12 best foods for brain health

Top 12 foods to eat for brain health

Although we may not think about our brains much, the truth is that it takes a lot of energy to think, move, and go about our daily lives. Our brain needs enough fuel to function well.

Studies show that, on average, The brain accounts for about 20% of calories We burn daily. However, this does not mean that any food will help your brain to function. When it comes to boosting your brain to perform its best work – maintaining focus and maintaining a strong memory – some foods are much better than others.

If you want to keep your mind in tip top shape, here are the 12 best foods for brain health.

leafy vegetables

Not for your mother’s parrot, but she was right about that. These leafy greens are really good for you, especially your brain. Spinach, cabbage, kale – you name it. These vegetables are rich Brain-boosting nutrients Such as beta-carotene, folic acid, lutein and vitamin K. Curb cognitive decline.

Recommended daily intake: Aim for about ΒΌ cup a dayor 1.5 to 2 cups per week.

nuts

Nuts are a source of protein and healthy fats. But they’re also great foods for the brain. Each grain has unique benefits, and including pistachios, macadamia nuts and almonds in your diet is sure to support your brain health. but for real Enhance mental strength, turn to the nut. It’s full of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, both of which are important for preventing mental decline.

Recommended daily intake: a Study 2021 It found that adults who consumed 15 to 30 grams of nuts per day had significantly higher cognitive scores than those who ate less.

coffee and tea

You may be used to drinking coffee or tea to stay awake, but these caffeinated drinks have a lot more to offer than just a simple addition in the morning. Researchers note the ability of caffeine to enhance The brain’s ability to process informationCoffee also contains many powerful antioxidants that may help Brain health support. In addition to both, green tea is rich in L-theanine. This powerful amino acid can help Stress and Anxiety Managementwhich is important for brain function.

Recommended daily intake: reach to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day (about four cups of coffee or black tea) is generally considered safe for most adults.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are considered one of the best foods for brain health, thanks to their rich lycopene content. This powerful carotenoid has been shown to help Ward off cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. One medium-sized tomato contains approx 3.2 milligrams of lycopeneYou can also find more in tomato sauces, pastes and ketchup.

Recommended daily intake: Studies show that 9 to 21 milligrams of lycopene Every day may be more beneficial.

Close-up of a tomato growing on a plant

Mykhailo Hrytsiv / 500px / Getty Images

all grains

Whole grains such as whole wheat, oatmeal, barley, and brown rice are essential parts of a balanced diet, and are known to Cardiovascular health support. What is less known is that many whole grains are rich in vitamin E, an important antioxidant that helps reduce the presence of free radicals and Prevent nerve damage. Experts are also preferred Vitamin E intake In its natural form rather than a supplement, which makes whole grains a great choice for boosting your vitamin E intake.

Recommended daily intake: The guidelines recommend at least three servings of whole grains per day, for a total of at least 48 grams.

Broccoli

Leafy greens aren’t the only green vegetables that make up the list of the best foods for brain health. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are also important. These vegetables contain high doses of Glucosinolates. When combined with water, these compounds produce isothiocyanates, which are powerful metabolites known to exist Neurological properties.

Recommended daily intake: The USDA recommends that adults eat 1.5 to 2.5 grams of cruciferous vegetables In the week.

Salmon and tuna

You might make avoiding fatty foods a habit, but when it comes to fish, fat is a good thing. Fish like salmon and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are linked to many positive health outcomes, including for the brain. In particular, these healthy fats have been linked to lower levels of beta-amyloid in the blood. This harmful protein clumps in the brain, often leading to Alzheimer’s disease.

Recommended daily intake: aim at least Two servings of low-mercury fish Like salmon and light tuna weekly.

berries

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but a handful of berries keep mental decline at bay. Berries are one of the best foods that contain the brain because they are full Flavonoids. These natural pigments not only make the berries colorful, but they also improve brain function, especially when it comes to memory.

Recommended daily intake: eat at least two meals (Half a cup each) of berries per week slows memory decline by up to two and a half years.

dark chocolate

If you are looking for a brain food, you might not think of a delicious dessert like dark chocolate. But dark chocolate combines many of the benefits of the other foods on this list. It’s full Antioxidants, flavonoids and caffeineThis makes it one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Don’t say I didn’t give you any good news.

Recommended daily intake: a small snack of dark chocolate, 30 to 60 grams Several times a week, they may help improve brain function. Make sure it’s at least 70% dark to get the most benefits and reduce calories from sugar.

seeds

They may be small, but the seeds are just as packed with nutrients as many nuts, and they make a great snack to eat. Sunflower seeds, in particular, are Rich in Vitamin E, whose mental benefits we discussed above. Pumpkin seeds are also a powerful source of antioxidants and important minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium and zinc. Each of these minerals can help protect against cognitive decline or brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s diseaseAnd the Depression and even epilepsy.

Recommended daily intake: try to eat 1/8 to 1/4 cup seeds, three or four times a week. You can shuffle a file SpeciesFrom pumpkin and sunflower seeds to chia seeds and ground flaxseeds.

Close-up of jars full of seeds and nuts

Claudia Tutter / Getty Images

egg

This breakfast food isn’t just good for getting a protein shot in the morning. Eggs are also rich in many important elements B vitamins, including B6, B12 and B9 (folic acid). Studies show that these vitamins may help Prevent brain shrinkage And curb mental decline in the elderly.

Recommended daily intake: For most adults, One egg a day is a good target. Your doctor may recommend more or less based on your overall health and cholesterol levels.

Turmeric

Your spice rack probably isn’t the first place you think to look when you think of brain-good foods. But turmeric, a major ingredient in curry powder, isn’t something you want to overlook if you want to support a healthy mind. Turmeric contains curcumin, which has been linked to many positive brain health outcomes, from Protects from Alzheimer’s disease to support brain cell growth.

Recommended daily intake: Since turmeric is a spice, you probably won’t be able to get as much as you need simply from cooking with it. Talk to your doctor about whether a curcumin supplement would be a good option for you.

Brain health supplements

In brain health, as with any type of nutrition, it is best to meet most or all of your needs through your usual daily diet. In other words, eating the foods we covered above is the best way to keep your brain performing well in the long run.

However, if you find it difficult to get what you need from these brain foods, it may be beneficial to include some supplements in your diet. You might consider supplements or vitamins Contain any of the following:

  • B vitamins, especially B6, B12, B9
  • Vitamin C
  • beta-carotene
  • magnesium
  • zinc
  • copper
  • iron
  • curcumin
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Brain health is critical to your overall health and well-being, so be sure to consult your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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