Best Foods for the Brain

Healthy living comes with a range of alternative eating habits. Some foods are better at stimulating the mind and body than others. DESIblitz lists the best foods for the brain.

Having a balanced diet allows our brain to function and gives it a better chance to fight off diseases.

Having a diet rich in healthy food is very important to the health and function of the brain.

Did you know, your brain weighs 3lbs and consumes around 20 percent of your daily calorie intake?

Our brain relies on our diet for its energy needs so we need to ensure we are investing in a healthy and balanced diet.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and dried beans are all good for your heart and blood vessels, which ultimately mean that they are good for your brain too.

However, there are certain foods that are recommended to be eaten regularly by experts for their benefits to the brain’s health.

Desiblitz have counted down the top ten foods that really optimise brain activity. How many do you eat?

10. Avocado

AvocadoAvocados contain a healthy fat which promotes blood flow, lowers blood pressure and will keep your brain ticking over very nicely.

It also contains folate, which is fundamental to memory and a deficiency may lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Half an avocado will provide you with 60 micrograms of your dietary allowance of 400 micrograms of folate.

9. Eggs

EggsEgg yolks are rich in a nutrient called choline, which is important to improving memory function.

It is needed for the manufacture of neurotransmitters, which allows brain cells to communicate with each other.

Choline is only produced in the body in small amounts but makes up a large portion of the brain. This is why eggs are so important to your brain health.

8. Flaxseed

FlaxseedFlaxseeds contain ALA, a good fat that will help to make the cerebral cortex function better.

The cerebral cortex is responsible for processing sensory information.

It also contains an Omega-6 fatty acid called GLA. Omega-6 fats help to regulate the environment of the brain.

Flaxseed can be found in special types of bread and can also be bought as a mix to stir in with porridge.

7. Broccoli

BroccolliBroccoli has been shown to slow down the ageing process while simultaneously improving memory function.

This is because it is a brilliant source of vitamin K, which has been proven to improve brainpower and enhance cognitive function.

Therefore if you would like to stay young then invest in a broccoli rich diet today!

6. Whole grains

Whole grainWhole grains are a steady source of energy for the brain as they are low-G.I and release glucose slowly into the bloodstream.

Without a long lasting source of energy, the brain will not be able to concentrate or focus for a sustained period.

Whole grain foods like granary bread and brown pasta are excellent for brain function as they contain vitamins, essential fibres and some Omega-3 fatty acids, which help to improve circulation.

5. Walnuts

WalnutInterestingly, walnuts look physically similar to a brain and are helpful for the brain function.

They are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which is the most essential fatty acid that our diet needs as the body cannot produce it naturally.

Omega-3 will promote clarity and a strong memory and help to fight insomnia. Walnuts are also full of vitamin E, which helps against memory loss.

4. Salmon

SalmonSimilar to walnuts, salmon is also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which will help build brain tissue to increase your brain power.

Salmon also helps to protect against Alzheimer’s and other age-related cognitive disorders.

However, remember to choose wild salmon over farm-raised salmon.

Farm-raised salmon are raised in a restricted environment full of toxins which are bad for you.

3. Chocolate

Dark chocolateSounds too good to be true, but chocolate is actually a good source of antioxidants for the brain. It is actually the cacao bean, which is the bean from which the chocolate is made, that increases brain health.

However, chocolate is only good for brain health when you eat high quality dark chocolate, which has a high cocoa percentage (85% is recommended).

Dark chocolate improves focus and concentration whereas good quality milk chocolate improves memory and reaction time.

The general chocolate bars that you generally see in the supermarket usually contain a small amount of the bean unfortunately. Not that we need any more excuses to eat chocolate!

2. Coffee

CoffeePeople do commonly receive mixed messages about whether coffee is good for you and the answer seems to be that caffeine in moderation is great for your brain as it contains antioxidants.

One cup of coffee a day can help protect the blood-brain barrier by blocking the effects of cholesterol.

Coffee has also been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia and other mental disorders.

1. Blueberries

BlueberriesDESIBlitz’s top food for the brain is awarded to….the fantastic blueberry!

Blueberries are most definitely a super food as they contain flavonoids that interact with proteins and enzymes that make the brain younger and smarter.

They are rich in antioxidants, which help to prevent free radical damage.

Regular consumption of blueberries can help to improve memory function.

A healthy and happy brain

In conclusion, a brain healthy diet will:

  • Boost concentration
  • Lift your mood
  • Help you stay alert
  • Improve your memory
  • Control cravings

Do not forget that activities like physical exercise, learning a new instrument, reading, solving puzzles and staying socially active will also highly benefit the health of the brain.

If you are aware that your diet is unbalanced, then you may want to choose a multivitamin that has omega-3 fatty acid so you don’t miss out on any essential fatty acids that a healthy brain so desperately needs.

Having a balanced diet allows our brain to function and gives it a better chance to fight off diseases. How about giving some of the foods on the top ten list a try? Go on, you may just surprise yourself.

Clare is a History Graduate who writes about important current issues. She enjoys learning about being healthy, playing the piano and reading as knowledge definitely is power. Her motto is 'Treat every second in your life as holy.'

Please consult your doctor beforehand if you do decide to start taking a multivitamin or health supplement.