The brain is the body’s main control center and is responsible for various body functions, making it one of the most essential parts of the body. It controls and dictates your motor skills, emotion, critical thinking, breathing, and other processes that regulate the body.
This is why keeping the brain as healthy as possible is important. Without a functional brain, you won’t be able to move, feel, and think, and your heart won’t beat, your lungs won’t breathe, and other bodily functions will reach a full stop.
One of the most effective ways to keep your brain strong and healthy is by eating foods with high nutritional value. These include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and many more, which contain essential nutrients keeping the brain fully functional.
If you want to dive deeper and discover the foods for optimum brain health, you’re in the right place. This article lists some of the best foods that may help keep your body’s central control system as strong and healthy as possible. Here are some of them:
Mushrooms are one of the most loved ingredients in the field of culinary all over the world. Not only is it delicious, but also packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants, which prevent cell damage and degeneration.
Although mushrooms aren’t a type of vegetable, they’re often found in the vegetable aisle of most supermarkets and grocery stores. Actually, mushrooms are fungi and belong to another kingdom of their own, like animals and plants in terms of biological classification.
Mushrooms possess high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and protein. It’s also believed that eating mushrooms—even in small portions—could reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which often leads to cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s.
If you want to know more about mushrooms, especially their anatomy, you may visit Mushroom Revival or other similar fact-based resources.
2. Fatty Fish
When it comes to food for the brain, nothing comes close to fatty fish like albacore tuna, salmon, herring, sardines, and trout because of the omega-3 fatty acids they contain. But why are such fatty acids important to brain health?
The human brain is mostly fat—around 60%—and half of it is made up of omega-3 fatty acids. The brain uses these fatty acids to generate new nerve and brain cells; also, they’re vital for memory, learning, and other cognitive functions.
On top of that, omega-3 fatty acids offer additional brain benefits, such as reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, improving learning impairments, and relieving depression. Overall, eating fatty fish is great for maintaining a healthy brain.
If you’re always starting your day with a cup of joe, you’ll be surprised to hear that you’re doing the right thing.
Coffee has two essential components: antioxidants and caffeine, which can help improve brain health, particularly cognitive health. Caffeine offers significant positive effects, such as:
- Improved Alertness: Caffeine blocks adenosine, a chemical in the body responsible for making you feel sleepy.
- Mood-Boosting: Caffeine promotes the production of feel-good hormones in the body, like dopamine.
- Improve Focus: Caffeine helps people concentrate on the task before them by improving their attention span.
In addition, drinking coffee may help prevent the development of neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This is especially true for people who consume 3-4 cups of coffee per day. It’s because of coffee’s antioxidant properties, which help generate new brain and nerve cells.
4. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains many compounds that boost brain health, such as antioxidants, caffeine, and flavonoids. This is because of its high cocoa content—usually 70% and above—compared to milk chocolate.
Flavonoids are compounds that may help improve memory, learning, and other cognitive abilities. Also, these compounds are believed to help reduce the risk of age-related mental decline.
Aside from that, dark chocolate is also a powerful mood booster. According to a study, participants who consumed dark chocolate had more positive feelings than those who didn’t. However, it isn’t clear if its flavor or compounds are responsible for this mood-boosting effect.
Broccoli is rich with essential compounds, such as antioxidants. It’s high in vitamin K, which is linked to better cognitive function and memory abilities. Also, it has significant amounts of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), which are essential in brain cells.
Aside from vitamin K, broccoli is also known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. This helps protect the brain from damage and cell degeneration.
The brain is the body’s central control system, regulating multiple processes at the same time, such as motor skills, thoughts, emotions, breathing, and more. Without it, you won’t be able to do anything—even thinking would be impossible. Don’t worry; some foods may help keep the brain healthy. These include broccoli, dark chocolate, coffee, fatty fish, and mushrooms.