Our brains are complex machines that we need to keep freshly oiled and in tip top shape if we want to tackle the challenges we face in our day to day lives. If you’re looking to enhance your mental focus and boost brain functions going into the summer, here are a few food types to keep in mind.
Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fish, particularly fat-rich fish like salmon and tuna, is heralded as one of the most nutritious foods for your heart and brain functions. Your brain is primarily made up of fat, and of that fat, nearly half of it is omega-3 fatty acids. It uses these fatty acids to develop brain and nerve cells, and it has even been shown to have an essential role in learning and memory. But as if the benefits weren’t enough, deficiency in omega-3 has also been linked to depression and learning impairments. Make sure your diet contains a healthy dose of fatty acids to keep your brain functioning at peak performance, and if you can’t eat fish, nutraceutical manufacturers deliver a plethora of omega-3 supplements that could be a great addition to your diet.
Colorful Fruits and Leafy Veg
Fruits and vegetables provide our bodies the essential nutrients they need to thrive. They are especially good at delivering the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that help slow brain aging and stave off degenerative diseases. One example of a brain-healthy fruit is a blueberry, which has been shown to increase brain connections and improve memory and certain cognitive processes in children and older adults. Make sure your diet is filled with leafy vegs and colorful fruits, or find a nutraceutical that meets your nutritional needs.
Nuts and Grains
Heart-health nutrition has put nuts high on the list of brain healthy foods as well, linking the benefits of heart and brain. Studies have found that regular consumption of nuts could be linked to a lower risk of cognitive decline in older adults, and in 2014, another study found that memory improved in women who ate nuts regularly over the course of several years, as compared to those who did not. Healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E are just a few of the nutrients found in nuts, grains and legumes, and this vitamin E has the power to protect cells against free-radical damage to help slow decline in mental health. Walnuts in particular are especially impactful on your nutrition, so be sure to add these anti-inflammatory morsels to your diet.