Owing to the fast pace of life today, we all tend to overburden our brain with stress and inadequate sleeping habits. Food also plays a vital role in the healthy functioning of our brain.
Following foods may help in reviving our brain health and strengthen memory in the long run:
Essential fatty acids
Fats are not always bad for health, in fact they are integral for the health of brain, heart, joints and our general well-being. Foods rich in EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA or docosahexaenoic acid, found in oily fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, etc. help improve brain health. Low DHA levels are found to lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Sufficient levels of EPA and DHA help in the production of serotonin, the chemical responsible for good mood. For vegetarians’ soya beans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts can be a good choice. The RDI for of fat for adolescents is 22g of visible fats per day. According to that, 2 walnuts(4 halves) each day can be consumed. 30g of soya beans and pumpkin seeds 2tsp. would be sufficient.
Energy is the foremost requirement for a smooth functioning of the brain. Adequate and regular supply of glucose is required to improve focus and retention of the brain. But one should always be careful while choosing the source of glucose. They should be the ones that are low on GI index. Whole grain breads and pastas, unpolished rice make good choices. 4-5 servings of whole grains may be consumed in a day.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits are rich in antioxidants and as it is delay aging by taking care of the free-radicals in the body, but some foods are quite effective delaying as well as improving the memory, these may be citrus fruits, blackcurrants, especially berries as they contain a protective compound called anthocyanin helps improve memory. Vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli and red peppers all protect against the degeneration of brain. Tomatoes are rich in a very powerful antioxidant called lycopene which protect against dementia. Broccoli are high in a compound called glucosinolates that slow the breakdown of neurotransmitter and keep our brain and memories sharp. At least 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables per day are recommended, though more would be better.
Other food items
Vitamin E helps in preventing cognitive decline in elderly nuts, green leafy vegetables, Caffeine, banana all are good for the brain. Green tea, dark chocolate contain polyphenol which are good in antioxidants that reduce cell death and increase memory. Caffeine is good when instant boost is required though one should not constantly depend on that. Banana contain dopamine, a chemical that increases concentration and motivation.
Apart from these food foods, exercise is vital for a healthy brain. Regular exercise is known for improving cognitive function and slowing down the process of mental aging process. So health, whether of the brain or our complete body systems, cannot be attributed to only one thing it needs an incorporation of a nutritive diet as well as an active lifestyle as both go hand-in-hand.