10 Brain Healthy Foods for Memory and Cognition

10 Brain Healthy Foods for Memory and Cognition

Brain Healthy Foods

The brain and foods eaten

The brain is the body's control center; It is responsible for maintaining the heartbeat and breathing in the lungs, which gives orders to the muscles to allow the body to move, and is responsible for feeling and thinking.

There is no doubt that it is one of the most vital organs of the body, but does the diet followed in the health of the brain? What is the best brain healthy foods to strengthen memory and mental abilities? The foods that people eat have a significant impact on the structure and health of the brain.

Following a specific diet enhances the brain and brain functions in the short and long term, as the brain consumes 20% of the calories in the body; Therefore, it is necessary to eat foods that contain calories to maintain focus throughout the day, and the brain also needs certain nutrients to maintain its healthy functions, omega-3 fatty acids, for example, help build and repair brain cells, while foods rich in antioxidants help Oxidants - compounds that inhibit the action of free radicals, and these radicals are unstable molecules that cause cell damage - reduce inflammation and stress on cells associated with some neurological disorders; Ex: Alzheimer's.

10 Brain-Healthy Foods for Memory and Cognition

Certain foods play an important role in improving mental function; Like memory and focus. Among the most important of these foods that enhance mental functions are:

Fatty fish: which includes salmon and sardines, which are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Fats make up 60% of the brain, and half of these fats are omega-3 fatty acids; The brain uses these acids to build brain cells and nerves, and these fats are necessary for learning and memory, and not getting enough omega-3s is linked to learning difficulties and depression. 

A study published in 2014 and conducted on 260 people without mental disorders showed that People who eat grilled or baked fish regularly have more gray matter in the brain - the substance that contains most of the neurons responsible for memory, feelings and decision-making.

Coffee: contain two main components that are important for the brain: caffeine and antioxidants. Among the most important benefits of caffeine to the brain: 

  • Increased alertness and alertness; Caffeine keeps the brain alert by blocking adenosine, a chemical neurotransmitter that causes sleepiness. 
  • Improve mood; Caffeine boosts certain neurotransmitters that make you feel good and happy; Ex: serotonin. 
  • Increased sharpness of focus; The results of one study found that drinking a large amount of coffee in the morning, or small amounts during the day makes people more effective at tasks that require focus. 
  • The long-term association of coffee drinking with a reduced risk of neurological diseases; Like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Turmeric: Contains turmeric curcumin; It is an active substance that can cross directly into the brain, and it has many positive effects. To obtain the benefits of turmeric, curry powder is used (turmeric is a major component in curry powder), adding turmeric to potato dishes or making turmeric tea. In fact, curcumin is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound, and among its most important benefits to the brain are the following:

  • memory support; Curcumin helps improve memory for people with Alzheimer's disease, and also helps remove amyloid plaques from the brain, which is the main cause of Alzheimer's disease, and this has been proven in some laboratory studies, but more scientific studies are still needed. To prove its effect on humans.
  • Relieves depression: Curcumin boosts mood-enhancing neurotransmitters; serotonin and dopamine.
  • Helps in the growth of new neurons; Curcumin supports neurotrophic factors that help in the growth of brain cells.

Pumpkin seeds: which contain powerful antioxidants that protect the body and brain from free radicals, and are a rich source of magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper. These elements are important for brain health:

  • Zinc: An important component of nerve transmission, zinc deficiency has been linked to many neurological conditions. Including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and depression.
  • Magnesium: Low magnesium levels are associated with many neurological diseases; such as migraines, epilepsy, and depression. It is also a necessary component of learning and memory.
  • Copper: The brain uses copper to help control nerve signals, and when the level of copper becomes outside the normal range, the possibility of neurological disorders increases; Ex: Alzheimer's disease.
  • Iron; Iron deficiency causes brain fog - a disorder that causes forgetfulness and loss of ability to focus - and impaired brain function.

Nuts: which contain many beneficial nutrients; Such as healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E. Nuts of all kinds are good for the brain, and walnuts have an added advantage. It provides omega-3 fatty acids. The results of one study suggest that women who ate nuts regularly over several years had better memory and greater cognitive abilities as they got older.

Orange: Eating a medium-sized orange provides the body with all its daily needs of vitamin C; Vitamin C is a key factor in preventing mental decline; It is an antioxidant that fights free radicals that damage brain cells, as the results of one published study indicated that adequate intake of vitamin C may protect against age-related mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease.

Eggs: They are a good source of many nutrients linked to brain health. Such as Vitamin B6 and B12, and folate, in addition to choline, which has a role in the manufacture of some neurotransmitters and enhances memory and mood.

Green Tea: Contains green tea caffeine, which enhances the performance of the functions of the brain, alertness, memory, and concentration. It also includes L-theanine, an amino acid that can cross into the brain, and increases the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps reduce anxiety and make a person feel relaxed. Green tea also contains polyphenols and antioxidants that protect the brain from deteriorating with age and may prevent Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Broccoli: Broccoli is a plant rich in glucosinolates, whose digestion produces compounds that reduce oxidative stress, and thus reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases; Such as Alzheimer's, in addition to containing vitamin C and flavonoids, both of which are anti-oxidants, and promote brain health.

Dark chocolate: contains dark chocolate on cocoa-rich compounds enhance brain health; Like flavonoid antioxidants, the brain is particularly vulnerable to damage from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is one of the primary factors that increase the risk of brain-related diseases with age.

Tips to boost memory and the brain

Most people think that memory is a fixed thing and they cannot improve it, but this is not the case.

A person can improve memory completely, and he can improve his arithmetic abilities and other language skills; That's by doing some memory building exercises.

The person improves the performance of brain functions and memory by following a diet that includes the foods mentioned above, in addition to the following tips:

  • Moderation in the quantities of food eaten, do not eat large quantities or too little.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Drink water, and keep the body from dehydration.
  • Exercise regularly. Reduce stress with yoga or meditation.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages.

Causes of poor memory

There are many factors that cause poor memory, including:
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Addiction to alcohol, drugs, or certain medications.
  • cancer treatments; Such as chemotherapy, radiation, or bone marrow transplantation.
  • Head injury or concussion.
  • Brain ischemia.
  • Having a brain tumor.
  • Brain surgery or open-heart surgery.
  • Having some types of convulsive seizures - epilepsy.
  • mental disorders; such as depression and schizophrenia.
  • Migraines.
  • neurodegenerative diseases; Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and others.