Just like eating the right diet can prevent heart disease, high blood pressure or cancer, certain foods can boost the brain power. Giving every brain cells a steady supply of the right nutrients helps to keep them alive and working properly.
Here are 10 foods that can boost brain power:
1) Dark green leafy vegetables
They contain lots of antioxidants, Vitamin E , Vitamin K and folate that can help lower homocysteine level in the blood. Homocysteine cause inflammation in the brain cell and eventual death. The folate in dark green vegetables break down homocysteine in the blood and prevent brain cell death.
Berries contain an abundance of polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that prevent inflammation in the brain cells and enhance communication between brain cells. This communication is important for learning and processing of information.
Apples are rich in quercetin, which is a powerful antioxidant the prevent free radical damage in the outer lining of brain cells.
4) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Amyloid B-derived diffusible ligands ( ADDL) is an Alzheimer’s inducing protein. It attached itself to the brain cells, preventing the communication flow with other brain cells. This leads to eventual memory loss and cell death. Oleacanthal in olive oil disable ADDL, hence protecting the brain cells.
Salmon fish has the richest source of Vitamin D and DHA (docosahexanoic acid), one of the essential fatty acids in Omega-3. DHA is an important component of the brain cell membrane. It is also anti-inflammatory that protects the brain cells. Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of memory loss by 40%.
6) Amino acids
Tryptophan and tyrosine are two amino acids that are important precursors to neurotransmitters. Tryptophan give rise to serotonin, which helps to relax the brain and put you in a good mood. Tyrosine gives rise to dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine, which put the brain cell on alert and focus.
Food rich in tryptophan are poultry, seafood, dairy, nuts and seeds and legumes. Food rich in tyrosine are soy products, avocado and almonds.
Cinnamon contains proanthocyain, which is also an antioxidant that helps inactivate the beta-amyloid protein, thereby preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
9) Chocolate and coffee
Both chocolate and coffee contain cocoa and caffeine, which are antioxidants with protective effects against free radicals damage on brain cells and also improve blood flow. 1/3 oz of chocolate a day protects against memory loss and 3-4 cups of coffee a day reduce the odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 65%.
10) Carbohydrate / protein ratio
The ratio of carbohydrate and protein intake in a meal can affect the calmness or alertness of the brain. If you want to have a calm mind and good sleep at night, a meal of high carbohydrate versus protein ratio will contain tryptophan, which is the precursor for Serotonin that calms the brain.
If you want to stay alert after lunch, then a meal high in protein versus carbohydrate ratio will contain tyrosine which is the precursor for epinephrine, norepinephrine that help the brain to be alert and focus.
Although, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, eating the right food can play a role in boosting the brain functions and protecting it.
Do you know of other foods that help boost brain power? Share with me in the comment box below.
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