What we eat can influence brain health. Some foods and drinks contain nutrients that can stimulate the brain and help keep it running smoothly, while others like alcohol can negatively affect it and age it by years.
There are some brain-boosting nutrients that the body cannot make from scratch and that we must get from food.
5 Brain-Boosting Nutrients and How to Get Them
1. Omega-3 fatty acids
Studies by researchers at the University of Illinois relate patterns of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the blood to the structure and function of brain regions who are particularly sensitive to aging and neurodegenerative diseases.
Harvard Health explains that omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to lower blood levels of beta-amyloid, the protein that forms harmful clumps in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and trout are among the rich sources of marine omega-3s.
2. B vitamins
Consuming B vitamins is important for brain health. Cleveland Clinic’s Healthy Brains explains that these vitamins can help prevent dementia and increase the production of neurotransmitterschemicals that transmit messages between nerve cells in the brain and body.
Fish like tuna and salmon as well as beans are some of the healthy sources of B vitamins. In 3 ounces of cooked tuna there is 385% DV of vitamin B12, it also provides 53% DV of vitamin B6 and 17% DV of thiamin.
Protein provides essential amino acids needed for brain function and communication. Among the healthy sources of protein that the Nutrition Source suggests choosing are fish, poultry, beans, and nuts.
The National Institutes of Health note that the brain and nervous system need choline to regulate memory and moodfor muscle control and other functions.
Egg, beans, chicken breast, and cod are some sources of choline.
Antioxidants fight free radical damage and oxidative stress. Polyphenols in some foods have an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect, they can protect cells from damage and promote their communication.
Berries like blackberries, blueberries and strawberries are rich in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins They help slow memory decline. Green leaves also provide a variety of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants for the brain.
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