Published on September 1, 2014
The brain requires nutrients just like your heart, lungs or muscles do. But which foods are particularly important to keep our grey matter happy? The Community lists important nutrients that are worth exploring for brain health.
OPT FOR WHOLE GRAINS
Whole grains with a low-GI release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, keeping you mentally alert throughout the day. Opt for ‘brown’ cereals, wheat bran, granary bread and brown pasta.
BINGE ON BLUEBERRIES
According to experts, consumption of blueberries may be effective in improving or delaying short term memory loss.
EAT OILY FISH
The most effective omega-3 fats occur naturally in oily fish as EPA and DHA. They are good for healthy brain function, the heart and joints. The main sources of oily fish include salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards and kippers. Low DHA levels can cause Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.
EAT MORE TOMATOES
Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes, protect you against free radicals that damage cells, thereby resulting in dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s.
GET A BLACKCURRANT BOOST
Vitamin C has the power to increase mental agility and one of the best sources of this vital vitamin is blackcurrant.
PICK UP PUMPKIN SEEDS
Just a handful of pumpkin seeds a day is all you need to get your recommended daily amount of zinc, vital for enhancing memory and thinking skills.
ADD VITALITY WITH VITAMINS
Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid reduce levels of homocysteine in blood, resulting in less brain shrinkage. Elevated levels of homocysteine may cause stroke, cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
BET ON BROCCOLI
Broccoli is a great source of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function and improve brainpower.
SPRINKLE ON SAGE
Sage has a reputation for improving memory and although most studies focus on sage as an essential oil, it is worth adding fresh sage to your diet too.
A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that a good intake of vitamin E might actually help prevent cognitive decline, particularly in the elderly. Nuts are a great source of vitamin E along with leafy green vegetables, asparagus, olives, seeds, eggs, brown rice and whole grains.
Consider taking multivitamin, mineral complex and omega-3 fatty acid supplements if your diet is unbalanced. However, do discuss this with a doctor.