Daily Bangla Times :
Published : 2023-03-20 02:07:47
UNB : The brain is the control center of the body which makes humans think, and feel. It keeps the heart beating, lungs breathing and allows the body organs to move, and sense. Although there is no magic pill to prevent cognitive decline, nutritionists emphasize that the most important strategy one can follow to boost the brain, memory, and focus is to take a healthy diet plan including a lot of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Let’s find out the beneficial and harmful foods and drinks for the brain health.
What Is Brain Food?
Brain foods are those that are packed with antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals and provide the brain with energy. These foods also help in protecting brain cells, which helps ward off the development of brain diseases. A nutritious diet can create a considerable number of essential hormones and neurotransmitters which can influence cognitive abilities.
Top 10 Foods for Brain, Memory, & Focus
Fatty fish is at the top of the list of brain foods that are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. About 60% of the brain is made of fat, and half of that fat consists of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help to build brain and nerve cells, and these fats are essential for learning and memory. Plus omega-3 fatty acids may slow age-related mental decline and help ward off Alzheimer’s disease.
Oily fish like tuna, salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel, etc contain omega-3 fatty acids. Among the local fishes, Hilsa fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids including EPA and DHA.
Coffee’s two main components namely caffeine and antioxidants can help support brain health. Caffeine has a number of positive effects on the brain. It can increase alertness by keeping the brain alert by blocking adenosine (a chemical messenger that makes One feel sleepy).
Moreover, this beverage can improve mood by boosting some of the “feel-good” neurotransmitters like dopamine and sharpened concentration.
Turmeric is a deep-yellow spice that is a main ingredient in curry powder. It has huge health benefits for the brain as it has curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) helps to cross the blood-brain barrier, which means it can directly enter the brain and benefit the cells there.
It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that can benefit memory, eases depression, and helps new brain cells grow.
Broccoli is rich in amazing plant compounds, including antioxidants, and vitamin K. It has a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for forming sphingolipids (a type of fat) that are massively packed into brain cells and vitamin K intake to improve memory and cognitive status.
One will get powerful antioxidants from pumpkin seeds that protect the body and brain from free-radical damage. One will also get magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper from these seeds.
Zinc is an important element for nerve signaling and zinc deficiency can cause many neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and Parkinson’s disease.
Magnesium is also essential for learning and memory and low magnesium levels can cause many neurological diseases such as migraine, depression, and epilepsy. Copper helps control nerve signals and iron deficiency is often characterized by brain fog and impaired brain function.
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder have a few brain-boosting elements like flavonoids, caffeine, and antioxidants. The flavonoids help to learn and memory rises up. A study shows that those who ate dark chocolate more frequently performed better in a series of mental tasks, including memory tasks, compared with those who rarely consume it. Besides, chocolate is also a legitimate mood booster.
Taking nuts regularly can improve heart health. Regular eating of nuts is related to a lower risk of cognitive decline in the case of older adults. Women who ate nuts for a long course of years can have sharper memories compared with those who did not eat nuts.
Several nutrients in nuts, including healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E, may explain their beneficial effects on brain health. Vitamin E protects cells against free-radical damage. Although all nuts are good for the brain, walnuts have extra benefits as they deliver anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
By taking one medium orange, One can get all the vitamin C One needs in a day and vitamin C is essential for brain health because vitamin C is a main factor in preventing mental decline.
If One has higher levels of vitamin C in the blood, the brain can concentrate on tasks involving focus, memory, attention, and decision speed. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant to fight off the free radicals that can damage brain cells.
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Eggs are an excellent source of some nutrients related to brain health. They are vitamins B6 and B12, folate, and choline. Choline available in eggs is an important micronutrient that the body uses to create acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter) that regulates mood and memory.
Folic acid supplements minimize age-related mental decline. Vitamin B12 is synthesizing brain chemicals and regulates sugar levels in the brain.
One will get lycopene from tomatoes which is a powerful antioxidant and it helps protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells that occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer's.
Sugary drinks including soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and fruit juice boost the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease and ultimately they have a negative effect on the brain. If One takes sugary drinks regularly, it may increase the risk of dementia which may be harmful and cause brain inflammation and impair memory and learning.
Excessive consumption of alcohol can cause serious negative effects on the brain and taking alcohol regularly results in a reduction in brain volume, metabolic changes, and disruption of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals the brain uses to communicate. Alcohol can damage the brain, including memory loss, disturbances in eyesight, confusion, and unsteadiness.
Processed Seed Oils
Omega-6 fatty acids are available in highly processed oils that are pulled out from soybean, corn, rapeseed, cottonseed, sunflower, and safflower seeds and these omega-6s are not beneficial at all for memory and the brain.
Deep-fried food items look yummy and mouth-watering but they are extremely harmful to the brain.
Food with Artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners have no nutritional value but they raise "bad" gut bacteria, which can have a depressing effect on the mood.
One can help support brain health and boost alertness, memory, and mood by taking memory booster foods including leafy greens, colorful fruits and vegetables, seafood, nuts, beans, and seeds. A diet that supports brain health can help the main (long-term) functions of the brain. However, the consumption of brain harming foods should be avoided to keep the memory and focus sharp.