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What is the Best Food for Your Brain?

Do you know that your brain is a big deal? A huge deal?

Your brain is a component of the central nervous system. It serves as the control center of your body. For example, it keeps your lungs breathing and your heart beating. With your brain, you can feel, think, and move.

This explains why it’s good to keep your brain working in perfect condition.

What you eat contributes to the health of your brain and can improve specific mental tasks, such as concentration and memory.

As we age, our brains begin to lose some elasticity. This loosens the connections we need to remember things and concentrate on tasks. By maintaining the health of your brain, you can prevent these things from happening.

A study conducted by Harvard Medical School found that a healthy diet containing vital nutrients is one of the primary factors in preventing cognitive decline as you get older. The contents of your plate help you maintain a healthy weight and play a role in maintaining the health of your brain.

If there is one food that would help the health of your brain, what would it be?

Now, there are a lot of foods that can improve the health of your brain. So in today’s article, we’re going to see which foods are ideal.

A picture of food shaped to resemble a brain

Photo Credit: By Somegirl

1. Wild-Caught Salmon

Wild-caught salmon takes the number one spot, and for a good reason.

Fatty fish tops the list of brain foods. Salmon is a classic example of fatty fish but it needs to be wild-caught and not farm-raised. In addition, this category includes herring, albacore tuna, trout, and sardines.

Wild-caught salmon and other fatty fish are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids (1). Farm-raised fish contain very little amounts of omega-3s due to the poor diet that is given to them.

Over 60% of your brain is made of fat. And over 50% of that fat is comprised of omega-3 fatty acids (2).

The brain uses omega-3 fatty acids to build nerves and brain cells. These fats are essential for memory and learning (23).

Omega-3 fatty acids also offer additional benefits for your brain. For example, they prevent Alzheimer’s disease and slow age-related mental decline (4567).

On the other hand, deficiency in omega-3s is associated with depression and learning impairments (38).

Generally, there are many positive health benefits to eating fish.

Studies have shown that those who eat salmon regularly have more gray matter in their brains. Most nerve cells that control emotion, memory, and decision-making are embedded in the gray matter (9).

Overall, salmon and other fatty fish are great for brain health. Just please make sure it is wild-caught.

2. Blueberries

lueberries have many health benefits. Some of these are specifically targeted at the brain.

Blueberries are rich in anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are a group of phytocompounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects (10).

Antioxidants help the body to fight against inflammation and stress. Both inflammation and stress can hasten brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases (11).

The antioxidants in blueberries accumulate in the brain and facilitate communication between the brain cells (1012).

Over 11 studies showed that blueberries could improve some cognitive processes and memory in older adults and children (13).

So, why not enjoy a small handful? Maybe munch it alongside your favorite smoothie?

3. Broccoli

Broccoli is loaded with potent plant compounds, such as antioxidants (14).

Broccoli is also high in vitamin K. A cup of cooked broccoli (160 grams) delivers over 100% of your recommended daily intake (15).

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps in forming sphingolipids. Sphingolipids are a kind of fat in your brain cells (16).

Some studies have linked vitamin K intake to better cognitive status and memory (1718).

Apart from vitamin K, broccoli contains several compounds that boost its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Both properties may protect your brain against damage (19).

A bowl of broccoli

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

4. Nuts

Studies have shown that eating nuts improve heart-health markers tremendously. What’s more is that a healthy heart is linked to having a healthy brain (2021).

A study showed that consuming nuts regularly could lower the risk of cognitive decline in the elderly (22).

A 2014 study found that women who ate lots of nuts regularly over several years had a sharper memory than women who did not eat nuts (23).

Nuts contain several nutrients, such as antioxidants, healthy fats, and vitamin E. This explains why nuts are beneficial to brain health (2425).

Vitamin E offers protection against damage by free radicals. This helps slow mental decline (2627).

Nuts are suitable for your brain. However, walnuts have an advantage. They deliver anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids (28).

5. Green tea

Green tea is a vital brain booster. It improves performance, alertness, focus, and memory (29).

One of the best brain-friendly components of green tea is L-theanine. L-theanine is an amino acid that can cross the blood-brain barrier. When L-theanine crosses the blood-brain barrier, it increases GABA activity, a neurotransmitter. GABA helps reduce anxiety and increases the feeling of relaxation (3031).

L-theanine increases the frequency of alpha waves in the brain. Alpha waves keep you relaxed without feeling tired (32).

The L-theanine in green tea is also rich in antioxidants and polyphenols that can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease while also protecting the brain from mental decline (3334).

Which of the above have you tried? Do you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

A cup of green tea

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Disclaimer: Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Correction to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.

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