Best Whole Foods For Brain Health
We have all had days where we are just unable to concentrate on anything. Studies have shown that there is a definite relationship between what we put in our mouths and how well our brain works. Yes , you certainly can boost your brain health with the foods you eat. Whole Foods will bring to the brain the required nutrients that it needs , just like your heart, lungs or muscles do. A healthy brain can mean proper mental development, good learning skills, strong cognitive function and a high quality of life.
Studies have also shown that eating a diet high in saturated fats causes a person to feel sluggish, lack energy and focus.
Even though there is no magic pill that we can take to help us concentrate on the tasks we need to complete, there are certain foods we can add to our diet that will help improve brain function. We must focus on four key areas: greens and vegetables, protein, healthy fats, and the most nutrient-dense, fiber-rich carbohydrates from whole foods. These promote healthy neurotransmitters, which will assist with focus, mood and the production of hormones that assist with brain function
Whole Foods That Help Improve And Protect Brain Health
- Water – We all know our bodies need water to function properly, but studies have shown that dehydration can cause brain tissue to shrink. Studies have also shown that dehydration impairs short term memory, focus and decision making. Your body is two-thirds water. Water is utilized in every function of the body and transports nutrients and waste out of every single cell. It maintains proper body temperature and is needed for all digestive actions, circulatory functions and for proper absorption of nutrients.
- Beets – Studies have shown that eating beets actually increases the blood flow to your brain, which, will improve brain function!
- Oysters – Oysters are high in zinc and iron, which are vital for proper brain function. Studies have shown that a lack of zinc and iron in a person’s diet can result in poor concentration, inability to recall things that have happened, as well as many other problems throughout the entire body.
- Crab-Just 1 serving contains more than your entire daily requirement of phenylalanine, an amino acid that helps make the neurotransmitter dopamine, brain-stimulating adrenaline and noradrenaline and thyroid hormone, and may help fight Parkinson’s disease. Crab is also an excellent source of brain-boosting vitamin B12.
- Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas) They are one of the best food sources of magnesium (aside from kelp and green leafy vegetables). Magnesium citrate benefits brain cell receptors to speed the transmission of messages, while also relaxing blood vessels, which allows more blood flow to the brain.
- Eggs – Eggs have gotten a bad reputation lately and although it is true that too much of a good thing can be harmful, adding eggs to your diet is great for brain function. The reason is that eggs are full of B-12, which helps to fight against atrophy (the natural shrinking of the brain as we age). The yolk of the egg is full of choline, which is a building block of brain cells and it has been proven that choline can help to greatly improve your memory.
- Berries – Berries are often referred to as super foods because many of them contain fisetin and flavonoid, which help to improve your memory. Blueberries have been shown to help improve motor skills, as well as learning capacity.
- Nuts and seeds -Nuts and seeds are full of Omega’s 3 and 6, folate, vitamins B6 and E, all of which help you to think more clearly. Some also contain magnesium and thiamine, which are great for cognitive function as well as memory.
- Leafy Greens – We all know we should eat our leafy greens every day and here is just one more reason we should. Leafy Greens contain B6, B12, and folate. They also contain high levels of iron and it has been proven that if you do not get enough iron, your cognitive activity will slow down significantly. Leafy greens include: Kale, spinach, chard and greens.
- Fish – If you want to reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer’s Disease you can start with eating two servings of fish per week. The reason is that fish contain high levels of omega 3 and omega 3 coats the neurons in the brain allowing them to move easily. Omega 3 also allows the brain to get more oxygen, retain new information, as well as recall old information. Herring, Salmon, and Tuna are the best fish you can eat to help with brain function.
- Broccoli – Broccoli is also a great whole food for a healthy brain. Broccoli has been proven to improve memory, as well as slow the aging process of the brain.
More Food Choices For Brain Health
These foods are great sources of the antioxidants, vitamin C and beta carotene that protect brain cells from damage that results from free radicals.
- Berries: Blueberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Goji Berries, Mulberries, Boysenberries and Cranberries.
- Red Grapes
- Green, Red & Yellow Peppers
Folic acid helps to prevent brain cell degeneration, and so you lose less brain cells. These foods are great sources of folic acid.
- Collard greens
- Black Beans
- Romaine Lettuce
- Black-Eyed Peas
- Sunflower Seeds
Processed food, as opposed to whole food either have none or have had their essential fatty acids removed to prolong shelf life. But, essential fatty acids, including, EPA/DHA and Omega-3 are important for the health and development of the brain because they reduce inflammation and support cell regeneration. Here are the foods that are high in important fatty acids.
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
Adding whole foods to your diet that are healthy for your brain is a great way to help prevent degeneration as you age, as well as help you focus on the tasks you have to complete right now. If you are having trouble concentrating, try adding some of the mentioned foods to your diet and enjoy optimal brain and overall health and wellness.
It is also important to note that a diet that is comprised of whole foods, and one that eliminates processed products and junk food has a vast amount of other health benefits.