We usually worry more about our waistlines than our wisdom. We tend to focus only on foods that are essential for weight loss but ignore the brain health. But some foods rich in nutrients will not only benefit your body; it may also protect your brain from cognitive decline as you age. When your brain does not get the adequate nutrients that it needs, you might find it difficult to concentrate and your productivity might decrease. This can also put you at a greater risk for mood disorders, brain aging and degenerative brain diseases like depression and anxiety or Alzheimer’s disease.
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According to the Delhi based nutritionist, Nmami Agarwal “A wholesome diet is particularly essential for a healthy brain. Human brain requires some key nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, copper and magnesium.” She goes on to say, “Regular physical activity is also very important for the brain functioning. Any kind of physical activity will surely help enhance your mood and stay positive. When you are positive, your brain functions better.”
Some amazing foods for brain health:
1. Fatty fish:
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna or cod are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are a major building block of the brain. Omega-3s play a key role in sharpening the memory and improving the mood. They also help in protecting the brain against decline. The human body cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids which is a vital nutrient for the brain; therefore foods rich in these fatty acids should be included in your diet.
2. Green leafy vegetables:
In general green vegetables are great for your overall health. Nutritionist Nmami Agarwal said, “Spinach, kale, broccoli and other leafy green vegetables are helpful for a sharper brain. Some other vegetables like tomatoes can also be helpful,” nutritionist added. Even blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are packed with antioxidants; which can help in maintaining the brain health.
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Coffee can help enhance your mood and keep you alert. Coffee may also protect you against some diseases like Alzheimer’s, due to its caffeine and antioxidant properties.
Some herbs and spices are also a great source of antioxidants and can help in the brain function. Turmeric and its active compound curcumin have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, which are beneficial for the brain. Some other herbs and spices such as turmeric, cinnamon and ginger are also loaded with antioxidants that may decrease harmful inflammation in the brain.
5. Nuts and seeds:
Healthy nuts and seeds are nutrient-dense and contain a lot of brain-boosting nutrients, including vitamin E, healthy fats and proteins. “Nuts like walnuts and some pumpkin seeds are great for your brain,” nutritionist further added.