Brain Function: It’s great to wake up to a brain that is firing on all cylinders and where your levels of creativity, as well as productivity, are through the roof. Unfortunately, we all have those days when our mental capabilities seem to be sluggish and it can be difficult to manage simple tasks such as sending an email or remembering where you left your keys.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to improve your brain function as well as your overall mental health. We all know that getting a good night’s sleep and eating a healthy balanced diet are two of the most important things you can do to enhance this area of your life. In this article, we will look more closely at some of the best foods to eat to give your brain the boost it needs.
When it comes to brain food, fatty fish is on most people’s lists. Fish such as salmon, herrings, trout, tuna and sardines are all abundant sources of omega-3 fatty acids which is an essential building block for the brain. Approximately 60% of the brain is made up of fat, half of which is comprised of omega-3 fatty acids.
The brain uses these fatty acids to build brain cells and neurons and to support adequate blood flow to the brain. Increased blood flow to certain parts of the brain helps to improve the performance of various cognitive tasks as well as aiding memory recall and lowering the risk of dementia. You can also take an omega-3 supplement such as cod liver oil, or if you prefer a vegan option choose sources such as flaxseeds, seaweed, algae and walnuts.
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
This relatively unknown mushroom, also known as Hericium erinaceus, hou tou gu and yamabushitake, is an unusual-looking fungus that can support your brain health. Studies have shown that lion’s mane mushrooms contain hericenones and erinacines which are two compounds that stimulate the growth of brain cells.
Lion’s mane also increases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein responsible for brain plasticity and the growth of new neurons and synapses. It also helps counter the effects of stress and aging in the brain which can result in symptoms such as memory loss and inability to focus. A convenient way to receive the benefits offered by this mushroom is by taking some lion’s mane gummies,
According to the American Chemistry Society (ACS), there is strong evidence to suggest that eating blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and other types of berries can be beneficial for the brain and can prevent age-related memory loss and other adverse changes to the brain.
Compounds found in berries, known as flavonoids, not only give berries their vibrant color but can also help the brain protect against oxidative stress which is responsible for damage to brain cells, as well as contributing to cell death. This can increase the risk of neurodegeneration and conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. Antioxidants found in deeply colored berries such as blueberries can counter oxidative stress and inflammation, reducing the effects of such neurodegenerative diseases and brain aging.
Now that you know the benefits, try adding the foods mentioned in this article to your diet to help you stay sharp.