Nutritionists often say that there is a brain behind everything – our thoughts, memory, focus, movement, breathing, and heart rate – and that certain foods can help you become stronger and more capable.
In addition, food plays an important role in longevity. According to the National Institutes of Aging, what we eat directly affects our body’s inflammation and oxidative stress – both of which can increase our risk of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Here are five foods that will sharpen your memory, focus, and overall brain health:
1. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and cocoa flavonoids that help maintain the health of brain cells. It also contains fiber which helps in reducing brain inflammation and preventing dementia.
A 2020 study examined how dark chocolate and white chocolate affect the memory of healthy young people. Compared with the group that received the white chocolate, the participants who received the dark chocolate had better verbal memory performance two hours after eating the chocolate.
2. Red fruits
Red fruits contain antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals. These nutrients help maintain memory, and the fiber content helps nourish intestinal microbes to reduce inflammation in the brain.
Strawberries, for example, are rich in flavonoids and can slow down cognitive decline; Blueberries contain a variety of flavonoids associated with the prevention of oxidative stress; Blackberries are an excellent source of antioxidants, which help maintain the health of brain cells.
Turmeric, one of the main ingredients in black powder, contains a compound called curcumin, which is the secret behind its brain-stimulating properties.
Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory substance. Studies have shown that eating can help reduce anxiety symptoms and reduce intelligence with age.
4. Green leaves
Leafy vegetables are an important component of a healthy diet for the brain because they contain folate, a B vitamin that supports neurodevelopment and neurotransmitter activity. Folate deficiency has been linked to increased risk of depression and cognitive impairment.
5. Fermented food
Fermentation involves the addition of food to the culture of microorganisms that nourish the food sugar. It produces other products such as lactic acid, which can cause intestinal-friendly bacteria.
Hence we have what is called the gut-brain connection. So when we eat fermented foods and increase the health of the intestines, our cognitive function can also improve.
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