Eating the right foods can make a sizeable difference in a person’s physical and mental health. Just like the muscles in the body, the brain is nourished by food, so it’s important to choose foods that promote well-being across many spectrums. In particular, it’s imperative to eat certain foods when a person’s goals include achieving comprehensive health and sharpening the memory.
Many people are interested in knowing what foods they can eat to strengthen brain function in general, while specifically improving the part of the brain that deals with memory.
Experts say that there is good reason to believe that eating adequate amounts of specific foods, and an abundant amount of others, can nourish the brain in ways that enhance memory.
How the Brain Works
The brain is a complex processing system that relies on many nutrient-rich foods to function properly. More specifically, the brain needs foods that contain compounds like complex carbohydrates (not refined sugars that rob brain cells of the energy it actually needs), and healthy fats (our brain is made of 60% fat, and it needs this substance to run the right way).
With that in mind, the following five foods offer one or both of these brain-boosting nutrients to promote healthy brain function and improved memory.
The body utilizes medium-chain triglycerides for fuel, leaving glucose to nourish and energize the brain. These medium-chain triglycerides are found in great amounts in coconut oil. Remember: what’s good for the heart is also good for our thinking organ, and a healthy brain leads to better memory.
There are not too many foods that contain more antioxidants than blueberries, and antioxidants help to prevent oxidative brain damage that can cause memory loss. Stocking up on blueberries can help support brain health. Blueberries’ antioxidants, called flavonoids, help to improve the way neurons communicate in the brain, making for better cognitive function and memory.
In order to sharpen the memory, one should consume nuts, in particular almonds and walnuts. Nuts are a great food choice because they’re rich in brain-boosting Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. They also contain vitamin E, which has been shown to defend the brain against free radical damage. Nuts contain phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient (when consumed in large amounts), so don’t go overboard with them.
Quinoa is a complex carbohydrate that balances blood sugar and allows the proper amount of glucose to be used by the brain. It’s a good iron source too, so it helps oxygenate the blood and keep the brain healthy. Quinoa is an excellent vitamin B-rich food, so turn to it in order to keep mood balanced and the brain’s blood vessels working optimally. To get rid of quinoa’s bitter flavor, simply give it a good rinse before cooking.
The heart and circulatory system needs complex carbohydrates, Omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber to function optimally, and whole grains provide these substances. When the body’s blood flow to the brain is working as it should, memory is also in a state of healthy function and may even improve. In addition to complex carbs, whole grains provide B vitamins to stimulate blood flow. B vitamins have been shown to boost mood, as well.
To sharpen memory and to keep it functioning optimally, make each of these five foods regulars in your daily and weekly diet. Learn to cook with them at home, and order dishes with these foods in them when dining at restaurants.
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