Many people perceive food as a means to give the body energy, building materials, and power to fight and prevent certain infections. This notion is well-known to everyone in the world. However, according to researchers from Harvard Medical School, certain foods we eat might boost our cognitive performance.
Whether you are a student looking for ways to enhance your memory retention or a full-time employee seeking a proactive approach to staying focused while performing your daily tasks, eating a well-balanced diet can pay off pretty well in your favor.
If you are suffering from low concentration or memory loss, the following foods can improve the performance of your brain cells.
1. Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables have a list of benefits. They contain essential vitamins, antioxidants, good fats, minerals, and a high content of water. In particular, fruits such as apples, berries, and citrus are rich in flavonoids (a group of phytochemicals) which stimulates neuronal signaling pathways of the cognitive processes, according to the British Journal of Nutrition.
Furthermore, studies show a close correlation between dark-colored vegetables and brain function. Dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard greens, and microgreens are packed with antioxidants. These substances prevent damaging of delicate brain cells and membrane by the high level of oxidants. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage contain potent antioxidants and Vitamin K. According to a study published by National Institute of Health, the phytochemicals in broccoli protect the brain cells against damage.
2. Fatty Fish
The well-known fatty fish are salmon, trout, tuna, and sardines. These sea creatures are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, an incredibly essential nutrient in our body. The reason why omega-3 is vital in our body is that 30 percent of the brain is made of this essential fat. As per the new research on omega-3 and brain function, it was established that deficiency of omega-3 hinder learning and lowers the brains’ ability to retain information. So having at least two servings of baked or broiled fish every week can be the best route to take in improving your mood, sharpening your memory, and preventing cognitive decline.
While coffee has been deemed harmful, consuming around 4 cups per day can be beneficial, according to Food Regulation Authorities. Caffeine, the main component in Coffee has a positive impact on the brain. It keeps the brain alert, improve mood, and enhance concentration. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition, caffeine in the coffee is linked with long-term affect thinking skills. It’s worth noting that, drinking coffee not only increases alertness but it reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and boosts mental ability.
This deep-yellow spice contains a chemical compound known as curcumin. A new study has found that curcumin has an extraordinary healing property. It can treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease by reducing beta-amyloid, the primary source of this disease. Furthermore, other studies established that curcumin boosts brain-growth hormones and leads to the growth of new brain cells. If you want to reap all the benefits of this medicinal compound, add turmeric to rice dishes or make a turmeric tea.
Nuts, especially walnuts are packed with necessary nutrients for improving your cognitive health. They contain healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E. A study on long-term intake of nuts and cognitive function found that older women who ate nuts over the long-term had higher cognitive performance compared to non-consumers. Regular walnut consumption gives your body plenty of vitamin E that guards the brain cells against pathological changes linked with Alzheimer’s disease. While any nut can contribute to proper mental health, walnuts are extremely recommendable because it has omega-3 fatty acids, the brain-bolster ingredient.
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of foods around the world to boost your cognition. The good news is that these foods are tasty and easily accessible regardless of where you live. When choosing brain-boosting foods, consider foods rich in antioxidants, minerals, and good fats. These compounds not only help you live healthily but they have a profound impact on your cognitive function.