Fatty acids found in fish and seafood can boost memory function by 15 percent. A diet rich in the essential omega-3 fatty acids are important for maintaining optimal brain health and preventing the onset of dementia, characterised by a decline in mental abilities, such as memory and reasoning.
DHA is one of the most highly concentrated fats in the brain and known to play a vital role in the structure and functioning of the brain. DHA is abundant in oily fish (like trout, mackerel and sardines) as well as, walnut oil and flaxseeds (linseeds). The body cannot effectively make this fatty acid, it must be consumed as part of the diet; it’s essential for healthy eyesight, brain health, memory and a healthy nervous system. It’s recommended to eat at least two servings of fish a week.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are great sources of antioxidant vitamin E. A good intake of vitamin E might help to prevent poor memory. Many varieties of seeds and nuts contain tryptophan, an important amino acid that the brain converts to serotonin. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are an excellent source of tryptophan; this may help relieve mild depression and insomnia. A handful of pumpkin seeds a day will also give you your recommended daily amount of zinc, vital for enhancing brain power, giving you a thinking and memory boost. Walnuts are made up of around 20 percent protein, and contain linoleic (omega-6 fatty acids) and alpha-linoleic acids (omega-3 fatty acids). Also, vitamin E and vitamin B6, making them an excellent source of nourishment for your nervous system. Walnuts also resemble a brain.
It has been known for a long time that berries are rich in antioxidants, which protect cells from free-radical damage.
Blueberries and strawberries that are rich in antioxidants are thought to protect brain neurons from damage and flush out waste. They also help protect against age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s, and could help prevent memory loss in old age.
Blueberries contain anthocyanin, a known memory-boosting phytochemical. They also contain many other phytochemicals that may contribute to healthy brain function.
Blackberries are also a great brain booster, as it contains Vitamin C which is thought to have the power to increase mental agility.
Whole grains improve circulation and help regulate glucose levels in the blood as the steadier the glucose levels, the easier it is to concentrate. That is why it’s important to eat breakfast in the morning, such as oats, cereals, wheat bran and wheat germ. As it not only helps the metabolism, it balances blood sugar levels as well as protecting against diabetes and heart disease.
Eat your veg! Broccoli is a great source of vitamin K, quercetin and folic acid, which is known to enhance cognitive function and improve brainpower. Red onions contain anthocyanin and quercetin. Just a half-cup of cooked spinach provides two-thirds your daily requirement of folic acid. Beets are a good source of anthocyanin and folic acid. An eggplant is a great source of anthocyanin. It also contains nasunin, an antioxidant that protects the lipids in brain cell membranes. Avocados are a great source of ‘healthy fats’ as well as a good blood circulation booster. Asparagus is a good source of folate.
Other food good for the brain
Celery and bananas contain potassium, which plays a key role in maintaining the electrical conductivity of the brain. Potassium is also involved in brain memory functions and learning. Foods that are red or purple in color contain phytochemicals that colour them, anthocyanin, is the phytochemical that’s good for your brain.
Tomatoes contain the powerful antioxidant lycopene; this could help protect against free radical damage to cells which occurs in the development of dementia. Grapes Red, purple, and black grapes all contain quercetin and anthocyanin. Apples contain high levels of quercetin. Cherries, another red food that is a good source of anthocyanin.