The brain is a vital and complex organ in the body that enables you to have memories. For it to serve its purpose well, the brain should be kept healthy by taking foods that have been well-researched and proven to have significant nutritional values that help maintain cognitive health when eaten daily. Most of those foods are rich in brain-friendly nutrients and antioxidants that improve mental health. Such nutrients include vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and many more. This article reveals the foods you should eat to boost your memory and brain health. Before we dive into that, let’s first see some other essential functions of the brain.
Functions of the Brain
Keeping memories is not the only work your brain does. It has several other vital functions in the body, which should give you enough reasons to keep it healthy at all times. Below are a few of them and their explanations:
- Controls breathing: The brain helps control our breathing, an important activity that keeps us alive. Sometimes you can’t even realize that you are breathing in and out because your brain is at work.
- Controls speech: The brain enables us to speak and communicate with one another.
- Maintaining heart rate: The brain controls some crucial functions in our bodies, such as the blood circulatory system, by keeping the heart beating and controlling its rate.
- Controls muscles and maintains balance: The brain controls every muscle in our bodies and helps to maintain balance.
- Enables thinking and decision-making: We use our brains to think and make crucial decisions. The brain processes information to provide solutions to our problems.
List of the Best Foods that can Boost your Memory and Brain Health
1. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish are some of the best foods that can boost your memory and brain health if you eat them regularly. They are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are unsaturated fats that help form membranes around the brain cells, improving the effectiveness of neurons. According to research, it has also been proven that taking foods rich in Omega-3 acids leads to improved blood flow in the brain, keeping it healthy with a sharp memory, enhanced moods, and advanced alertness.
Examples of fatty fish are:
If you want your brain to be healthy, sharp, and not to forget easily, develop a habit of eating berries. Besides helping control blood sugar levels in our bodies, berries also offer immense health benefits to the brain cells. They come in different varieties and colours and are packed with antioxidants that prevent damage to the brain cells by harmful free radicals released from the body due to the oxidation process. Berries also help improve communication between neurons in the brain, preventing inflammations that may cause damage to the brain cells.
Examples of berries that can boost your memory and brain health are:
Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world, obtained by roasting and grounding the seeds of a coffee plant. Apart from its rich aroma, coffee has been found to offer numerous health benefits to our bodies, including boosting our memory by improving brain health when taken regularly.
Coffee is rich in Caffeine, a stimulant that boosts our alertness and concentration by stimulating the central nervous system. It is also rich in trigonelline that activates antioxidants to protect blood vessels in the brain. Furthermore, coffee reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, which causes the death of brain cells and hence cognitive degeneration and memory loss. Alternative sources of food rich in caffeine are tea, cocoa, and guarana.
Eating avocados daily helps lower blood pressure and improve blood flow in the brain, keeping the brain cells healthy and flexible. They have high concentrations of monounsaturated fatty acids that make the neurons healthy, providing cognitive benefits. Research has also found that avocados help increase Lutein, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent that helps boost memory and improves brain health.
Eggs are highly nutritious and delicious meals that are easy to prepare. Whether you love to consume duck or chicken eggs, they provide immense health benefits to our organs, including the brain. Studies have also shown that eating eggs daily helps reduce the chances of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Egg yolks are rich in choline that produces neurotransmitters that help to boost memory and brain health. Choline helps in cognitive development in children and helps to stop memory loss in the elderly. When taken regularly, eggs help reduce inflammations in the brain cells, improving different brain functions.
6. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like kale and spinach are packed with various vitamins that can boost our health and prevent diseases. Vitamin K, vitamin E, beta carotene, lutein, and folate are essential nutrients found in leafy greens, and they offer immense benefits to our memories and brain health.
Lutein helps to reduce inflammation in the brain cells. On the other hand, Folate helps deter the amyloid-beta levels in the brain to avoid Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin E prevents free radicals from damaging brain cells. Beta carotene improves our cognitive health, and vitamin K helps sharpen our memories.
7. Pumpkin Seeds
Apart from the fleshy part, Many people do not know that pumpkin seeds are edible. Next time you cut your pumpkin to prepare it as a meal, do not throw away the seeds. They are rich in magnesium, manganese, zinc, and iron.
Magnesium found in pumpkin seeds helps deter mental illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. It also helps improve mood, promote sleep, lower anxiety, and reduce the risk of depression. On the other hand, Zinc enhances the communication between the brain cells.
If you are looking for foods that can boost your memory and brain health, you should consider including beans in your daily diet. Beans are nutrient-packed leguminous plants whose seeds provide many health benefits to our bodies.
Beans are packed with B vitamins that have been proven to boost our memory. They help in the production of neurotransmitters that help to pass signals between the body and the brain.
9. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is a diet loved by many people around the world. It is made from cocoa beans and has immense health benefits to the brain. Dark chocolate has flavonoids that help improve the blood flow in the brain, hence improving brain functions. It also has a significant amount of caffeine, a stimulant known to stimulate the central nervous system to improve alertness and boost memory.
If you want to have better cognitive health, then find a way to accommodate peanuts and peanut products on your menu. Research shows that people who consume peanut products have good memory functions. They improve cognitive functions and promote blood circulation in the brain, maintaining the health of brain cells.
The polyphenols found in peanuts prevent neurotoxins from causing injury to the brain cells. They also stop inflammation of the neurons, hence boosting memory and brain health. Polyphenols are natural compounds packed with antioxidants found in plants like peanuts, black beans, and white beans.
11. Whole Grains
Whole grains have nutrients that can benefit our memory and brain health. Eating whole grains such as popcorn, brown rice, barley, wheat, and millet has been proven to boost our brainpower and slow cognitive decline as we age.
Whole grains are a source of B vitamins, and vitamin E. B vitamins offer crucial help in the formation of neurotransmitters in the brain, preventing or slowing the process of memory loss. On the other hand, Vitamin E prevents free radicals released from the body from damaging the brain cells.
Studies have shown that eating soybeans daily can boost your memory and benefit your cognitive health. They have dipeptide, an organic compound found to hamper inflammations in the brain and boost its processing speed. They also reduce cognitive degradation rate, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
With its large abundance of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, eating broccoli daily is one of the surest ways to halt neurodegenerative conditions and boost your memory and brain health. The sulforaphane compound found in the green vegetable has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The compound also helps in the production of neural stem cells. It has been found to improve cognitive functions for brain injury victims, hence speeding up recovery. On the other hand, lutein, an antioxidant found in broccoli, helps reduce inflammations on the brain cells.
If you are prone to being forgetful or absentminded, you need to change your eating habits. For a good start, you can try eating oranges daily. Only a single orange fruit has enough vitamin C for your brain in a day. Vitamin C protects the brain cells from free radicals and reduces inflammations. Vitamin C from oranges also helps to create and maintain existing neural connections in the brain.
In essence, vitamin C from oranges plays the following roles that can boost your memory and brain health:
- Keeping mental diseases like multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease at bay.
- Helps to produce oxygenated blood cells that boost mental energy.
- Improves mood and lower depression.
- Improve reasoning ability and overall brain functions.
Tea is an important source of caffeine for many households around the world. As in coffee, the caffeine found in tea is good for your brain. Caffeine is an instant stimulant that stimulates the central nervous system, keeping our alertness high. It also has polyphenols, antioxidants that reduce inflammation in the brain cells. Good cognitive performance can be attributed to the presence of polyphenols from tea.
Turmeric is a golden yellow powder used as a food flavour mostly in Asia. It is obtained from the rhizomes of a Turmeric plant that belongs to the same family as ginger. It has for a long time been used in Asia to treat illnesses, including mental illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease at home.
Turmeric is rich in curcumin antioxidants that protect the brain cells from being damaged by free radicals. Curcumin also helps kick out inflammation in the brain. Turmeric is given as a nutritional supplement for patients who have had traumatic brain injuries for a speedy recovery.
Memory is a crucial part of our lives and there is nothing as good as a properly functioning brain. With a healthy brain, you can easily remember things such as past events, people’s faces, places you’ve visited, scents, and past experiences. There is nothing as bad as constantly losing your memory and not being able to make simple decisions when you can easily keep your brain healthy by eating proper foods. As the saying goes, “You are what you eat,” you ought to watch your diet, eliminate the bad foods, and keep the foods that can boost your memory and brain health like the ones shown above.