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Nicki Jenns

Top 5 Brain Foods You Should Be Eating Daily

Taking good care of your cognitive health is a vital part of a happy life. As it turns out, what you choose to eat can have a dramatic influence on your memory, your critical thinking skills and your ability to intellectually engage with the world around you.


The following five foods are particularly good for your brain, so do your best to add them to your diet whenever you can.


1. Blueberries


Blueberries are delicious and refreshing, so it is no chore to make them a regular snack or add them to a juicy smoothie. They also make a great addition to a bowl of porridge in the morning. There are a few different reasons why blueberries promote cognitive health, so they are one of the most powerful foods you can choose.


Firstly, studies looking for connections between diet and the development of Alzheimer’s disease have discovered that people who eat more blueberries typically find that the disease progresses more slowly and has less of an impact on mental function.


Secondly, even if you have no concerns about Alzheimer’s at the moment, consuming more blueberries appears to sharpen memory and make it easier to learn larger amounts of new information at a faster rate.


Finally, it’s also worth noting that a daily serving of blueberries even appears to boost motor function, improving hand to eye coordination in tests. It is hypothesized that these health benefits are linked to the flavonoids found in blueberries, which are antioxidants that inhibit bodily inflammation.

 

2. Oily fish


Since your body is incapable of making essential fatty acids by itself, you need to monitor your diet to ensure that you are getting enough of these acids. Oily fish (such as salmon, trout, sardines and mackerel) are some of the very best sources, influencing everything from cardiovascular health to joint function.


When it comes to your brain, omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA may reduce your chances of suffering from dementia in later life and can afford you some protection from memory loss.


Studies also suggest that those who have plenty of these fatty acids in their diet find it easier to quickly recall memories. If you are a vegetarian, you can increase your intake of omega-3s by adding more soya beans, walnut oil and pumpkin seeds to your diet.

 

3. Root vegetables

 

The class of root vegetables is fairly wide, but carrots, beets and turnips are some of the more popular root vegetables. Interestingly, these vegetables may be able to boost the blood flow to your brain, potentially improving your alertness, focus and ability to encode new memories.


This finding comes from a large study of people over 70 in which the influence of beet juice was examined from MRI scans of the brain.


The working theory is that root vegetables influence blood flow by providing you with nitrates, which are then converted into nitrite. These nitrates may well boost circulation all over the body, not just in the brain.


4. Strawberries

Many people would say that strawberries are their favorite fruit, so it might be hard to believe that such a tasty treat could improve mental function. However, strawberries are packed full of fantastic nutrients that influence cognitive health.


Firstly, they are an excellent source of vitamin C, which may help to protect your brain cells from the hazards posed by free radicals that you encounter in the environment.


Meanwhile, studies on diet and old age have seen a remarkable link between consumption of strawberries and better memory, concentration and motor control. Strawberries are also a very good source of iodine, which has been proven to enhance the function of the nervous symptom.

 

5. Nuts


Finally, don’t underestimate the power of nuts! A recent peer-reviewed study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that vitamin E can help to reduce the chances of cognitive decline, and there are few better sources of vitamin E than nuts.


In particular, you may want to consider swapping peanuts for almonds, whether in their whole or butter form. Almonds are especially rich in vitamin E, Chronic Pain containing an impressive three times more than you can find in a serving of peanuts.


However, when it comes to nuts it’s smart to remember that a little goes a long way. While nuts are healthy, they are also high in fat, making large portions counterproductive if you are watching your figure.