerve health. Your brain is a dense, complex network of nerve cells, which need nourishment for proper functioning. B vitamins also reduce levels of homocysteine. The presence of homocysteine is associated with higher risk of stroke and cognitive impairment. Choline is another component necessary for the production of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.
Blueberries are called superfoods, and one of the reasons why is because of their antioxidant content. Your brain needs antioxidants to fend off free radicals that hasten the development of cognitive impairment and dementia. Blueberries help keep oxidative stress in the brain at bay.
6. Nuts and seeds
Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flaxseed have a few things in common. They have essential fatty acids and Vitamin E. You know what essential fatty acids does to your body. They keep bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels down, thus keeping your arteries healthy. Healthy arteries mean a healthy brain. Vitamin E, on the other hand, slows down cognitive decline. You won’t go nuts with nuts!
Although avocado is rich in fat, it’s monounsaturated fat! It’s the type of fat that your body needs. Monounsaturated fat is good for your cardiovascular health. Anything that’s good for your cardiovascular system and heart is also good for your brain. The avocado has components that help lower the blood pressure. Chronic hypertension is a factor that contributes to cognitive decline.
8. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is the only type of chocolate that is rich in antioxidants, which as we have mentioned earlier help protect the brain from free radical damage.