Can brain foods improve memory, make us smarter, help us think better and have better attitude?
As we know, everything we eat greatly affects our overall health. Therefore, our daily diet, without doubt affects our mood, and brain function.
Our brain is very demanding in terms of energy consumption. Food intake has great influence on brain chemistry and function of neurons, especially the neurotransmitters that are responsible for transmitting nerve impulses from one neuron to another. This will have consequences on our mood, on how to sleep, socialize, etc.
Nutritional factors that impact on our mental health are:
Consumption of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, alcohol, snuff and caffeine.
In general, the lack or excess of various nutrients causes the deterioration of the function of our brain. It is therefore extremely important to know which foods are most beneficial to improve our concentration, memory and mood.
Our brain requires certain nutrients to function properly: glucose, vitamins, minerals and fats.
The main fuel of the brain is glucose present in all carbohydrates in general. Likewise, the brain produces proteins and fatty acids to develop and maintain neural connections.
The optimal intake of vitamins and minerals affect our concentration because it will help us think faster and concentrate longer.
These are some of the more popular brain foods:
Foods rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids: salmon, sardines, tuna, cod. These fatty acids are essential to improve learning ability from an early age.
Omega 3 fatty acids are part of the gray matter of the brain and brain cell membranes, thus help to have an emotional balance, better willingness to learn and a positive attitude.
Several studies have shown that Omega 3 foods are associated with a lower risk of depression.
Scientists have noted that the lack of Omega 3 alters the vision, produce motor impairment and learning can alter the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in the frontal cortex of the brain. Dopamine regulates mood, memory and learning among other functions. Serotonin, like dopamine, also influence the perception of feelings such as anxiety, fear and anxiety. Also regulates appetite and sleep. Omega 6 acids affect the release of neurotransmitters and helps brain cells use glucose for energy.
Red berries or Strawberries
Raspberries, strawberries and blueberries are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, citric acid, folic acid, carotenoids, minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, flavonoids (anthocyanins) and antioxidant (ellagic acid). These antioxidants (ellagitannins) intervene against free radicals derived from the oxidative processes in our body, preventing cell aging. Red fruits protect against memory shortage caused by the passage of time and other symptoms of mental decline as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia.
In turn, red fruits assist communication between neurons and have significant anti-inflammatory effect thus preventing cell damage in the brain. In most cases the actual red color of the fruit is formed by the powerful antioxidant anthocyanins which is known to improve our intellectual capacity.
Several studies have shown that raspberries have 3 times more antioxidants than kiwis and 10 times more than tomatoes.
The cherries are characterized by their high content of flavonoids (anthocyanins that give it its characteristic color) and ellagic acid, both excellent antioxidants. They are also a rich source of potassium and lesser amount of magnesium and calcium. Like red fruit they also have fiber, which improves intestinal transit and vitamin A and C (to a lesser amount).
Curry is a mixture of various spices and herbs yellow. It is rare to find curry in its pure state. It consists of, among others curcumin or turmeric, pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, coriander, cinnamon and saffron. Has excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, especially curcumin which is present in turmeric and gives it that characteristic yellow color.
They are especially rich in antioxidants, including flavonoids, phenolic acids and vitamin C. They are an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber. One of its flavonoids, quercetin has been shown to have protective effects on the brain against free radicals. Eating apples will not only help combat autonomic disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s but also reduce the risk of cancer, reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and promote heart health.
The egg is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It is especially rich in B vitamins and choline, essential for the optimal development of the nervous system. It also contains proteins of high biological value and contains Omega-3 fatty acids.
chocolate El consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa stimulates blood circulation in areas of the brain for a period of 2 to 3 hours. This would improve our performance in different tasks and keep us more alert. There are scientific studies that highlights the role of chocolate for the treatment of vascular dementia and for maintaining cardiovascular health problems.
Further it suggests that flavanol in cocoa could be useful to enhance brain function of individuals suffering from fatigue, insomnia and effects of aging.
Flavanol is an antioxidant that is not only present in cocoa but also in fruits (blueberries, apples, grapes), soy, tea and wine. The chocolate usually found in markets is low in flavanols as this is geneally what gives choclate a bitter taste. However dark chocolatle has the highest percentage of pure cocoa, which has a higher content of flavonoids. Alternativey the ideal would be to get organic raw choclate powder, unsweeted. You can add to smoothies or your morning coffee.
Pistachio nuts contain mostly fat, oleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid (Omega 3) and protein (20 grams per 100 grams).Their contribution of carbohydrates is sparse, but contain fiber and are rich in minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and zinc. The contribution of B vitamins and vitamin E they provide are excellent.Its nutrients improve the health of our brain and help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Olive oil and avocados
Olive oil and avocado are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids which maintain the integrity of blood vessels and nerve structure.
Foods we should avoid
Processed foods: because they do not provide the nutrients required by the central nervous system to function optimally. Foods with high sugar content: excessive intake of sugar causes imbalance in the levels of blood glucose, associated with mood disorders and lower concentration. Preservatives and food additives: in some people, can cause hypersensitivity.