Maybe you have noticed the “foggy” distracted feeling you get long after eating a giant ice cream sundae or drinking a few cans of soda? This is one of the most frequent examples of how your diet is intricately connected with your brain function, including your ability to focus, concentrate and have a sharp memory.
Of all of the organs in your body, your brain, arguably, has the toughest task. Every time you think, breathe, equilibrium, digest food, circulate blood, and countless other tasks you probably take for granted on a daily basis, your mind is called to act. Likewise once you recall a memory or focus to address a problem on the job. In actuality, your brain cells are so in demand that they need twice more energy than other tissues in our bodies, as they exist in a constant state of metabolic activity. Even if you’re sleeping, your brain cells (neurons) are hard at work.
So, as you’re likely well aware, it is imperative that you nourish these brain cells with the correct fuel they need to flourish, since this will directly affect how well your mind works on a daily basis. If you would like a memory like an elephant and the focus to reach, and surpass, your most enviable dreams, you have to think of your mind when you consume.
Grow More Brain Cells!
It was considered that you were born with all the brain cells you’d have, and as you got older and brain cells had been lost, there was nothing you could do about it. New research in the past two decades has turned into this dogma upside down, as it is now known that your body can, in reality, create new brain cells via a process called neurogenesis.
These new brain cells can help improve your memory and learning, together with a number of other functions. In actuality, the brain region with the most active neurogenesis is the hippocampus, that is the part related to learning and memory.
“Some very recent research indicate that the potency of a memory can relate to how many new neurons remain in the brain following studying “
See, it is not a given that all new neurons live. In actuality, many will die because they don’t get the support they need, namely nutrients from the blood in addition to connections with other neurons.
There are many ways to help support this process and provide new neurons the best chances of surviving and becoming a part of your functioning mind. Exercise and learning new things are two of the principal ones, but a third, and also significant, strategy is the diet.
Foods to Boost Memory
So what should you eat more of to give your mind an additional boost?
Fruits and Vegetables
There are a lot of brain-boosting choices from the produce section that your very best bet is to simply bear in mind that the more you eat, the healthier your mind will be. Fruits and veggies are rich in powerful antioxidants that may help protect your brain from the damage of free radicals. One study found that dogs fed an antioxidant-enriched diet performed better on cognitive tests and discovered new tricks better than dogs fed a normal diet.
The improvements, which researchers noted imply dietary fortification with antioxidants within a long-duration can slow age-dependent cognitive decline, took only comparatively small dietary changes to reach — the equivalent of raising your fruit and veggie intake from three portions a day to five or six.
Again, all types of produce are valuable, but certain types do seem to stand out above the rest for your brain power, for example:
Linked to lower levels of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline, blueberries can help keep your mind sharp. As reported in SeattlePI, notable Tufts University nutrition researcher James Joseph said:
“What blueberries do is exactly what simply can be known as strengthening the mind by taking advantage of the brain’s enormous redundancy,” said Joseph. “Blueberries have chemicals that boost neuron signs and help return on systems in the brain which could cause using other proteins to aid with memory or other cognitive skills.”
Spinach isn’t only for your muscles, it is also for your mind. Studies reveal rats fed spinach perform better on memory and learning tests. Spinach also provides magnesium, a lack of which has been associated with ADHD, confusion and lack of focus.
A classic study by Joseph even discovered that rats fed a diet supplemented with spinach, blueberries and strawberries were really able to undo age-related deficits in neuronal and cognitive functioning.
The antioxidants in apples may help to increase levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is critical to memory. The analysis, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, noted:
“… consumption of antioxidant-rich foods like apples can stop the decrease in cognitive performance that communicates genetic and dietary deficiencies and aging.”
Wild-Caught Fish, Walnuts, Flaxseed
Fish, walnuts and flaxseed are excellent sources of animal-based and plant-based omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats are crucial for healthy brain function, especially the omega-3 fat DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). DHA is the principal omega-3 fat in brain gray matter, and recent study demonstrated DHA supplementation increases the activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex portion of the brain, which is associated with working memory.
Past research has also shown that omega-3 fats are crucial for optimizing brain development in children (including in utero), in addition to improve the symptoms of ADHD, including improved attention and concentration.
Aside from wild-caught fish, it is also possible to obtain animal-based omega-3 fats from a fish oil supplement.
Eggs are rich in choline, a B vitamin which boosts the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (key for good memory formation). A deficiency in production of acetylcholine is connected to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. When pregnant, choline is also crucial for normal brain development.
Beef comprises iron and zinc, both of which can help your brain health, memory and concentration. Iron helps to boost the supply of oxygen through your body, including to a mind.
What About Herbs and Supplements?
A balanced diet that focuses on fresh, whole foods is the very best choice for optimum brain function, but there is some evidence that certain supplements may be beneficial also. Some of the most promising include:
Ginkgo may offer your circulatory system a boost, providing increased flow to your brain and vital organs and encouraging mental alertness. Some studies reveal that increasing the blood supply to your brain can improve memory, reaction time and mental clarity.
Studies have demonstrated that ginseng may increase mental efficiency and supply adaptogenic qualities which help balance your body, depending upon your needs. Ginseng is often used to boost energy levels and improve memory.
Acetyl L Carnitine
Acetyl-l-carnitine is thought to be helpful in encouraging energy function on mind and helping to reduce oxidative stress.
CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an enzyme produced by your body that’s needed for the basic functioning of cells, including the creation of mobile (and psychological ) energy. The National Institutes of Health reports that the production level of this important enzyme decreases with age, increasing the demand for a CoEnzyme Q10 supplement to help maintain continuing overall wellbeing.
As mentioned previously, fish oil comprises brain-empowering omega-3 fats. While fish like salmon, tuna, and halibut contain elevated levels of these healthful fats too, they also have been reported by many federal agencies to contain environmental contaminants such as mercury and other substances that are bad for your body.For those seeking a safer choice, pure, high quality omega-3 fish oil supplements may offer both EPA and DHA minus the possible damage from environmental contaminants.