3 Foods To Support Your Brain
It is common knowledge that proper nutrition is vital for overall health and physical well-being. While getting the right nutrients are essential for our heart, lungs and muscles to function properly, we often forget about our brain. Finding the right foods to nourish and boost our brains not only helps optimize capacity and functioning, a brain-healthy diet can help you guard against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It is important to incorporate “brain rich” foods into your regular diet regimen so you can function as a whole, even into old age.
While there are many foods that can aid in brain health, functioning and vitality, there are three foods that should be put at the top of your grocery list. Listed below are three such foods that are crucial in supporting your brain.
Seafood such as tuna, wild salmon and albacore are loaded with omega 3-fatty acids. These acids are powerful and versatile nutrients that can help maintain maximum brain function. Within omega-3 fatty acids is the compound DHA, which is found in approximately 40% of our brain cell membranes. DHA is vital in helping transmitting signals between brain cells. The typical American diet is deficient in DHA intake with American only getting about half of the recommended intake, so it is important to eat more seafood as well as other food sources which contain this vital nutrient.
If you are going to consume seafood to get your recommended allowance of DHA, there are a couple of considerations to keep in mind. Prevention Magazine suggests that you should eat these types of seafood at least twice a week and the portion sizes should not exceed 6 ounces due to the potential of mercury exposure and poisoning.
For those who frequently eat Indian or Thai cuisine, you may not realize you have been eating an ingredient that is helping your brain. A staple of Eastern and Asian diets, curry is a potent spice which is known to fight inflammation in the brain.Turmeric, which is a cousin of ginger, is one of the principal spices in curry powder. Turmeric is rich in a compound called curcumin, which is believed to inhibit the growth of amyloid plaques, which are proteins that can lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Curry also lowers the amount of bad cholesterol in your bloodstream which increases blood circulation to the brain.
Curry is not just for your favorite Indian or Thai dishes; you can use this versatile spice as an ingredient in pasta sauces, pizza sauces and meat marinades.
Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that is rich in nutrients such as folate, Vitamin K, and Vitamin E which can help prevent dementia. By just eating one-half cup of cooked spinach you can get a third of the folate you need daily as well as five times the amount of Vitamin K that you need daily. In a 2006 study published in Neurology magazine, it was found that by eating spinach as well as other cruciferous vegetables people can delay cognitive decline by 40 percent. If you already eat spinach, it is recommended that you try spinach drizzled with olive oil. Olive oil contains healthy fats that can help speed up the absorption of Vitamin K as well as Vitamin E.
Try adding these “superfoods” to your daily diet. Once you add these foods, you will find other foods that will help keep your brain healthy and functioning at a high level. Along with diet, it is also recommended that people remain physically and socially active and keep mentally active through brain games such as crosswords or Sudoku.