We eat because we are hungry, but eating is vital to maintain your health and energy. There are certain foods that you can eat to help boost and maintain brain health and vitality.
When choosing food and planning meals it is important to be aware of ways to fuel your brain and possibly even improve your memory. Kristin Kirkpatrick, writing on Dr. Oz’s website, emphasizes the importance of eating to maintain healthy brain function.
Eat to Fuel Your Brain
Carbohydrates are the primary fuel for the brain. Complex carbohydrates, like whole grain breads, rice, and pasta provide a good steady source of carbohydrates for the brain. Vegetables and legumes are also good sources of complex carbohydrates.
Eat to Improve Your Mood
The fact that we can identify emotional eating provides evidence that there are chemical compounds in the brain which cause us to prefer certain foods when we feel sad, anxious, or depressed.
Foods that tend to help improve mood include dark chocolate, flax seed, salmon, turkey breast, Brazil nuts, and whey protein.
Dark chocolate is believed to help reduce stress. The Omega 3 found in flax seed and salmon may help keep depression at bay by actually increasing grey matter. Turkey breasts boosts dopamine and noraepinephrene that help make you feel better. Brazil nuts contain selenium which has been found to be present in low levels in individuals who are depressed. While whey protein, found primarily in dairy products, helps the brain boost production of serotonin, and, therefore, may help improve mood.
Eat to Improve Your Brain’s Focus
Sometimes one of the most difficult tasks we face throughout the day is to remain mindful and focused. Webmd has identified a handful of foods that are believed to help improve focus.
Foods that help improve focus include coffee, chocolate, small amounts of glucose containing foods,
Coffee and chocolate contain caffeine which helps energize you and may help you focus.
Foods that contain glucose help fuel your brain. A glass of orange juice or other small portion of a food containing glucose will give you a temporary boost in energy and may enable you to think more clearly, especially if you have become hungry or tired.
Eat for Better Brain Health
There are some foods that are amazingly powerful because they improve brain health and the ability of the brain to tell the body how to protect itself.
Foods that help improve brain health and function include avocados, turmeric, salmon, strawberries, blueberries, and spinach.
Avocados are full of vitamin E which is believed to improve cognitive function in the elderly. It may also play a role in coordination and balance. Avocados also help improve blood flow which enhances the ability of the brain.
Curcumin is the main ingredient in turmeric. It is believed to help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s by preventing the buildup of amyloid beta, which is the substance that forms a plaque-like substance on the brain. Omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon may help keep brain arteries from becoming clogged with plaque.
Strawberries, blueberries, and spinach may help reduce or reverse the aging of brain cells.
Boost Your Brain with Health Food, Dr. Oz
Brain Foods that Help You Concentrate, Webmd.com
What is Good Brain Food, PsychologyToday.com