One of the most important organs in your body is the brain. It assists all the processes in your body, including your beating heart and your breathing. That’s why maintaining a balanced diet will help your brain function at its best.
Some meals are bad for your brain because they affect your memory and mood while increasing your risk of dementia. While foods that are great for your brain can support the health of this vital organ and improve your ability for certain mental functions, like memory and concentration. Read on as we share a list of the best and worst foods for brain health.
The best foods for the brain:
Avocados help prevent the formation of clots in the brain (prevention of strokes), as well as improve brain processes related to memory and concentration, since they contain both vitamin K and folate . These green powerhouses are loaded with monounsaturated fats, or the “good” kinds, which have been shown to slow the rate of cognitive decline and keep blood sugar levels stable.
2. Cruciferous vegetables
Due to its high levels of vitamin K and choline, which may support memory function, broccoli is one of the best foods for brain health, along with closely related vegetables like cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts. It also contains several phytonutrients that protect brain tissue from oxidative damage.
3. Olive oil
Due to its powerful polyphenol antioxidants and beneficial monounsaturated fats, real extra virgin olive oil is one of the best meals for the brain. It’s a key part of the MIND diet, which is related to the Mediterranean diet, and both diets have been linked in studies to improved cognition in older adults.
4. Dark Chocolate
Flavonols, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, are abundant in chocolate. According to studies, cocoa can boost cerebral blood flow and oxygenation while reducing blood pressure and oxidative stress in the brain and heart. The general guideline is that chocolate has more benefits the darker it is.
5. Coconut oil
With so many applications, coconut oil can be used for almost anything. It can support the suppression of cells that cause inflammation in your brain. Plus, it fights harmful bacteria that reside in your stomach and may help with memory loss as you age.
The worst foods for the brain:
1. Foods high in sugar
You should avoid very sugary drinks. Your blood sugar will rise if you drink these things, increasing your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Both diseases have a history of negative effects on the brain. Excessive sugar consumption can also increase insulin resistance in the brain, which could negatively impact learning, memory, and neuron development.
2. Trans Fat
Animals naturally contain this type of unsaturated fat, which is also processed and found in foods like icing, margarine and hydrogenated vegetable oils. Brain productivity and neural activity are slowed by inflammation, which has been linked to trans fats. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for brain health and cell growth, should be consumed in the diet.
While the occasional beer or glass of wine is okay, drinking too much alcohol is detrimental to your physical and mental well-being. Chronic alcohol consumption alters your brain’s metabolism and interferes with the communication of neurotransmitters. Long-term exposure can cause visual impairment, disorientation and memory loss.
4. Refined carbohydrates
Foods made with white flour may contain processed grains. Due to their high glycemic indexes, they are easily absorbed by your body. They typically cause increased blood sugar and insulin levels, which impact memory development in adults. Your hippocampus, the region of your brain responsible for transforming short-term memories into their long-term counterparts, is directly affected by the inflammation caused by these spikes.
5. Artificial sweeteners
Aspartame is commonly found in diet sodas and other no-sugar-added products. It contains phenylalanine, an amino acid that can interfere with your neurotransmitters by crossing the blood-brain barrier. As a result, your brain is more vulnerable to the physiological stress that free radicals can generate.
Be sure to pay attention to the foods you eat, as they greatly influence your brain health.
Disclaimer: This content, including advice, provides generic information only. It does not in any way replace qualified medical advice. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim any responsibility for this information.
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