Do you ever suffer from memory lapses (such as losing the main point of what you were just saying or misplacing your keys a lot) or from decreased awareness? Brain health is an important part of ensuring your entire well-being because thinking straight, and feeling in charge of your emotions, are a large part of what makes you feel happier, more fulfilled, and more able to cope with life. A brain affected heavily by stress will cause all of your bodily systems to suffer in one way or other and too many free radicals (oxygen fragments or oxidants) damage the communication pathways in your brain, damaging brain cells one by one until you experience decreased alertness, slower reaction times, memory loss, and ultimately dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Start young to protect your mind. Individuals are living longer now and while mental decline is common in aging, it may be slowed and reversed somewhat by enjoying a range of “brain foods”. At the forefront of what is good for your brain are antioxidants, which are found in all fruits and vegetables, legumes, tea, chocolate, and wine.So, put aside the worries and start proactively feeding your brain with foods that science has shown will protect it and will go a long way to helping you enjoy both longevity and quality of life.
Consider how important better brain functioning is! Better brain functioning is about improving your memory and clear thinking, helping you to better manage and express your emotions, and maintaining your general health. In addition, good brain health helps you to keep up your relationships at their highest level as you’ll be thinking clearly and feeling great, as well as doing your best to stay around loved ones longer by eating antioxidants for an anti-aging brain.
Use certain supplements and foods as preventive measures to slow aging of the brain. Slowing aging and keeping your mental faculties sharp enough so that you can perform as well as someone who’s up to 10 years younger can be done using brain foods. The brain foods need to slow oxidation by mopping up the free radicals in your body as well as being targeted to specific needs within your brain. Try to get a good variety of brain foods in your diet so that you enjoy the different tastes and can eat with the seasons (which lessens costs and ensures freshness).
Eat selenium rich foods. Selenium is a trace mineral that has an essential role in ensuring good brain health, particularly as an anti-oxidant. Studies have found that depleted levels of selenium result in poor memory, bad moods, and decreased cognitive function, while increasing selenium improves mood, clarity of thinking, and energy levels. Eat selenium rich foods to get at least 55 micrograms (mcg) daily, as good for the brain:
- Eat whole-grain bread – it has 10 mcg of selenium per slice.
- Tuna has 63 micrograms of selenium per 3-ounces.
- Brazil nuts have 270 micrograms of selenium per half ounce.
- Try making your own easy wheat and rye bread.
Enjoy blueberries. These remarkable little fruits can do wonders for your brain and are reputed to protect against inflammation and oxidation, two processes that age your brain cells and that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. These berries are thought to be so good that they’ve even been termed “brain berries”.They are thought to improve short-term memory, so fill up on them!
Eat fish and fish oil. Fish contains selenium, vitamins A and D, phosphorous, magnesium and iodine (if marine fish). Fish oil is the richest source of fat vital to brain development in unborn babies and infants. Eat about 14 ounces (396g) of fish a week, three servings (each about the size of your fist). Fish oil is also available in foods fortified with DHA supplements.
Eat vitamin B packed foods. B vitamins help to keep up the protective coating on nerves and are also responsible for helping the production of chemicals the nerves use to communicate. Vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid help your neurotransmitters work efficiently, but it’s not proven that B supplements directly benefits thinking (folic acid, 400 mcg; B12, 800 mcg, and B6, 40 mg). However, it has been noticed that mental performance can decline with lower levels of vitamin B and research continues into the usefulness of the B vitamins for fighting Alzheimer’s.Good food sources of vitamin B include: pork, sunflower seeds, enriched grain products, meats (turkey, lamb, etc.), seafood (steamed clams, bluefin tuna, sardines, etc.), enriched flour, chickpeas, potatoes, chicken, and bananas.