Human bodies are fine-tuned machines, and like any other machine, the fuel put in affects how that machine performs and how long it can keep going without problems.
At the head of the machine that is the human body is the brain, and it processes around 70,000 thoughts each day; it is essentially a supercomputer telling us when we hurt, what we see, what we feel, and how to solve problems – and it’s all in a three-pound mass of soft tissue. It holds all your memories, education, and emotions and is connected to every part of your body, which is why it is of utmost importance that you look after it.
What’s more, your brain can become ill just like any other part of the body; conditions like mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can develop, be it due to genetic inheritance or a neglected body and mind. As with the rest of the body, the brain needs proper nourishment and care, but what exactly is brain food, and how does it help?
How Does Food Help The Brain?
All foods contain elements that can be good or bad for the body; as humans go into their mid-life and onward, their dietary habits are going to make a big impact on their health, as will their lifestyle. Specifically, foods that are good for the brain will help keep it healthy for longer so that it can drive the rest of the body to function to its best ability.
What Foods Are Good For The Brain?
Around 60% of the brain is made up of fat, and half of that is omega-3 fatty acids. The brain uses omega-3 to build nerve cells, increasing learning and memory capacity, thus helping to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, trout, tuna, herring, and sardines.
Also, coffee in appropriate amounts can be good for the brain; in the short term, drinking coffee can increase alertness and attention. In the long term, it can help keep the brain healthy as it contains both caffeine and antioxidants – which are said to be excellent for brain health.
Another great food is broccoli, which is high in antioxidants and vitamin K; this helps build the fats that are needed for a healthy brain.
If you were hoping for something a little more tempting, then get this: dark chocolate and cocoa powder are also fantastic for the brain in the right amounts. In particular, you should look for dark chocolate with 70% plus cocoa content – anything lower isn’t as effective, especially milk chocolate, which doesn’t offer the same benefits as its dark counterpart.
In addition, nuts are exceptionally good for the heart and brain because they contain vitamin E, which experts believe helps protect against slow mental decline. Walnuts, in particular, seem to be the best of the bunch in terms of brain goodness!
Yet another incredible food that you should consume is one that you should try to incorporate into your daily diet – the orange. Why? Eating a single orange can give you the recommended dose of vitamin C every day – and this will help with your brain’s ability to make quick decisions and help maintain your attention span. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of damage to the brain and keeps it healthy.
Last but certainly not least, deep-colored berries like blueberries and various others deliver a shot of anthocyanins to the brain, having both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects – once again protecting it against decline.
When Should You Start Eating For Your Brain?
Now is always the best time – but perhaps no coffee for the kids yet, though. It is never too early or too late to start a healthy, well-balanced diet that can benefit you as a whole – and especially your brain. So, getting started has never been simpler; just use this handy guide as a reference, and you’ll be on your way to improving your brain’s health for many years to come.