by Tim Ingram
All cells need nutrients to grow. So including brain foods in your diet gives your brain the building blocks it needs. More neurons and connections in your brain equals a stronger memory and a mind that simply works better.
1. Healthy Fats: Build Your Brain
The most important of the fats to supplement are the Omega-3 fatty acids. As your brain repairs itself and grows new neurons, it needs an abundant supply of Omega-3s.
The best sources of Omega-3 fats include cold-water fish such as salmon and albacore tuna. Other foods high in Omega-3 are flax seed, canola and olive oils, walnuts, almonds and wheat germ.
2. Antioxidants: Protect Your Brain
Antioxidants help counteract the effects of free radicals which attack and break down our brain cells.
Good sources of antioxidants include tea (especially green tea), blueberries and other berries, red grapes, tomatoes, broccoli, garlic, spinach, carrots, whole grains, and soy.
3. High-Tyrosine Proteins: Spark Your Brain
Your brain includes important chemicals called "neurotransmitters." Neurotransmitters are the messengers that carry brain signals from one neuron to the next. Some components of neurotransmitters, such as tryptophan, can't be made within the body but must be consumed directly from your diet. Others, such as tyrosine, can be made by the body but require the right foods in your diet.
The best neurotransmitter-building foods for boosting alertness, energy, and concentration include seafood, meat, eggs, soy and dairy products. Eat the low-fat, low salt varieties.
4. Water: Hydrate Your Brain
As you probably know, most of your body is water. Being even slightly dehydrated decreases your mental energy and can impair your memory.
The minimum recommended water intake is 8 glasses a day.
5. Vitamins & Minerals: Brain Building Blocks
Certain vitamins and minerals are also important building blocks for your brain. The most important for brain function are Vitamins C, B12, and B6. Some important minerals for brain building include Iron (especially for women) and Calcium. Deficiencies of either of these have been shown to impair learning.
An easy way to get your most important vitamins and minerals is to simply take a multivitamin each day.
Make sure you always take your vitamins with food and not on an empty stomach. Not only will you avoid a stomach ache, but vitamins and minerals need to combine with food in your digestive system or they will be to a large degree wasted. It is also recommended that you purchase high quality supplements; they have much better absorption than the typical “grocery store” supplements.
6. Fiber: Regulate Your Fuel Supply
Fiber is a surprising brain aid, but an important one. That is because fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar from your diet. Your brain operates 100% on sugar. But sugar must be delivered in a very steady stream and in the proper amount or your brain gets overwhelmed. Eating enough fiber slows your digestion and results in the sugar in your food being delivered into your bloodstream gradually.
Foods containing healthy amounts of fiber include dried fruits (such as raisins, dates, prunes, and apricots), vegetables (such as green peas, broccoli, and spinach), peas and beans (such as black-eyed peas, lima beans, and kidney beans), nuts and seeds (such as flaxseed and almonds), whole fruit (such as apples with the skin, oranges, avocados, kiwi, and pears), and whole wheat grains (such as barley, brown rice, and the various whole wheat pastas and cereals).
So there you have it. To keep your brain healthy and your memory at its best, simply start eating foods from all of these groups on a regular basis.
Slowly replace the high-sugar, high-fat foods in your diet with these healthy brain foods. Drink plenty of fresh, clean water. Consider supplements of vitamins, fish oil and perhaps a fiber supplement as well. Not only will your brain and memory benefit, but your body will, too. I guarantee you will notice a difference!
At Inland Home Health Providers, we believe that everyone should be informed about events that could impact their health. That is why we have created this blog. It provides the most up-to-date information on events and new studies on day-to-day health issues. By being better informed, you can be better equipped to maintain your health.