Nowadays, people are more conscious about their health. It may be because of their busy lives that they tend to take themselves for granted. Perhaps, the need to do more and create a more exciting life gets in the way of actually focusing on what’s truly essential.
One of the most important aspects of your wellbeing is mental health. It is the “driver” of your body, and not taking care of it could threaten how you live your life.
Just like any other part of the body, the brain is a muscle that requires a certain level of exercise and a balanced nutrition.
Studies have shown that regular mental exercises can lead to better processing of information, stronger memory, and improved overall brain functions. On the other hand, ensuring that you eat foods that help your brain become healthier can make it function much better.
Let’s map out the best foods that can make your brain more powerful. Go back to basics with the three basic food classifications – Go, Grow, and Glow – and learn which food best works for your brain.
Go for Go Foods
Giving you the energy you need to live life every day, Go Foods are packed with fats and carbohydrates. Since your brain needs energy to focus on the tasks you set for yourself, you need this type of food on a regular basis.
What you want to munch as much as you can are whole grains. They pack a lot of energy to give you a constant supply of energy for your daily mental activities. The body processes these carbohydrates and turns them into glucose. In turn, glucose then goes to your blood, which then circulates throughout your body.
To make sure that the Go Foods you eat are utilized by your body properly, go for the unrefined carbohydrates or those that are still in their natural state such as brown rice, wheat bread, and whole grain cereals. This allows a gradual release of glucose into your bloodstream, making you more energized and allows you to function better throughout the day.
Grow your Mind and Body
As its name implies, Grow Foods help you physiologically grow and develop into one properly functioning machine. Your body needs to have tough muscles to endure the constant strain they have to go through with their endless use. Whether you have a lot of physical or mental activities, you need to make sure that the muscles you need to perform are well developed.
This is the reason why you need protein. Foods rich in protein help build any type of muscles. When it is reduced to amino acids, the tissues in your body is fortified.
Aside from the amino acids in Grow Foods, your brain would want omega-3 fatty acids. With their Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), these essential fatty acids pave the way for better brain health by improving your memory and general brain function.
Studies have inferred that if you have higher levels of DHA in your blood, your brain can function much more effectively than without. As such, experts advise to regularly eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like algae and “oily” fish like salmon, sardines and bluefin tuna.
You can substitute your usual meat with these cold-water fish a few times or every week to accumulate enough essential fatty acids and raise the level of DHA in your body. What you can do is prepare them “healthily” to get the most out of their flavor and health benefits. Whether you go for baked, grilled, or steamed, your salmon, tuna, and sardines can give your brain the mental power boost that it needs.
If you find it too much of a challenge to eat fish, you may want to consider other healthy alternatives such as taking food supplements. You can get omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil capsules, and microalgae supplements. You can also opt for multivitamins and mineral complex supplements. Check various resources like SupplementYouNeed.com to get the best supplements for you. Plus, discuss your supplementation plans with your general physician or qualified healthcare professional to make sure you know which ones best suit you.
Aside from essential acids, you would also want certain nutrients that can equip your brain to handle any daily challenges. Look for foods that are high in Choline and Vitamin E.
Eggs are high in choline. They are perfect source of choline which the body uses to make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that has been found to help strengthen memory and inter & intra brain cell communication.
On the other hand, nuts such as walnuts can provide substantial amounts of Vitamin E per serving. On top of its healthy effect on your heart, eating walnuts on a regular basis can help supply the body with antioxidant that can prevent cognitive decline, especially for older people. Doing so can lower the risk of you getting Alzheimer’s Disease.
Generally, Glow Foods aid in keeping your body free from diseases by providing vitamins and minerals. As you have learned from your basic education, these foods include fruits and vegetables.
There’s a lot of fruits that are good for your brain. One of the best fruits for your brain’s health is berries. According to studies, regular consumption of berries addresses any early signs of short term memory loss. As rule of thumb, go for dark colored or berries such as blackberries, blueberries, and blackcurrants. They have high levels of antioxidants and anthocyanins – a phytonutrient that is considered the largest water-soluble pigments in the plant kingdom.
Antioxidants are known to delay, if not prevent, cell damage and degradation. With regard to your brain’s health, eating these dark-skinned berries can protect your brain from “oxidative stress” which lowers your risk of acquiring Alzheimer’s disease or any other ailments that tend to arise during old age.
Avocado is also a good food to consume to improve your brain health. Almost as potent as berries, avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat. This allows for a smoother blood flow in the brain and throughout the body. On top of that, they can aid in the lowering of your blood pressure, which in turn lowers your risk of a heart attack or stroke that can greatly affect your brain cells.
Speaking of healthy blood flow, tomatoes are rich in a highly potent antioxidant called lycopene. Lycopene provides cell protection from free radicals which destroy cells, such as brain cells, during the development of dementia. It is a good thing that tomatoes are extremely abundant and can easily be prepared for any meal.
Similarly, vegetables are effective in supporting your brain health. The best type of vegetables to eat to maintain good brain health is cruciferous vegetables. Also called cold crops or mustard family vegetables, cruciferous vegetables are rich in vitamin A and C, carotenoids, fiber and folic acid.
To take advantage of the nutrients in this food group, it goes without saying that you need to consume a substantial amount of cruciferous vegetables regularly. Just go for dark, leafy vegetables like cabbage and kale to help you with your quest of memory improvement.
Broccoli is also a good source of essential nutrients for improved brain health. Also high in potassium, broccoli has been found to be rich in glucosinolates and acetylcholine – compounds that are considered to be contributing factors in lowering the risk of cognitive disorders.