There Are Several Ways Food Can Impact Your Brain Functions, Such as Memory, Concentration, and Alertness
Eating healthy brain foods is essential to improving your concentration and maintaining mental well-being. The cells of the brain thrive on nourishing foods that are conducive to further developing the brain and its functions. In this article, we will explore 12 healthy brain foods that you should eat if you want to improve your concentration.
Water is essential to keep the cells of the brain and the body hydrated. The brain and heart are composed of 73% water, according to H.H. Mitchell in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Not only should you consider how much water you drink but also the quality of what you’re drinking! Alkalized water or natural spring water can benefit your brain health.
2. Salmon or Fatty Fish
Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for the structure of brain cells and neurons. In a 2017 study, people with high levels of omega-3s had increased blood flow in the brain, and researchers identified a connection between omega-3 levels and better cognition, mental processing, or thinking abilities. Consider consuming fish oil supplements as well.
Coffee helps your brain in two ways: caffeine and antioxidants. Caffeine can increase alertness, elevate mood, and sharpen concentration. Over the long term, coffee is also linked to a reduced risk of neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, partially due to the antioxidants contained in coffee.
Freezing blueberries can make the powerful antioxidants found in the skin of the berry more available to the human body by increasing the bioavailability of anthocyanins. Blueberries and other deeply colored berries deliver anthocyanins, a group of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. The antioxidant benefits of blueberries may delay brain aging and improve memory.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, can directly enter the brain and benefit brain cells. Research has shown that turmeric and curcumin may help improve memory in people with Alzheimer’s and clear the amyloid plaques that are a hallmark of this disease. Additionally, turmeric can boost serotonin and dopamine to improve mood and help develop new brain cells by boosting brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a type of growth hormone that helps brain cells grow.
6. Green Tea
Green tea is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants that may protect the brain from mental decline and reduce the risk of mental diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. L-theanine, an amino acid in green tea, can cross the blood-brain barrier increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps to reduce anxiety and encourages relaxation. L-theanine also increases the frequency of alpha waves in the brain.
Eggs are great for the brain as they are rich in Vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, and folic acid. Recent research suggests that these vitamins may prevent brain shrinkage and delay cognitive decline.
Oranges are a great source of vitamin C, which is a key factor in preventing age-related mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off the free radicals that can damage brain cells.
Broccoli is loaded with plant compounds, including antioxidants, and is extremely high in vitamin K, delivering more than 100% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) in a 1-cup (91-gram) serving. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for forming sphingolipids, a type of fat densely packed into brain cells. Broccoli also contains vitamin C, flavonoids, and glucosinolates, which may reduce oxidative stress and lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
10. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolates are rich in cocoa, which contains flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Flavonoids overall appear to be good for the brain, encouraging neuron and blood vessel growth in parts of the brain involved in learning and memory, and stimulating blood flow in the brain.
11. Walnuts and Nuts
Walnuts are the top nut for overall brain health with a significant concentration of DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid. Among other benefits, DHA has been shown to protect brain health in newborn babies, improve cognitive performance in adults, and prevent or ameliorate age-related cognitive decline.
Avocados are a source of healthful unsaturated fat that can help support the brain. Eating monounsaturated fats may help reduce blood pressure, and since high blood pressure is linked with cognitive decline, avocados can be quite beneficial.
Aiming to incorporate these ingredients into your dietary habit can improve your cognitive function, but also consider an all-encompassing approach that includes exercise, sleep, hydration, and of course, diet. Remember to nourish your brain with healthy brain foods for improved concentration and mental well-being.