To be labeled as a”Superfood” for the mind, the food must contain substantial amounts of certain nutrients which have been demonstrated by research to assist the mind maintain its normal functions or to stop it from aging prematurely.
Antioxidant rich foods as measured by their high ORAC scores can lower the risk of developing brain degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia, by countering the harmful effects of free radicals that induces oxidative stress experienced by the mind.
Another antioxidant vitamin C also contributes to brain health through the synthesis of the neurotransmitter “norepinephrine” that are essential for normal brain functioning.
Another nutrient is folate, required for nucleic acid synthesis and several other metabolic pathways essential to healthy and normal brain function. Folates are known to reduce homocysteine levels thus avoiding damage to nerves in mind.
Criteria for a Superfood
The standards for a superfood for your brain means a serving of this food should have an ORAC score (which is the “Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity” value that measures clinically the amount of antioxidants in the food) of at least 1000 and comprise 12 or more mg of vitamin C (which represents 20% of your recommended daily allowance) OR 80 micrograms of folate (which represents 20% of your recommended daily allowance).
These are a superfood for your brain since one serving of blackberries (1 cup or 144 g ) has an ORAC score of almost 8,000. A scientific study on animals showed that foods containing anthocyanins (which are the antioxidant pigments found in berries) may prevent effects of aging-related brain degeneration like memory loss and loss of coordination and balance.
This study also revealed that the phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables can actually reverse abnormality in behavior and nerve cells. Blackberries are rich in the antioxidant, vitamin C, with one serving (one cup) supplying 50 percent of your daily requirement. Vitamin c helps protect the brain from the effects of free radicals (unstable oxygen molecules), and through neurotransmitter synthesis, allows the brain to function normally. Blackberries has some folate (1 cup = roughly 9 percent ) which helps lower homocysteine levels thus preventing damage to nerve cells.
Also called “brain berries”, are antioxidant rich with only one serving of blueberries (1 cup, 148 g ) with an ORAC score of 9,697. Much like blackberries, blueberries can prevent age-related brain degeneration like memory loss and loss of coordination and balance. Blueberries may also help reverse abnormality in behaviour and nerve cells. A cup of blue berries are also full of vitamin C that through neurotransmitter synthesis, helps the normal functioning of the mind.
These are high in antioxidants using only one serving of raspberries (1 cup, 123 g ) with an ORAC score of over 6,000. Raspberries are high in vitamin C, with only 1 cup supplying over 50 percent of your daily requirement and provide some folate (1 cup = about 7 percent).
These are an abundant source of antioxidants shown by a high ORAC score, with only one serving of strawberries (1 cup, 147 g ) with an ORAC score of over 5,000. A study by Cornell University found that among the antioxidants found in berries called”quercetin” may prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s by protecting brain cells from the oxidative stress apparent from the disease. Strawberries are also full of vitamin C, with only 1 cup supplying 144% of your daily requirement. Strawberries also has some folate (1 cup = about 9 percent ).
Broccoli cooked or raw, is an unbelievable source of vitamin C, using only one raw stem (148 g ) providing over 220 percent of your daily requirement and a cooked stalk provides over 150%! Broccoli is also full of folate (23% raw and 40% cooked) and both raw and cooked broccoli are rich in antioxidant phytochemicals as shown by an ORAC scores of 3,531 and 2,016, respectively.
Oranges are rich in vitamin C, with only 1 fruit (154 g ) providing over 150 percent of your daily requirement. Oranges contain folate, with only 1 orange providing over 40 percent of your daily and are plentiful in antioxidant phytochemicals as evidenced by an ORAC score of 2,801.
When baked in their skins are a superb source of vitamin C, with only 1 medium potato (173 g ) with 36-37% of your daily requirement. Baked potatoes do contain some folate (12-16%). Red, white and Russet potatoes are excellent source of antioxidant phytochemicals as exhibited by ORAC scores of 2,294, 1,969 and 2,906, respectively.
These are an outstanding source of vitamin C, with 9.8 mg per 100grams of spinach. Spinach also has folate with 146 micrograms per 100grams of spinach. One scientific study also found that spinach really reversed the aging associated decrease in a brain cell called”cerebellar Purkinje neurons”, in addition to improving the capability to learn new jobs.
- Avocados are thought of as a fatty fruit, but as it’s a monounsaturated fat, avocados leads to healthy blood circulation that’s essential for a healthy brain. Avocados also lower blood pressure, which will help prevent decline in cognitive abilities thus promoting brain health. However, avocados are high in calories, so just 1/4 to 1/2 of an avocado daily is advised.
- Whole grains like oatmeal, whole-grain breads, and brown rice can reduce the risk for heart disease. A healthy heart means that there’s good blood circulation throughout the organ system in the body which comprises the brain. Weizen germs aren’t a whole grain, but it’s fiber and vitamin E and some omega-3s. Eating a 1/2 cup of whole-grain cereal, 1 slice of bread two-thee times day, or two tablespoons of wheatgerm a day is advised.
- Beans abundant and affordable. Since the brain requires glucose for fuel, but sugar can’t be stored, the brain requires a steady flow of glucose for energy that could be offered by beans. All beans are great especially lentils and black beans and consuming 1/2 cup per day is advised.
- Wild salmon, being a deep water fish are abundant and clean and are full of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are crucial for brain function. Omega-3s are utilised to form cell walls, making them flexible and supple, and enhancing flow and oxygen uptake with proper red blood cell flexibility and function. It is recommended consuming two fish dinners every week, which is approximately 3 to 4 times greater than the other recommendation of “adequate” ingestion of omega-3 essential fatty acids.
- Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E, which prevents or slows aging caused brain deneration. Some nutrionists advocate aating an ounce (approximately 28 g ) per day of nuts like Brazil nuts, filberts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed, walnuts, hazelnuts and unhydrogenated nut butters like peanut butter, almond butter, and tahini.
- Granatapfel juice. Pomegranate juice are also full of antioxidants but because most have added sugar, about 2 oz (58 milliliters) per day, diluted with water.
- Freshly brewed tea whether cold or hot, around two to three cups a day includes caffeine which can increase the brain by improving memory, attention, and mood. Tea also has antioxidants, particularly the class called catechines, which promotes healthy blood circulation that’s essential for a healthy body and a healthy brain. Freshly brewed tea is favored over roasted or bottled teas although tea bags are o.k.
- Dark chocolate has strong antioxidant properties, and contains several organic stimulants like caffeine, allowing for concentration and focus, and stimulates the production of endorphins, which will help improve mood. 1/2 oz to 1 (14 to 28 g ) ounce per day of dark chocolate provides all the benefits you require. So moderation is the key!