Eating Smart: Good Brain Food

What exactly is good brain food? Chances are that you consider the quality of your food when it comes to nutrients and calories, so you can be as fit as you can be. Many people are aware of the effects of their food choices on their weight, their general level of fitness and cholesterol or blood sugar levels. While you can get faster, stronger and fitter by making the right food choices, you can also help improve your mental state. The food you eat can influence your mood, mental stability, the body’s defenses against diseases like Alzheimer’s, memory performance and many more aspects of your brain.

Although the effects of nutrition on your brain are not yet fully understood, there’s enough scientific evidence to guide you in making the right food choices for your brain. Here are a few brain food choices you might not know about:

Wild Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel and Sardines

Cold water fish are a great source for omega-3 fatty acids. One of these fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHC) is an essential building block for your brain. Your body is able to produce DHC by itself, but not in sufficient quantities. Since studies have indicated that a diet lacking in omega-3 fatty acids can lead to subpar brain development, it is imperative to make sure you add enough to your diet. Eating cold water fish is a great way to do this.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, flavonoids and other nutrients that can help improve brain function. Citrus fruits are great sources of vitamin C, and any fruit or vegetable with a deep color is loaded with flavonoids. Both vitamin C and flavonoids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which help protect your brain from damage. Broccoli is a great choice for a brain food, since it is rich in folate and vitamin K. By adding folate to your diet, you protect your brain from Alzheimer’s, and vitamin K improves cognitive performance.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are a great source of folate and vitamin B6, which plays an important role in protecting your brain. Eating whole grains also helps improve the circulation in your brain.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds provide your body with nice amounts of vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and vitamin B. Vitamin E is beneficial to the brain due to its antioxidant properties, and magnesium is an important element for your brain’s function.

The Right Carbohydrates

Your brain needs carbohydrates to function. However, if you want to keep your brain stable and functioning steadily, you should avoid sugar rich foods. The sudden rise in blood sugar that these foods cause signals your body to produce a lot of insulin, after which your blood sugar levels suddenly drop. This means that while you get an initial mental boost from sugar, you will feel sluggish and tired soon after. By choosing whole grains and fruits instead of starchy and sugar rich foods, you can keep your blood sugar levels stable. A steady supply of blood sugars will help you feel awake and mentally alert all day long.

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