What you eat can greatly influence your brain function. Affecting your mood, energy, and ability to handle stress, daily tasks, and complex problems. So, it is important to eat foods that the brain needs to function well and stay healthy.
The brain is composed of fats, glucose, proteins, amino acids, and micronutrients. Each plays an important role for brain function, development, energy, and mood.
For fats, the super star is Omega 3 fatty acids which we can get in oily fish. Such as: salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines. These essential fatty acids help build cell membranes and improve the structure of brain cells. They are important for learning, mood, and memory. Not getting enough of this nutrient may result to learning impairment, depression, or mental decline.
While omega 3 are good fats for the brain, other fats can compromise brain health. Excessive consumption of saturated or trans fats promote oxidative stress which could lead to cell membrane damaged. Resulting to memory loss and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Other source of Omega 3 are nuts, seeds, and soybeans.
Glucose, on the other hand, is the primary source of energy for the brain. Although brain only makes up 2% of human weight it is the most energy-demanding organ in the body. Using 20% of energy resources which comes from carbohydrates that the body digest into glucose. To have a steady level of energy, it is better to eat low glycemic carbohydrates than high glycemic carbohydrates. This is because low glycemic carbs such as legumes, grains, and oats release glucose slowly. While high glycemic carbs like white bread and sugary foods breakdown glucose rapidly resulting to fast reduction of energy. This is why we usually feel sluggish after eating a high carbohydrate lunch.
Proteins and amino acids influence mood and behavior. Eating proteins increases amino acids which stimulate brain cells to release mood-altering hormones. Norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. Low levels of these hormones may result to depression.
Like other organs, the brain also benefits from micronutrients. Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables help fight free radicals that destroy brain cells, keeping the brain healthy. Vitamin B6, B12, and folic acids protect the brain from diseases. Iron, zinc, sodium, and copper are also essential for brain health especially for early cognitive development.
Eating varieties of nutritious foods is critical to improve brain functions. Aside from what is mentioned above, there are power foods that can help you have a sharper brain.
One of the most popular brain boosters is coffee. It has two main components that are great for the control center of the body. Caffeine and antioxidants. Caffeine keeps alertness, improve mood, and sharpens concentration. Antioxidants helps repair cell damaged and fight the negative effects of oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
Tea is another popular brain enhancer which like coffee also contain caffeine and antioxidants. But aside from these two components, the beverage has L-theanine. An amino acid that helps reduce anxiety and helps the body relaxed without feeling tired.
Chocolate is also incredible for stimulating the mind to work better. It has flavonoids that help enhance memory and prevent age-related memory decline disease like dementia. The best chocolates for the mind and body are the dark ones. Or those that have 70% or above cocoa content. They are considered healthy not just for the brain but for the whole body. On top of these, the food is known for improving mood as it contains the happy hormone.
Clearly, eating nutritious food is the key to be naturally brainy. Next time you feel sluggish, out of focus, or forgetful, it is worthwhile to review your diet. Have you been eating well for your brain?
Isabella Whitmore believes that to keep the body in good health is a duty. She writes for https://electrickettlesplus.com, a website that offers BPA-free electric kettles. Healthy options for hot beverages.