When we think of nutrition and the consumption and absorption of nutrients, we usually don’t think of the brain as needing it’s own special diet. However, the brain – being of the most important organs in the whole of the human body, certainly does require certain nutrients in order to stay healthy in the long run.
While it is always important to maintain a healthy brain, it becomes even more vital to do so once we reach old age. Doing so can help us maintain mental clarity and help keep our concentration and overall mental performance sharp.
You’d be surprised to learn that the brain uses one fifth of all the blood pumped by the heart, therefore the right food and drink are important to keep it working properly. Here are some of the foods that a healthy brain craves:
Salmon, herring and mackerel are all excellent sources of omega-3, which your brain needs to stay healthy.
Olive oil is a source of healthy fat and can actually help reduce both high cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Groundbreaking studies have linked the consumption of olive oil with a reduced risk of ischaemic stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and general cognitive impairment.
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, açai berries, and other deep-coloured fruits and veggies such as spinach, beetroot and beans are essential for a healthy brain. All of these tend to be high in antioxidants, which help guard against disease by protecting cells in the body and brain from damage.
Avocados, aside from being delicious are also an essential part of a healthy brain diet. Along with other foods containing polyunsaturated fatty acids (nuts, seeds, fish and leafy green vegetables) and monounsaturated fatty acids (olive oil, nuts) they have been found to help reduce the risk of dementia and depression.
Good news for chocolate lovers: a small piece of dark chocolate per day is what your brain needs to garner the antioxidant benefits of cocoa. However, chocolate is also high in sugar and fat, so make sure to not overindulge.
Aside from being another rich source of antioxidants, green tea consumption can improve brain function, aid in fat loss, lower the risk of cancer and most importantly, it keeps the body hydrated.