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15 Foods to Boost Brain Health and Memory

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Helping Brain Function in Adults and Children through Healthy Eating

Taking responsibility for your own health involves so many different considerations. You’ll need to consider the physical body, the brain, and your mental health. Cognitive decline can occur naturally with age, yet you can do things to boost your cognitive health and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Your diet is the key to your brain health, so let’s explore a few of the best foods to boost cognitive health.

Mediterranean Diet, low carbs, high protein, there are just so many types of diets to choose from. Additionally, when you begin to add in the plethora of vitamins and supplements, you can get overwhelmed.

So for this article, we will be focusing on foods to help you have a better cognitive function. There are many reasons to make sure you eat healthy for your brain. First, if you eat a brain-boosting diet, your children are more likely to eat that way too. If you are trying to help your child on the autism spectrum, a diet rich in the following foods can tremendously impact their lives. So, what types of foods should you eat and feed your family?

Healthy foods can boost brain healthy and memory.

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Here are some of the Best Foods to Boost Your Brain Health:

1 . Fish

Fish is widely regarded as one of the best foods for cognitive health. Oily fish have oils in the soft tissues. Their filets contain up to 30% oil. In addition to playing an important role in brain health, eating these fish has also been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, decreased memory loss, and protection from cancers.

Fatty fish include albacore tuna, trout, mackerel, sardines, and salmon and are all packed with omega 3. The brain needs omega-3 to develop nerve and brain cells, supporting both learning and memory. Studies have indicated that omega-3 can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, and slow down mental decline, due to age. It is better to eat fatty fish than take an omega-3 supplement.

Unless you consume enough omega-3, you may be more prone to depression since these fatty acids are also helpful to boost your mood. Those who eat fish regularly may also have improved memory skills.

2. Blueberries

Eating blueberries has plenty of different health benefits. Berries contain anthocyanins. These plant compounds have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants can help to protect us against inflammation and oxidative stress. Both of these things can lead to neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive aging. Antioxidants are also useful to support brain cell communication. Some studies have shown that blueberries can help protect the body against DNA damage, which can lead to cancer.

Furthermore, blueberries also boost your heart health and help lower high blood pressure!

3. Turmeric 

Turmeric is a tasty spice that is often added to curries. The active ingredient is curcumin, and studies show that this ingredient can enter the brain directly. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant, and it’s also an excellent inflammatory. Research has shown that turmeric can be helpful to boost memory and ease depressive symptoms. Tumeric can also support the brain to grow new cells and may be useful to ease mental decline caused by age.

A recent study shows curcumin crosses the blood-brain barrier and may be useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Herbs for brain health

To boost your brain health, there are plenty of herbs that can be useful. A few of the best mental clarity supplements and herbs include Ginkgo and Bacopa. Ginkgo is derived from the Ginkgo Biloba tree. The tree is native to Korea, Japan, and China. The supplement can help improve memory, and it can also aid blood circulation by opening up blood vessels and making blood less sticky.

Bacopa is one of the most popular herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. According to a study in Healthline, ‘Bacopa monnieri may help to enhance brain function.’ The herb has been associated with several other health benefits, including reducing inflammation and easing the symptoms of anxiety. If you regularly experience anxiety or low mood, other useful herbals include valerian, passionflower, or St John’s Wort.

5. Eggs

Eggs contain high levels of B vitamins, including B12 and vitamin B6, according to Medical News Today, these vitamins are useful to reduce cognitive decline and brain shrinkage. Egg yolks contain choline, which helps to aid brain cell communication and boost memory. Eating eggs can also help to boost your mood since eggs contain high levels of tryptophan.

6. Kale

Kale is one of the most nutritious veggies you can eat. Leafy greens are great for your health, and kale is especially loaded with manganese, vitamin C, A, and K. Vitamin K is great for brain health, according to a PubMed study, this vitamin offers protection from inflammation and oxidative stress. Kale also contains B6, folate, and iron. These all are useful to produce molecules such as dopamine and serotonin.

In addition, late helps remove free radicals from your body. If these toxins build-up, this can lead to cell damage and a whole host of other problems.

7. Spinach

Another green leafy vegetable that is great for you is spinach. Spinach provides you with essential nutrients and is full of folate, vitamin K, and vitamin E; these are useful to aid memory function. This leafy green also contains powerful antioxidants such as carotene and lutein. According to research from Insider, spinach has anti-stress properties, which can reduce depression and prevent structural damage. There are many other overall health benefits of eating spinach, including improved hydration, reduced risk of osteoporosis, and a stronger immune system.

Evidence from the MIND diet, which is the Mediterranean diet combined with the DASH diet, identifies leafy greens as top brain foods. Spinach appears to offer brain protection and wards off dementia in older adults.

 8. Green tea 

Green tea is just about one of the healthiest beverages that you can consume. Studies show that L-theanine and caffeine can help to improve attention and memory skills. These ingredients are also useful to boost the mood and ease stress symptoms. Research from the National Library Of Medicine concluded that green tea is helpful to improve brain function and reduce the symptoms of anxiety.

Research shows that it is the L-theanine and caffeine working together that produce better brain function.

9. Nuts

According to research from Science Daily, ‘Eating nuts regularly strengthens brainwave frequencies associated with cognition, healing, learning, memory, and other key brain functions.’ Nuts contain vitamin E, and studies show that this vitamin is associated with less risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Hazelnuts and almonds have a high level of vitamin E. It’s also a good idea to include walnuts in your diet as these nuts have a high omega 3 content.

10. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are loaded with carotenoids, which have been shown to enhance memory and cognitive function. One of these nutrients is called lycopene (found inside tomato skins). The ingredient protects the body from inflammation, reduces depression, and lifts your spirits. Tomatoes are super versatile and can make many tasty dishes, from soups to stuffed tomatoes and pasta-based dishes.

Additional Foods that Boost Brain Health and Memory

11. Olive Oil

Olive oil is the fruit of the olive tree. It is high in the fatty acid called oleic acid. A large study showed that olive oil reduced stroke and heart disease. It is believed that olive oil helps your gut which in turn helps your brain. Olive oil is a definite food to include for anyone with an aging brain.

12. Dark Chocolate

Recent studies show that dark chocolate improves blood flow to the brain. Cocoa may significantly increase cognitive function in older adults and improve verbal fluency.

13. Grass-Fed Beef

Protein helps create pathways of communication in the brain. Furthermore, healthy red meat in moderation helps you to feel more alert and helps mental function. Iron is essential for a healthy brain. Grass-fed beef contains high levels of bioavailable iron that is easily absorbed into the bloodstream.

14. Seeds – Chia Seeds and Pumpkin Seeds

Chia seeds are loaded with nutrients that help boost overall brain health. They are a high-quality protein and are a pre-and probiotic, which means they feed the healthy bacteria in the gut. Ultimately, this means they help the brain. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, zinc, copper, and iron, which are important for brain health.

15. Avocados

Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats and may reduce blood pressure. High blood pressure has been linked with cognitive decline.

How else can I improve my cognitive health?

Eating the right foods isn’t the only way to improve your cognitive health. There are many other things that you can do. To keep your brain healthy, it’s important to practice lots of mentally stimulating activities. You might try reading, maths games, learning a language, working crossword puzzles, or even arts and crafts.

Physical activity is also linked to the health of your brain. According to Harvard Health, 

‘Exercise spurs the development of new nerve cells and increases the connections between brain cells (synapses).’ The effect is that your brain is more adaptive and plastic, helping to aid brain performance.

With the right diet and preventative measures, you’ll be able to support the health of your brain. As we age, this becomes increasingly important. Using these ideas and tips, it’s simple to create a healthy diet plan for your brain. There are plenty of tasty ingredients here to make lots of healthy family meals.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS

One day researchers may find help for Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases such as autism. Both Alzheimer’s and autism show memory deficits, cognition changes, and inflammation. Researchers are looking at the link between the two, and there is compelling evidence that an overlap exists. We are a long way from finding cures for Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders, but eating healthy foods, taking supplements, and boosting brain health can slow the progression of dementia and may help some autistic children!

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