The brain – Why is it so important?
Among all the parts of the human body, the brain is the most complex. It controls our behaviour, generates our intelligence, interprets sensations, and initiates all of our body movements. Every day, the brain runs millions of processes, just like a computer. It can process information as fast as 268 miles an hour. The brain needs certain nutrients to function properly. If your brain isn’t getting enough food, you might feel sad or irritable, and your memory and concentration might suffer. This is not a good state for someone who is preparing for an examination. The brain is a vital organ, so it needs proper nutrition. Therefore, fuel the brain with high-quality foods to boost its performance.
Here are six foods that enhance brain function:
1. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is made from the seed of the cocoa tree and is loaded with nutrients. It is one of the best sources of antioxidants that’s out there. Fibre, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, and a few other minerals are present in dark chocolate. Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain. According to a study, eating high-flavanol cocoa for five days improved blood flow to the brain. A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70–85% contains 11 grams of fibre, 67% of the Daily Value for iron, 58% of the DV for magnesium, 89% of the DV for copper, and 98% of the DV for manganese. Consuming a 100-gram bar of chocolate every day is not recommended, so it is better to consume it in moderation.
The brain benefits greatly from peanuts. It is one of the main foods that boost memory. Peanuts and peanut butter are good sources of nutrition for the brain. It contains several important vitamins and minerals for brain health, including high levels of vitamin E, P-coumaric acid, Niacin, and resveratrol. According to a study from the University of South Australia, eating 2-3 oz of peanuts per day improves cognitive function and blood circulation in the brain. Furthermore, they can boost your mood, improve your memory, cognitive function, and concentration, and even prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Eggs are a good source of protein. About 6.3 grams of protein are found in a single egg, along with 13 essential vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. The egg white contains 60% of the high-quality protein in eggs. Choline is a component of egg yolks and is known for reducing inflammation and promoting brain function, such as maintaining memory and communicating between brain cells. Eggs also contain Vitamin B12, which can prevent brain shrinkage. Health experts suggest eating one egg per day, and serving it on a salad or with fruit or yogurt for breakfast.
The best fish to eat for a healthy brain is salmon. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids are highly beneficial to the brain. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to enhance memory, improve mood, and protect your brain from cognitive decline. A diet rich in fatty fish like salmon is the best way to boost your DHA levels. Vitamin B12 is found in salmon, which is important for maintaining healthy nerves and blood vessels as well as creating DNA. Salmon can also improve memory. Research has shown that people with normal brain function who regularly consume salmon have improved brain function.
Walnuts are considered one of the best nuts for brain health. They contain high amounts of vitamin E, vitamin B6, magnesium, copper, zinc, and DHA (a type of omega-3 fatty acid). Several studies suggest that walnuts are beneficial for improving cognitive function, memory, concentration, and learning speed.
What is the best way to eat walnuts? The recommendation is to eat 1 ounce of walnuts five times a week. Additionally, walnuts can also be taken with oatmeal or porridge for breakfast, or added to smoothies and muffins.
The blueberry bush (Vaccinium sect. Cyan coccus) produces berries that have a bluish, purple hue, also called blueberries. Blueberries contain many vitamins and nutrients, including antioxidants. It is believed that blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of any fruit or vegetable. Moreover, antioxidants in blueberries improve memory and cognitive function. Blueberries can be consumed every day and are delicious in smoothies, cookies, muffins, jam, or salads.