With these 25 brain-friendly foods, that’s food for thought … literally!
It is time to revise your opinion on celery which “would taste”. Because what it lacks in flavor is more than made up for by its energizing effect on your brain! It is a source of luteolin, a plant compound that decreases inflammation in the brain and prevents aging. A 2010 study found that luteolin slows cognitive decline in older mice. You don’t need to binge on celery to enjoy its benefits: just add a little to the tuna salad or a little more in your next soup.
2) Dark chocolate
This should delight lovers of dark chocolate: several studies have confirmed its stimulating powers on the brain! There is improved cognitive function, reduced risk of dementia, greater ease in solving complex problems, and many other health benefits of dark chocolate. Research from 2013 shows that flavonols in chocolate penetrate and concentrate in the areas of the brain involved in learning and memory, particularly the hippocampus. Another 2011 study found that a single dose of flavanol-rich dark chocolate can improve cognitive and memory test results in healthy adults. We even recognize the role of chocolate in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, not to mention that it increases calm and contentment, because the flavanols and methylxanthines it contains improve mood.
All nuts are good for brain health, but walnuts come first. Their high concentration of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid (a quarter of a cup provides the recommended daily dose of DHA), has allowed them to be associated with the brain health of newborns as well as with higher cognitive performance in adults. They also act in the prevention of cognitive decline linked to aging. A 2012 study demonstrated that the consumption of walnuts improves the inductive reasoning of young adults.
The molecules called free radicals that circulate in the blood damage brain cells, which can cause memory loss as we age. However, antioxidants neutralize these molecules by combining with them. A large amount of antioxidants in carrots offers surprising health benefits. According to a 2000 study, carrots also protect other types of cognitive deficits thanks to their ability to reduce oxidative stress that could alter the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain.
5) Fatty fish
The brain needs omega-3. The best natural source is fatty fish: salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, sardines. Oily fish contains active forms of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which are easily assimilated. Healthy levels of EPA and DHA would help manage stress and increase the level of serotonin, the “happiness” neurotransmitter. Recent American studies have found a possible link between high omega-3 levels and Alzheimer’s prevention.
Another exceptional brain food to eat every day is the tomato. You don’t like the soft varieties from the supermarket? Grow your organic tomatoes! This fruit contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that protects the brain from the harmful free radicals that accompany dementia. Tomatoes contain a variety of compounds that are good for brain health and function. According to 2013 research, choline, a vitamin B nutrient, has the ability to improve short-term memory, promote learning, and regulate sleep. Finally, the alpha-lipoic acid in tomatoes is said to protect brain tissue and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
One of the best choices for your budget is the egg. In addition, it is completely versatile. Get inspired by these 55 delicious ways to prepare eggs. Finnish researchers say eggs boost brain capacity with choline. They tracked 2,500 participants over 22 years and found that those who ate at least one egg a day were no more prone to dementia or Alzheimer’s than the others. It would be quite the opposite: they passed their cognitive tests better than those who ate fewer eggs.
8) Pumpkin seeds
All seeds are good for the brain, but pumpkin seeds are among the best. These little treasures are packed with omega-3 fatty acids that improve mental health, preserve memory, and promote brain development. They also contain a lot of magnesium which has a calming effect, and zinc which
increases brain capacity by increasing concentration and memory. A handful of pumpkin seeds is equivalent to half the recommended intake of zinc (8 to 11 mg per day). A 2011 study found that zinc plays a key role in neural connections related to memory and cognition.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli contain sulforaphane which stimulates the regeneration and repair of brain nerve tissue. A recent Chinese study has shown that sulforaphane improves the pathological disorders typical of common neurodegenerative diseases: inflammation, imbalance in calcium homeostasis, oxidative stress, and neuronal necrosis. And the vitamin K in broccoli is used to strengthen cognitive functions and even fight Alzheimer’s disease. In a 2008 study, the diet of patients with early-stage Alzheimer’s was evaluated. They consumed significantly less vitamin K than the control group, which opens the way for further study of the impact of this vitamin on brain health.