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|The 7 Best Foods For The Brain by laboard: 3:22pm On Aug 06, 2019|
The brain is indeed the powerhouse of the entire human body as it is in charge of basically everything a person does. In fact, it is in charge of keeping the heart beating; lungs breathing; and allowing one to move, feel, sleep, think, talk and every other thing you can think of. No wonder some scientists call it an energy-intensive organ, using around 20% of the body’s calories in order to keep doing its herculean tasks. It is therefore quite logical that the food we eat can have a direct impact on the overall output of the brain.
However, researchers and nutritionists have found out that only some special type of foods can particularly have a big impact on the structure and health of the brain. They can help keep the brain healthy and can improve specific mental tasks such as memory and concentration. We hereby take a look at the 7 most important of such type of foods:
1. Wholegrain: This is an excellent source of carbohydrates where the brain can get all the energy that is needed. Wholegrain like brown rice, bulgur wheat, granary bread, barley, oatmeal, pasta, e.t.c. are especially recommended because of the rate at which they are being broken down into glucose. Glucose is of course the primary source of energy required by every cell in the body. A hormone called insulin helps move glucose from the bloodstream into the cells.
2. Fatty Fish: About 60% of the brain is made up of fat and half of that fat is the omega-3s fats that help build brain and nerve cells. Study has shown that people who consume diets that contain more of these essential fatty acids have more gray matter and increased blood flow in their brains. Gray matter contains most of the nerve cells that control decision-making, memory and emotion. The most effective omega-3s fats are found naturally in fatty fish such as: salmon, sardine, mackerel, herring, tuna, trout, pilchard, kipper, e.t.c. Note that you can also obtain omega-3s fats from walnuts, flaxseed, soya beans, pumpkin seeds, e.t.c.
3. Coffee: The two main components in coffee are caffeine and antioxidants. Caffeine on the one hand subdues a chemical substance in the brain called adenosine, believed to play a role in promoting sleep and suppressing arousal. The result of this is increased alertness, sharpened memory and improved mood. Antioxidants on the other hand especially the class known as catechines help to promote healthy blood flow in the brain thereby reducing the risk of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
4. Egg: This is an excellent source of some basic nutrients that are of great value to the brain. The nutrients basically include choline and 3 basic B vitamins – B6, B12 and folate. The choline on the one hand is a water-soluble vitamin-like essential nutrient that serves as a precursor for the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is involved in many functions including memory and muscle control. The B vitamins of B6, B12 and folate on the other hand help to reduce the levels of a particular amino acid called homocysteine in the blood. Too much of this in the blood is associated with increased risk of stroke, cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Dark Chocolate: The two main components of dark chocolate are cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Sugar is the only other component but in very little quantity. Therefore we can safely say dark chocolate is merely a heap of cocoa itself. As a matter of fact, cocoa contains a special type of flavonoids that have powerful antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are especially important for brain health as the brain is highly susceptible to oxidative stress which contributes to age-related cognitive decline and brain diseases.
6. Blueberries: Like a few other deeply colored berries, blueberries contain flavonoid antioxidants such as anthocyanin, caffeic acid, catechin and quercetin that help to fight against oxidative stress and inflammation both of which contribute to brain-aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Studies have also shown that some of the antioxidants in blueberries accumulate in the brain and help improve communication between brain cells. Some of the other berries with these antioxidants include: strawberries, blackberries, blackcurrants and mulberries.
7. Broccoli: Broccoli contains a number of compounds that have powerful antioxidant and anti- inflammation which may help protect the brain against damage. It is also very high in vitamin k which is known to enhance cognitive function and improve brainpower.
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