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5 Foods to Promote A Healthy Brain

5 Foods to Promote A Healthy Brain

 

Whether you’re looking for quick information, or want something to impress your friends at dinner, here’s our Featured 5 of the Week!

Did you know that certain foods can help slow the cognitive decline of the brain, combating the onset of diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s? We’re here to tell you 5 things that you should consider adding into your diet to feed your brain! It’s called the MIND Diet!

5. Chicken and Turkey

Chicken and turkey are both lean meats with a lot of great benefits. They are excellent sources of protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B.

We’ve heard of the B vitamin providing our bodies with energy, but did you know it can also help the brain? Specifically, choline, which is found in both chicken and turkey, is a B vitamin that accelerates the body’s creation of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a protein and it carries signals to different brain cells. It’s extremely important for memory, muscle control, and other brain and nervous system functions.

Eating chicken and/or turkey just two times a week can help your body get the proper amounts of choline, between 425-550 mg/day, and help get your brain in top condition!

4. Wine

Who doesn’t love a glass of red wine at the end of the day? Well, now you can feel better about your relaxing drink because it actually has great benefits for your body!

Drinking just one glass of wine a day, specifically red wine, can help in many different ways. First, a glass of red wine can help improve insulin sensitivity. This can decrease your risk of both diabetes and high blood pressure. A glass of red wine can also help decrease inflammation in the body and clear away toxins from the brain, especially toxins that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

So go ahead and have that glass of wine after a long day! Just remember, wine contains a lot of sugar, so be mindful of how much you’re putting into your body.

3. Berries

Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries – they all have great health benefits, but what are their effects when it comes to our mind? Don’t worry, it’s all good news!

Berries have many antioxidant properties. They also contain anthoyanis, which are plant compounds that help decrease inflammation, and flavonoids, which help strengthen the brain’s neuron connections. Both of these, plus other properties in berries, can help prevent age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, and also strengthen motor and cognitive functions, including communication and memory.

In regards to a healthy mind, berries should be consumed around 2 times a week, and don’t be afraid to switch it up! Try different berries or eat them in different ways!

2. Leafy Greens and Other Veggies

When it comes to vegetables and leafy greens, the nutritional values are endless! These nutrient-packed plants deliver so much goodness to our bodies AND to our minds!

Veggies are full of vitamins and phytonutrients, including carotenoids, flavonoids, and ellagic acid. Many of these are needed to create sphingolipids, which is a type of fat that contains an amino acid called sphingosine. Sphingolipids can be found packed in our brain cells, especially in nerve cells. Here, they help with structural functions and protect the cells from outside factors.

Veggies are also rich in antioxidants, including carotene and folate, and contain many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K. Aside from also contributing to sphingolipid function, vitamin K is also anti-inflammatory and promotes cell growth.

However, some say that too much vitamin K can have an adverse effect on cognitive performance, but more research is needed to make any conclusions, so keep eating your veggies at least once a day and exercising your brain!

1. Whole Grains

Whole grains, we know we need them, but we didn’t know we needed them for our brain power too! Whole grains, which include barley, oats, quinoa, and brown rice, have three parts. These three parts are the bran, which is the nutritious outer layer, the germ, or the nutrient-rich center, and the endosperm, which contains a lot of starchy carbs. In a whole grain, all three of these compounds are included.

Like many other of the foods we’ve discussed, whole grains are rich in B vitamins and are anti-inflammatory. They help with blood flow in the body, including blood flow to the brain, increasing cognitive functioning and help with memory. Whole grains also contain high amounts of magnesium, which aids in the ability of brain cells use of energy.

Try to stay away from foods like white rice and white bread, and substitute them with whole grains. Whole grains are tasty and consuming them 3 times a day can help protect your brain and other parts of the body!

 

The Bottom Line

Our brains are machines, and just like our stomachs, they also need to be fed with the best and most nutritious food that can be offered. We hope you’ll consider incorporating some of these “brain foods” into your diets!

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