Food for thought: 12 Foods to boost brain power

Food for thought: 12 Foods to boost brain power

Advertisement Believe it or not, the foods we eat can also have a big impact on the structure and overall health of our brains. Without “feeding” the brain adequate nutrients, we put ourselves at risk of premature cognitive decline and irreversible neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

Looking to take a more proactive approach to brain health? Incorporate the following brain-boosting foods into a balanced diet and watch the magic happen. Almond butter

Plant-based foods like almond butter boast a more impressive nutrition profile than their non-organic counterparts. Almond butter, in particular, is an excellent source of vitamin E , a powerful antioxidant that protects against inflammation and cellular damage in the brain. In addition, almonds contain high levels of magnesium and potassium, both of which are linked to better brain function. Avocado

Avocados are an excellent plant-based source of omega-3 oils that reduce inflammation in the brain. Avocados are also rich in folate, an essential B vitamin that prevents the abnormal buildup of proteins in the brain thought to trigger dementia. Walnut

Most nuts, in general, make for excellent brain-boosting snacks. But walnuts are among the few hailed for their high alpha- linolenic acid (ALA) content. ALA is known to protect brain cells from cellular damage and inflammation due to free radicals, thus reducing the risk of brain conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and stroke. Butternut squash

As a general rule, bright fruits and vegetables are good for brain health. One reason for this is because the pigments in these foods also act as antioxidants. Take the carotenoids in butternut squash, for instance. These plant compounds, which are also found in carrots and oranges, help minimize oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain. Berries

If orange foods have carotenoids, berries have anthocyanins. These water-soluble plant compounds are responsible for the red, purple, blue and black colors of berries. Apart from their antioxidant effects, anthocyanins also help maintain brain functions over time. Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts contain bioactive plant compounds known as glucosinolates. These compounds protect against oxidative stress, thus minimizing the risk of dementia. Cruciferous vegetables are also chock-full of brain-boosting nutrients including potassium, folate and vitamin C. Halibut

Lean fishes like halibut make for excellent brain-boosting foods. Halibut is rich in vitamin D, an essential micronutrient involved in brain health. Vitamin B12, a B complex vitamin associated with memory, can also only be found in animal products like fish and eggs. Beans

Regular consumption of beans also supports overall brain health. Beans are rich in brain-boosting B complex vitamins like folate and vitamin B6. In particular, vitamin B6 is crucial for proper brain development in children and better brain functions in adults. Turmeric

Curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric , has been linked to brain health and improved cognitive functions thanks to its antioxidant effects. Besides preventing inflammation, curcumin also eliminates plaque in the brain that can lead to dementia. Whole grains

Whole grains like oats and quinoa are loaded with essential B complex vitamins that work to minimize inflammation in the brain. B complex vitamins have also been linked to better memory and a lower risk of cognitive decline. Green tea

A warm cup of green tea can do more than just calm the nerves and improve mood. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the main active ingredient in green tea, is a potent antioxidant known to promote overall brain health. Green tea is also an excellent source of L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation and regulates sleep. Coffee

When consumed in moderation, coffee promotes protective effects against cognitive decline. Caffeine, the natural stimulant in coffee, keeps brain cells active, thus improving mental performance including alertness and concentration. Take care not to drink too much coffee to avoid high blood pressure and insomnia.

Snack on these brain-boosting foods to improve brain functions and prevent dementia.

Read more articles about dementia prevention and other brain-boosting foods at Brain.news .

Sources:

GoodHousekeeping.com

ScienceDirect.com

Read more at www.food.news

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