Written by Gurleen Khaira
Your brain is constantly working. It controls every action, memory and thought you have. And to do this, it requires a lot of energy. It is said that your brain uses 20% of the calories you consume (Burgess, 2018). Since your brain uses so much of the food you eat, it is important to know which foods provide extra benefit for your brain. So, here are 5 foods proven to boost your brain health.
1. Oily Fish
Oily fish provide vital benefits for your brain. They contain high levels of Omega 3, which helps to build the cell membrane, and therefore enhances neurone structure. Studies also highlight that Omega 3 improves blood flow to the brain, and has been linked with better cognition. Tuna, herring and salmon are some of the fish you can include in your daily meal plan to improve your brain health (Burgess, 2018).
Berries are more than just a Summer fruit. They contain high levels of antioxidants which help to reduce inflammation. They can also aid to improve the communication between neurons and delay age-related decline. By building more connections between brain cells, berries are also said to improve memory (Burgess, 2018). Therefore, having some strawberries with your breakfast, or some blueberries for a snack can actually help keep your brain healthy.
3. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are associated with many benefits for your body, and your brain is no exception. Due to their Vitamin E levels, these foods have been linked to reducing the risk of Alzeheimer’s. Sunflower seeds, hazelnuts and walnuts are all related to better brain health (Burgess, 2018).
Turmeric is an Indian spice which has been used for centuries, though its huge health advantages have only recently become widely known. Curcumin is a potent component of turmeric which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, so it can directly help neurons. The ingredient increases levels of a specific growth hormone, which allows the growth of brain cells. It is also said that Curcumin can improve the memory of those with Alzheimer’s, and aids to remove amyloid plaques; a key source of the disease. The benefits of turmeric go beyond the physical health of the brain. By increasing levels of dopamine, turmeric can improve mood and help with depression (Jennings, 2017). Although turmeric is mostly used in Indian curries, it is a versatile spice so can be used in many dishes. Some even choose to add a teaspoon to a warm cup of milk!
Due to their Vitamin C concentration, oranges are greatly beneficial for brain health. Consuming the correct levels of Vitamin C has been shown to protect people against age-related decline of the brain and Alzheimer’s. Simply eating 1 medium sized orange per day can give you all the Vitamin C you need (Jennings, 2017).
How can MindMate help?
The MindMate app offers healthy recipes that are good for your body and brain. Following the recipes will not only help you create a healthier diet, but can be a fun activity to do together with a loved one with dementia.
Download MindMate here: apps.apple.com/us/app/mindmate-for-a-healthy-brain/id1030422375
Burgess, L. (2018). 12 foods to boost brain function. [online] Medical News Today. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324044.php.
Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, RD (2017). 11 Best Foods to Boost Your Brain and Memory. [online] Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-brain-foods#section4 [Accessed 7 Nov. 2019].