The brain is the most important organ in our body. If you look after your health, it needs to be taken care of, developed and, of course, nourished with various vitamins and trace elements, so that it works clearly, quickly and without errors. What foods are the most useful for the brain – let’s sort it out together.
All cabbage is a treasure trove of vitamins and important trace elements, a source of easily digestible vegetable protein and an important antioxidant that slows the aging process. Broccoli is rich in vitamin K, lutein and boron, which contribute to the proper functioning of the brain. Let’s not forget vitamin C – it strengthens blood vessels and capillaries, which means it affects blood flow, including the brain. Plus, broccoli is a delicious dietary side dish. According to doctors’ advice, the minimum daily intake of broccoli is 70 grams.
It would be a mistake to relegate greens solely to a decorative function, both in taste and appearance. The green color suggests chlorophyll, an important substance that fills cells and blood vessels with oxygen. The rich composition of vitamins, especially B vitamins, and micronutrients is absolutely essential for the development of the brain and keeping it active. If you need to stimulate your brain urgently, make a smoothie – you can easily put a couple of weighty bundles of greens in it.
Lentils are a tasty and nutritious source of plant protein, iron, folic acid and B vitamins. These elements are necessary for successful biochemical processes in the brain. As a result the memory improves, and the speed of thinking increases.
Lentils are commonly served as a side dish or made into soups. To prepare a dish with lentils in 5 minutes, just take a can of Bonduelle Steamed Lentils.
- GREECE NUTS
Frankly speaking, all kinds of nuts are very useful and nutritious. But it so happens that walnuts are considered to be the “most important”. This is a source of Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins A, B and E, as well as lecithin, the very substance that improves brain function and activates the memory. It is not for nothing that the walnut kernels are shaped like the hemispheres of the brain. A day, according to doctors’ advice, it is enough to eat 5-6 walnuts, no more. While buying pay attention to the shelf life of walnuts – old, “musty” walnuts are not only useless, but also dangerous to your health.
Once again, the champion of nutrients essential to the mental system. Avocados are high in folic acid and Omega fatty acids. Their symbiosis stimulates blood vessels, cleans them of harmful cholesterol, which provokes diseases such as Alzheimer’s. By the way, if you do not like the fruit itself, use oil – it contains all the useful properties of avocado in a concentrated form.
Once again, we are reminded of Omega 3 – unsaturated, that is, the right and healthy fats that improve communication between brain cells. Omega 3 affects everything that goes on in our head: thinking processes, body control, memory status. Regular intake of fatty acids will prevent many diseases, including the development of Alzheimer’s disease. And the most fatty acids are found in fish, such as salmon (but mackerel, tuna, and trout will do as well). Ideally, you should eat at least 100 grams of fish every day, but if that is a problem, try to include any kind of fatty marine fish in your diet 2-3 times a week.
Berries contain no less useful substances than fruits. You probably know that blueberries are recommended for vision problems. In fact, they can do much more, such as improve memory and learning. Scientists did an experiment with elementary school-aged children. Children were given drinks of blueberry powder and plain sweet water at different times, and then they were tested.
On days when the children were given blueberry drinks, they performed better on tests of word memory and concentration. As a result, this result was attributed to flavonoids – these elements improve blood flow to the brain and facilitate the transfer of information between nerve cells.
So in summer it is better to stick to fresh blueberries, and in winter – to frozen berries, as they almost completely retain their properties.
- DRIED FRUITS
Roasted apricots, prunes and raisins are indispensable components of the diet if you want to increase brain activity. They normalize metabolism and restore cognitive functions. The only “but” is the caloric content of dried fruits. Therefore, to maintain slimness, they should not be carried away in excess. For example, if you add some dried fruit to porridge or yoghurt and have snacks in the afternoon to keep you going in the middle of your school or work day.
- RICE BREAD
Carbohydrates are like fuel for the body, and they provide energy for both the body and the brain. Except that carbohydrates are divided into “slow” and “fast” carbohydrates. Fast ones instantly raise blood glucose levels, but the effect lasts literally 40 minutes. With slow ones it’s different – they nourish the brain gradually over a long period of time. So, a piece of cake is not good food for the brain, but anything made from wholemeal flour is good. Whole-grain bread, for example.
So if you are used to eating bread for lunch, it is better to choose bread made from wholemeal flour. If something more dietary is of interest, then breads will do.
- DAIRY PRODUCTS
The brain and the nervous system need them because they are rich in tyramine, tricetanine, phenylethylamine – the so-called anti-stress amino acids. They are involved in the process of producing happiness hormones and help brain cells to absorb useful nutrients. Milk also contains the substance glutathione, which helps keep the mind sharp and prevents the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
- BITTER CHOCOLATE
Bitter chocolate is really good for the brain, as long as you don’t overdo it. But we are only talking about chocolate that consists of at least 60% cocoa, and better yet, even more, about 70-80%. Milk chocolate, white chocolate, and other candies do not count. The antioxidant flavanol, found in cocoa beans, activates brain cells and magnesium promotes memory. To nourish the brain, 30-40 grams of bitter chocolate daily is enough.
- OLIVE OIL
In principle, any unrefined oil as a source of healthy fats will do, but nevertheless olive oil concentrates and balances all the most necessary nutrients for the body in general and the brain in particular. By the way, if you didn’t know, here’s a fact: the brain is 60% fat. Cold-pressed oil contains no cholesterol, but all three Omega fatty acids – 3, 6 and 9. They support the elasticity of blood vessels and strengthen their walls, help the nervous system, increase concentration. It is not without reason that olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet.
- PUMPKIN SEEDS
Does your daily menu include pumpkin seeds? Too bad if they don’t. Zinc, healthy fatty acids, magnesium, vitamins A and E are the main values of these seeds. They have a positive effect on neuronal activity, memory, and overall body stamina. The optimal portion of pumpkin seeds is 80-100 grams per “head” per day. And how to eat them? It is best to add them to salads, baked goods or morning muesli.
Bright, rich oriental spices such as turmeric, curry, ginger, cumin, chili peppers or jalapenos not only color dishes with nuances of flavor. Each is unique in its vitamin and mineral composition. They strengthen the immune system, relieve inflammation, including in brain tissue, stimulate concentration, activate metabolism and protect cells from aging. So adding spices when cooking is an accent of flavor, and a health benefit.
It turns out that the secret of eggplant is in its rind. The substance nanusin protects nerve cells and has powerful antioxidant properties. In addition, eggplant (in general, not just the skin) contains fiber, pectin, proteins, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, sodium, vitamins C, B1, B2, B5, PP.
Important: The useful properties are characteristic only for young fruits, and overripe should not be eaten at all.
All citrus fruits, and of course lemon in particular, are the most popular source of vitamin C, which means they are also antioxidants. They are also high in potassium, magnesium, and other minerals. Vitamin C protects the nervous system from overwork and relieves unnecessary stress on the brain. Citrus essential oils activate mental activity and invigorate.
- GREEN CHAIN
As with coffee, it contains caffeine and can help stimulate our mind. But unlike coffee, it is not harmful to the stomach, and can be drunk in much larger quantities. Another plus of green tea for the brain can be called the presence of L-theanine, an amino acid that reduces anxiety and fatigue. Polyphenols prevent dementia and improve memory. Take it from Asian traditions, where drinking tea (and drinking only green tea) is considered sacred.
Regular chicken eggs are such a familiar and healthy product. Eggs contain many vitamins, such as B12 and B4 (choline). Researchers at Arizona State University’s Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research have proven that choline significantly improves spatial memory and also prevents the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Experts do not set exact standards for how many eggs can be eaten daily, but most agree that 1 egg a day is enough for a balanced diet for a healthy person.
The beneficial properties of garlic are known to everyone, especially its ability to strengthen the immune system and resist viruses. But we need allicin, a substance which is not present in garlic, but is formed when we grind a garlic clove. It is what gives the vegetable its sharp taste and rich aroma. Allinin promotes the cleansing of blood vessels, prevents the development of cancer, and stabilizes blood pressure. It is important to use garlic raw: heat processing destroys many of its beneficial properties.
It completes our list, though it would be fair to put it in the first place. If the body lacks fluids, the brain refuses to work. It is occupied with only one thing, to send an SOS signal. Water is the foundation of existence. It cleanses, saturates and regulates absolutely all processes in organism. The daily norm is different for everyone, the main thing is to avoid liquid deficiency.