Foods to Eat for a Smarter Brain
We all want good memories, fast-thinking skills, and keep a healthy brain. After all, your brain controls how you think, move and feel. It's important.
1. Fatty Fish and Walnuts
One of the most well-known foods to boost your brainpower is fatty fish, such as salmon, trout, albacore tuna, herring, and sardines. These fishes contain an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, supporting your brain as fats compose up to 60% of the entire brain. Interestingly, walnuts also contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is essential in helping in building brain and nerve cells, and these fats are essential for learning and memory. In addition, these fats can bind to the brain cells, which helps maintain 'fluidity' to allow cells to adapt to changes quickly and maintain their function.
Furthermore, the fats attached to the cell's surface (called cell membrane) can also assist the function of neurotransmitter receptors, which helps facilitate how information is communicated in the brain. These neurotransmitters ultimately influence how information, such as pain is communicated to the rest of the body. Brain health is especially important for ageing seniors, as studies have found that lower levels of omega-3 in the blood have been associated with smaller brain size, a sign of accelerated brain ageing.
Coffee and matcha have also been shown to support brain health because of their high antioxidants. The caffeine in such beverages has multiple benefits, such as:
Increase alertness: inhibits and blocks adenosine, a chemical messenger that makes you feel sleepy
Improved mood: caffeine can increase the "feel-good" neurotransmitters, such as dopamine
Sharpened concentration. One study found that caffeine consumption led to short-term improvements in attention and alertness in participants completing a cognition test.
Blueberries have also been shown to increase brain health, as dark-coloured skin provides excellent antioxidants. In addition, dark-skinned berries contain anthocyanins, a group of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. These nutrients can accumulate in your brain and help improve communication between cells to maintain the healthy functioning of brain cells. Additionally, anthocyanins can reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, which can contribute to brain ageing and neurodegenerative diseases.
Eggs are another 'brain-boosting food as it contains vitamins B6 and B12, folate, and choline. Choline is an essential nutrient that helps create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory. Studies have shown that higher intakes of choline were linked to better memory and mental function. In each egg, the yolk contains about 112mg of choline, and the daily recommended is 425 mg per day for most women and 550 mg per day for men; eggs rank the highest. Organ meats are after. Vitamin B can help improve cognitive decline as it plays an essential role in lowering homocysteine levels. This amino acid could be linked to dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Folate and vitamin B deficiency has been linked to depression or more significant signs of mental ageing in adults. Folate deficiency is common in patients with dementia, so supplementing with folic acid can help minimize age-related mental decline.
Here are some great recipes to try, for a better brain: