The brain is one of the most demanding organs in the body. It processes information at a staggering 268 mph. Every day it creates trillions of synaptic connections among billions of neurons. As you can see, it is very important to keep your brain healthy.
As with most parts of the human body, we can ensure that the brain gets what it needs by eating certain foods.
Proof That Food Keeps The Brain Healthy
Neuroscientists Daniel G. Amen, who’s also the author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, conducted a study to test the effects of diet on professional athletes. He put 135 active and retired NFL players on a diet with more vegetables and lean proteins. He also introduced fish oil and other supplements into their diet.
After six months on this program, Amen tested the participants’ cognition, memory and motivation. He found that the athletes improved as much as 50 percent in terms of attention, accuracy and speed during tests.
Foods Best Suited for the Brain
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and DHA
The brain needs fat because 60 percent of this organ is structural fat. The most common fats in the brain are omega-3 fatty acids and DHA. This high-fat content in the brain helps keep down inflammation and helps maintain healthy cells.
Foods that provide the highest source of omega-3s and DHA include sardines, wild salmon, and mackerel. Also, a good fish oil supplement can be a great source.
The brain benefits from a protein rich diet in many ways. First, protein help the brain build and repair tissue, similarly to omega-3s. Furthermore, protein contains amino acids, which keep the brain alert and active.
Some ideal proteins for brain health include avocados (which are also high in omega-3 fats), raw nuts, beans, salmon, eggs, and red meat. Make sure to choose organic, free-range and grass-fed whenever possible.
Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress in the brain. In addition, they help maintain the 100,000 miles of blood vessels that are present in the brain. Foods high in antioxidants include blueberries, carrots and green leafy vegetables.
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