11 foods to improve brain function

11 foods to boost brain activity and memory

The brain acts as the control center of our body, it is also in charge of other functions such as heartbeat or breathing. It allows us to move and think.

The foods we eat play an important role in the condition our brains are in. With a suitable diet we can improve cognitive functions, memory, but also overall performance or living life. We will introduce you to 11 foods that increase brain activity.

1.) Fish

To increase brain activity, fish are usually at the top of the list. We mainly include fish such as salmon, trout and sardines, which are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids (1). About 60% of the brain is made up of fats, and half of it is omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the formation of brain nerve cells and are essential for learning, memory, cognitive ability and concentration (2, 3). Omega-3s contain mainly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 39% (4, 5, 6, 7).

On the other hand, omega-3 fatty acid deficiency is associated with learning disabilities and depression(8). One study found that people who eat fish regularly have a higher proportion of gray matter. Gray matter contains most of the nerve cells that control decision-making, memory, and emotion (9).

2.) Coffe

If coffee is the basis of your morning, you will definitely like to hear that you are doing well. The brain is helped by two main components that coffee contains, which is caffeine and antioxidants. The caffeine contained in coffee has a number of positive effects on the brain (10).

  • Increased energy – caffeine maintains brain activity by blocking the hormone adenosine, which makes us feel tired (10, 11, 12).
  • Better mood – caffeine can be released by any of the neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which has a direct effect on our good mood (13).
  • Better concentration – the study found that participants who drank one major coffee in the morning or a smaller amount throughout the day worked more effectively on tasks that required concentration (14).

Drinking coffee has been associated with a lower risk of developing neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, in the long term. This should be partly due to the high concentration of antioxidants in the coffee.

3.) Blueberries

Blueberries have many benefits, including those that are directly designed to increase brain activity. Blueberries and other dark-colored fruits supply the body with anthocyanins, a group of substances that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. (15). Antioxidants act against oxidative stress, inflammation and conditions that can contribute to neurodegenerative diseases (16).

It has been found that some of the antioxidants contained in blueberries accumulate in the brain and help improve cooperation between brain cells. Flavonoids, which, as a group of substances in blueberries, are contained in large quantities, support the regeneration of brain cells and improve both long-term and short-term memory. (17). Blueberries even have a demonstrably positive effect on the development of motor skills.

4.) Curcuma

Curcuma has been the subject of great interest lately. This spice is a key ingredient in curry and has a number of benefits to brain function. Curcumin, which is the main active ingredient in turmeric, crosses the blood-brain barrier, which means that it can act directly in the brain and benefit its cells. (18). Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that is associated with the following benefits for improving brain function.

  • Memory benefits – Curcumin can help improve memory in people with Alzheimer’s disease and can also cleanse the amyloid coatings that are a hallmark of the disease. It is also excellent for treating strokes (19).
  • Relieves depression – curcumin increases the hormones serotonin and dopamine, which improve mood. In addition, research has shown that this active ingredient is able to improve memory and alleviate the symptoms of depression. (20).
  • Helps new brain cells grow– Curcumin increases neurotrophic factor in the brain, a type of growth hormone that helps brain cells grow. It can help delay the age-related mental decline (21).

5.) Broccoli

Broccoli contains a large number of plant compounds, including antioxidants. It also has a very high content of vitamin K and consumption of broccoli supplies the body with more than 100% of the recommended daily dose in 1 cup (tj.91g) (22). Several studies in adults have shown improved memory, due to higher vitamin K (23, 24). In addition to vitamin K, broccoli also contains choline, which is converted to acetylcholine. It is a neurotransmitter that promotes memory and full concentration (25).

6.) Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds contain powerful antioxidants that protect the body and brain from free radical damage. Pumpkin seeds themselves support the nervous system. Maybe that’s why they are called the elixir of health. They are a rich source of minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc and copper (26).

  • Zinc – is an element that is absolutely essential for the entire nervous system. Zinc deficiency is associated with many neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, depression, or Parkinson’s disease. (27).
  • MagnesiumMagnesium is essential for functions such as learning and memory. Low levels of magnesium are associated with many neurological diseases, including migraines, depression and epilepsy (28).
  • Copper – Copper needs the brain to control nerve signals, and when copper levels are low, there is a greater risk of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. (29).
  • Iron deficiencyiron deficiency is often characterized by brain fog and impaired brain function, especially memory and learning disabilities (30).

7.) Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate and cocoa powder contain several compounds that support brain activity. These are mainly flavonoids, caffeine and antioxidants. The flavinoids contained in chocolate accumulate in areas of the brain that deal with learning and memory. Researchers say these compounds can improve memory and also slow the mental decline associated with advancing age. (31, 32). According to research, chocolate also improves mood because the hormone serotonin is gradually released in the brain by the action of tryptophan. And on the contrary If serotonin is not released in the brain in sufficient quantities, it can also cause depression.

8.) Nuts

Walnuts are a special group of nuts. These contain mainly omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids. These include alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA significantly affect memory and brain performance and even affect behavior. They further improve logical thinking, concentration and intercellular communication (33, 34).

Research has shown that eating nuts can keep a heart healthy and that brain activity is involved. Studies from 2014 showed that nuts can help prevent neurodegenerative diseases (35).

Some of the nutrients that nuts contain, such as fats, antioxidants and vitamin E, have positive effects on the proper functioning of the brain. Vitamin E and antioxidants protect cell membranes from free radical damage, helping to slow age-related mental decline (36).

9.) Oranges

Vitamin C intake also increases brain activity. Oranges contain large amounts of vitamin C. We get the daily dose of vitamin C we need by eating one medium-sized orange. Vitamin C is a key factor in the prevention of mental exhaustion for proper brain function (37).

Oranges also contain a high content of antioxidants, which help protect brain cells from damage .

Consuming a sufficient amount of foods rich in vitamin C protects against mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps remove free radicals that can damage brain cells (38).

10.) Eggs

Eggs are a source of several nutrients that are related to proper brain function, mainly vitamin B6, B12 and choline (39). Choline is an important micronutrient that is part of the cell membranes of the brain, and it is he who protects the brain, for example, from stroke. (40). In addition, it acts as a support for memory capabilities.

Eggs are an easy way to maintain proper choline intake, as yolks are among the most concentrated sources of this nutrient. The recommended daily dose of choline is 425 mg per day for most women and 550 mg per day for men.

11.) Green Tea

As with coffee, the caffeine contained ingreen tea promotes brain function and performance. In fact, it has been found to supply energy, improve memory, cognitive ability and concentration (41). Another important substance is L-theanine. It is an amino acid that can cross the blood-brain barrier and increases the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps reduce feelings of anxiety. Green tea is also rich in polyphenols and antioxidants, which protect the brain from mental decline and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. (42).

Another solution: Supplementation of suitable food supplements

There are many foods that will help keep your brain in shape. Some foods such as fruits, vegetables, tea or coffee are high in antioxidants, making them neuroprotective. Other foods, such as nuts or eggs, contain nutrients that support the development of memory and cognitive functions in the brain. By including these foods in your diet, you will do a great service to the brain, your mental performance, but also the very experience of the world.

Of course, you can support everything by choosing a suitable supplement. For example. Neurohacker with Omega 3 and of course must not miss something for quality sleep: Sleep Faster. Because , when you sleep, your brain regenerates and at the same time our psyche recovers from the emotional strain and stress we experience during the day .

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