It is taught by the medical community that our food impacts our digestive and heart health, but it is essential to understand it also contributes to our brain health. The brain, just like the rest of the cells in the body, needs food to produce energy, which ensures that it can function optimally. The brain controls every other system in the body, so it is vital that we do not just eat food to maintain our physique. Our brain health should matter as much as our gut health and heart health. It is vital to supply our brain with food to boost its ability and capacity today, but also to protect and support the brain long-term.
Foods that have anti-inflammatory properties, like foods that are high in antioxidants, support memory and boost brain development. However, there is no cure or absolute preventative measure for cognitive decline due to age. The decline in brain function and capacity is just a normal part of the aging process. However, research is now showing a healthy, well-rounded diet can decrease the likelihood of premature memory decline. More factors can contribute to the possibility of cognitive dysfunction, such as genetics and chronic medical conditions. These particular factors cannot be influenced.
Interestingly enough, the same foods that can positively influence heart function can also boost brain function. So, consuming a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids and foods high in vitamin B can be beneficial, in addition to, antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory foods. Let’s review the foods that can have a positive impact on brain function.
• Salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines are naming a few fish high in omega-3s.
• Omega-3s have many functions, but concerning the brain, they help build membranes around cells. This can improve and strengthen neurons, which transmit information throughout the body.
• Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries contain antioxidants. Antioxidants do several things like reducing inflammation, but they also increase plasticity. Plasticity is a term used to describe how flexible the brain is, meaning how it adapts to new information. The aging process naturally reduces the plasticity of the brain, which is why it is hard for the elderly population to learn new things or adapt to change. Antioxidants help combat this decline by continuing to promote elasticity throughout the aging process.
• Both of these food items contain antioxidants and omega-3s, which is why they are considered powerhouse foods. They also contain vitamin E, which helps to decrease oxidative stress placed on the body through aging. Oxidative stress is when there are too many harmful substances roaming the body, called free radicals, and not enough antioxidants to fight against them. This can cause progressive destruction of the body, especially in the brain.
• Coffee and teas are other surprising sources of antioxidants!
Protect your brain and your heart by consuming these foods. Not only will they protect your brain long-term, but it will also enhance your brain capacity short-term.