Guest post by Katherine Rundell
Whilst there is no one single food type that can prevent cognitive decline or dramatically improve your memory and brain function, some foods have been found to contain nutrients and important components which can support brain health. From foods that help to boost memory and concentration, to those that reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, here are 7 foods that you should include in your diet.
1. Oily Fish
Oily fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel and herring, are a great source of omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be important in helping to boost brain function as they help to build both nerve and brain cells, as well as increasing blood flow in the brain. They have also been found to help slow mental decline and been linked with lowered risks of dementia and strokes.
Leafy, green vegetables are an important addition to diet as they can help to slow down cognitive decline. In particular, broccoli has so far been found to be the best leafy green vegetable for the brain. Broccoli contains a number of important compounds that have been found to be important for protecting the brain against damage and deterioration, as well as lowering the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. It is also very high in vitamin K which has been linked to better memory in adults.
Berries contain flavonoid antioxidants. Research suggests this is important for improving memory and delaying memory decline. Antioxidants are also important as they help to reduce inflammation and reduce oxidative stress. Eating berries can increase plasticity, thereby supporting learning and improved memory. Blueberries in particular have been found to be a good source of antioxidants which can also help to improve communication between cells in the brain and improve overall brain health.
Avocados are a great source of unsaturated fat, which is important for overall health as well as promoting healthy brain function. Avocados can help reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as lower cholesterol, which is important in helping to prevent the build-up of plaque and improving blood flow. This is especially important for supporting the development and function of healthy brain cells. Additionally, avocados are also a good source of omega-3s.
Research has indicated that nuts are a good type of food for improving cognition, as well as helping to reduce the risks of neurodegenerative disease because they are rich in antioxidants and a variety of nutrients. In particular, nuts are a great source of vitamin E which is important for protecting cell membranes against damage and oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Vitamin E is particularly helpful at slowing down mental decline and promoting brain health, especially in older people. Walnuts have been found to be particularly good because they are also high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Coffee contains two components which are helpful to the brain – caffeine and antioxidants. Coffee blocks adenosine, which is a substance in the brain that is responsible for making a person feel sleepy. As such, drinking coffee can help to boost alertness, as well as sharpen concentration, especially if consumed in smaller amounts throughout the course of the day.
Caffeine has also been found to boost some neurotransmitters, including serotonin, which can help to improve mood. Additionally, long-term drinking of coffee has been linked to a reduced risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as reducing the risk of strokes and cognitive decline.
7. Dark Chocolate
The cacao found in dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are an important antioxidant necessary for brain health. The flavonoids found in cacao have been found to be particularly useful for stimulating blood flow within the brain, as well as supporting the development of blood vessel growth and neuron growth. Furthermore, researchers have also suggested that dark chocolate may be good for promoting plasticity, which is important for learning and memory development.
There are a variety of foods which can support healthy brain function. Foods which are high in antioxidants and omega-3s are particularly good at helping to reduce cognitive decline. Ultimately, however, the key is to include these foods in a healthy and balanced diet, which will benefit your whole body as well as your brain.
Katherine Rundell is a successful writer at Finance essay help service, where she regularly writes about health. In particular, she enjoys sharing advice on leading a healthy lifestyle and eating a healthy diet, as well as developing a positive mindset. When not writing, Katherine enjoys spending time reading and staying up-to-date with the latest research, as well as doing yoga.