10 Lesser-Known Foods for Brain Health
Feed your brain with these foods that have shown to be beneficial to cognitive health.
Certain foods have been shown to improve brain function, protect against age-related cognitive decline and encourage clarity and focus. Foods that are rich in essential brain nutrients can protect against various mental disorders now and degenerative brain diseases in the future. These foods not only taste great, but have also been found to contain nutrients that protect and support brain health. Including these foods in a healthy diet is perhaps the best way to feed your brain. Continual studies have found a relationship between what we put in our mouths and how well we are able to perform crucial thinking and memory tasks. Here is a list of ten foods that even health conscious people may not know can keep their brain healthy:
1. Celery - this popular vegetable is included as an ingredient in many recipes, but few people know it contains luteolin, a plant compound that reduces brain inflammation and is a factor in preventing memory loss.
2. Crab - this tasty seafood provides phenylalanine, an amino acid influential in the production of the brain stimulating neurotransmitter dopamine, and it may also help to prevent Parkinson's disease.
3. Garbanzo beans - these tasty beans are a great source of magnesium citrate, a nutrient that improves blood flow and helps brain cell receptors transmit messages faster.
4. Red meat - beef is on the list of foods doctors say should be eaten rarely, but red meat is an important source of Vitamin B12 which is essential for optimal brain health.
5. Curry - turmeric is the spice that gives curry its distinctive flavor, and contains the powerful anti-inflammatory nutrient curcumin. Research shows that curcumin improves memory and helps new brain cells to grow through neurogenesis.
6. Nuts - especially walnuts because of the plant based Omega 3 fats they provide, as well as antioxidants and phytosterols that can boost brain function and healing.
7. Coffee and dark chocolate - the caffeine and antioxidants in these two may help Alzheimer's patients deal with their condition and slow its progression. Milk chocolate is high in fat and calories and low in the beneficial antioxidants found in dark chocolate, so choosing chocolate with at least 70% cacao is best.
8. Coconut oil - for years doctors advised heart patients against including coconut oil in their diet. Extra virgin coconut oil is actually very healthy with no cholesterol or trans-fats, and it is a natural anti-inflammatory which helps to support memory as people age.
9. Beets - who knew this root vegetable could not only supply iron, but also reduce inflammation and increase blood flow to the brain? The natural nitrates in beets as well as antioxidants make beets a highly nutritious brain food.
10. Bone broth - is a great source of healing nutrients that can reduce inflammation in every part of the body including the joints, digestive tract and the brain. Bone broth has high levels of collagen as well as the amino acids glycine and proline which can improve memory.
The most valuable tool people have to support healthy brain function as they age is information. Many times flavor, appearance and availability is the strongest influence on what makes up the average diet, but it is wise to become educated about which foods supply the nutrition needed for a healthy body and mind.