The brain is the boss of your body and the second largest part of the body. It controls your whole body and is responsible for all its functions. It controls everything you do even when you are asleep. The human brain is a complex structure, and its weight is at least three pounds. This gray wrinkly spongy mass comprises protein and fat and contains two types of cells: neurons and glia.
Neurons contain axons and dendrites which transmit electrochemical signals. The job of glia is to provide physical protection to the neurons and keep neurons and the brain healthy. The brain performs an enormous function in our body. We could not breathe, love, play, or remember anything without it. It is necessary for so many activities, and therefore, it needs to be fueled well with adequate nutrients and minerals in healthy and nutritious food.
The most significant part of the brain is the cerebrum, making the human brain. The second-largest part of the brain is the cerebellum. It is present at the back of the cerebrum. This part’s function is highly significant because it maintains posture and coordinates movement and balance. Now we know that our brain performs numerous functions, and to perform all these roles brain needs to be active, sharp, healthy, and focused.
To attain all these our brains, need adequate nutrition because, without proper nutrients and minerals, our brain gets slower and cannot do its job perfectly. If our brain does not develop properly, then various complications can occur. Every brain changes with age, and along with its mental function, it declines with age. It is the most dangerous consequence of aging but to keep your mind healthy and young is your job. When your brain is healthy, it performs all its roles properly, and you get along and full life.
The choice you make can keep your brain healthy and mentally sharp. We all have regrets in life. Don’t let your mental health be one of them. We need different healthy and nutritious foods to improve our brain health. Several foods are linked to better brainpower. We need to make good food choices. Follow a healthy dietary pattern to get a sharp brain.
There is no magic pill to prevent or overcome cognitive decline with age. Only nutritious foods can help you to maintain your cognitive function and to sharp your brain. Cut down the intake of saturated fatty acids and other harmful fats, leading to nerve vessels’ blockage. Increase the intake of vegetables and fruits will help to enhance your memory.
Foods to keep the brain sharp and active Many foods are rich in healthful components such as omega-3, omega-6, vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, which support brain health. Adding all these highly nutritious foods to diet daily can give you excellent results and keep your brain focused, sharp, and improve cognitive function. Foods such as;
- Whole grain
These foods support your mental function, and you feel more active and focused on your every task. Green leafy vegetables Green family vegetables are best for brain health because they contain folate, vitamin K, B- vitamins, and beta-carotene. Intake of green leafy vegetables helps to slow down cognitive decline and provide excellent brainpower. Green family vegetables such as;
It is the most popular green leafy vegetable and contains vitamin K. It is the best vegetable to get brainpower. For Alzheimer’s patients, it is quite an important vegetable because it prevents neural damage. Choline present in collard greens helps improve memory and aids in the transmission of nerve impulses. Collard green is also loaded with folate, which enhances blood flow and other nutrients to the brain.
Kale is known as brain food. It is enriched with vitamin B6, folate, and iron, necessary for brain molecules such as dopamine and serotonin, and increases memory.
Twice a day intake of spinach reduces the cognitive decline and make your brain younger and healthier. Vitamin E and K present in spinach increases mental focus and prevent dementia in older adults. It provides complete protection to your mind by enhancing brainpower.
Broccoli, one of the best green leafy vegetables, is considered the ultimate brain food. Suppose you are battling absent-mindedness and poor memory then starting eating broccoli daily. This green veggie has anti amnesic properties that ensure to increase your memory.
Another very vital green vegetable is beet greens. It provides you impressive health benefits and has no calories as well as packed with essential nutrients. Beet greens not only improve cognitive health but also aids in lowering blood pressure and improves athletic performance.
Cabbage is a powerful brain food containing vitamin K and antioxidants that improve concentration and mental function. Anthocyanin in cabbage prevents plaque of the brain as well as reduces short- and long-term memory loss.
It is loaded with folate and lutein, which prevents the brain’s inflammation, enhances memory, reduces cognitive decline, and is the proven brain health benefits of Romain lettuce.
Fruits for sharp and focused brain
Certain fruits boost brain power and keep your brain active.
Avocados are packed with healthy fats, and it is a significant fruit for your brain health. Since they are not too sweet and are a perfect option to keep your mental function improved. Avocados provide several benefits to the body. It allows blood to the brain cells, improves blood oxygenation, prevents stroke as well. So, go for avocados, and you can add this fruit in different recipes such as avocado egg toast, and your brain will get the perfect nutrients to be healthy and sharp.
Berries (All berries blueberry, blackberry, strawberry)
All berries are potent in terms of boosting brain function. Berries are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
This simple fruit improves brain health in several ways. This fruit boosts brainpower and prevents brain-related disorders such as Parkinsons disease. This particular fruit helps to energize the brain so your brain can think faster and more clearly. Drinking a glass of
blackcurrants juice is very good for brain health.
Pomegranate is a common fruit and its juice in the morning helps to energize the brain. Pregnant women must help to develop the mind of the unborn child.
A very close relationship between blood and grapes daily intake of grapes and grape juice helps in greater vascular flexibility, prevents clotting, and regulates the normal flow of blood. Grapes increase the oxygen supply to the brain and improves mental function.
The brain is loaded with magnesium and potassium and sharpen your mind. Bananas are known as brainpower boosters. One banana a day keeps your brain active, boosts your brain function, and energizes your brain. It increases the brain’s ability to stay focused and helps to learn things pretty quickly and fastly. Bananas also help to improve your mood, which is controlled in mind.
Often, brain cells deteriorate, and the main factor behind this is inflammation. Brain tissues get inflamed and become unable to perform their functions properly. Cherry is the best fruit to reduce all inflammation, including around and in the brain. Cherries act as anti-aging for the brain keeps it sharp and healthy.
One of the main functions of kiwi is improving mood and cognitive health, just like a banana. The consumption of kiwi can prevent Alzheimer’s disease. It not only keeps your brain healthy but also helps in fighting against various infections.
Brain boosting herbs
Different herbs help to improve brain function, enhances memory, and protect our brain from decline. Several herbs can be used, which aids in mitigating and proper mental functioning.
This herb is used to support the mood and boost brainpower. It is also pretty good for preventing cognitive decline and protect the aging brain. Lemon Balm is considered energetic, and it is magical in any form or shapes herbal syrups, fresh herbs, capsules, etc.
Rosemary is the most important culinary herb, and it is quite nourishing and nutritious for the cerebrovascular system and neurons. This herb support alertness, memory, and mental function. It can be used both dry and fresh and can be added to foods.
This is a powerful herb and loaded with proanthocyanins and flavonoids and has antioxidant properties. It is super energetic and provides your brain with high energy so you can concentrate on your daily tasks. Gingko is available in dried powdered form as well as liquid form. If you take ginkgo regularly, then you will see the best results.
Best spices for healthy cognitive function
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of spices are always promising concerning brain health. Oxidation in the brain creates free radicals that can destroy the cellular function of the brain. Therefore, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory spices are preferred.
Curcumin in turmeric is packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, enhancing brain function and improving brain health. Turmeric is a brain booster, and it has mental health benefits too. Increases intake of turmeric can reduce Alzheimer’s disease, which is pretty standard these days in adults. DHA, Omega-3 fatty acids in turmeric do wonder it lowers the cognitive decline and raises brain health improvement.
Another very essential spice is cinnamon. The extract of cinnamon can reduce cognitive impairment. The primary benefit of cinnamon is that it prevents Parkinson’s disease and has neuroprotective effects. Those who are suffering from Parkinsons disease must need to add this spice to their diet. Cinnamon improves blood circulation and lowers the blood
sugar level, so cinnamon is highly beneficial for your brain as well as diabetics.
The importance of this old pepper has always been overlooked. Adding pepper to the daily meal can help to improve your memory and improves mental health.
Another essential holiday spice, nutmeg, is considered highly beneficial for developing the brain and its cognitive function. It improves your memory and reduces free radicals.
It is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory rich spice. It is very delicious and aids in the proper brain function. It is known as a brain health booster and gives you a plethora of benefits. It protects the brain from neurotoxins and prevents Alzheimer's disease. Add it to your daily diet and get benefits from this delicious spice.
Brain boosting drinks
Different drinks are helpful for better health and proper development of the brain. Herbs play a role in cognitive health, and beverages also play a vital role in brain health’s excellent performance.
Simple and readily available water is essential for a healthy brain. Its importance has always been neglected, but water plays a crucial role in mental health. Your brain consists of 75% water, and proper functioning water is vital. It maintains the normal flow of blood to all cells of the brain and promotes brain health.
Green tea has many benefits related to the better health of the brain. Caffeine found in green tea helps to keep your mind focused, alert, and fresh. Your brain health increases by the intake of green tea. Therefore, instead of drinking those sugary drinks, go for natural beverages, and you will see excellent results. If you are a tea lover, then go for green tea and enjoy it. Green tea leaves are loaded with antioxidants and energizes you. Healthy adults who want to be more active and want to improve their memory should drink at least 2-3 cups of green tea.
Several benefits are associated with almond milk. It promotes brain health and reduces other diseases such as diabetes as it is sugar-free so, it is suitable for people with diabetes. Almond milk sharpens your memory and lowers the cognitive decline even in older age.
Like green tea, coffee also contains caffeine, and it provides the same benefits as green tea. Coffee increases brain alertness and improves your concentration. Therefore, many people can focus entirely on their work after drinking a cup of coffee.
It contains flavanols and works as a damage repair team. It helps to maintain your blood vessels’ health and enhances memory. Berri smoothie also prevents the early decline of mental function. As they have a low glycemic index; therefore, it is an excellent option for diabetics and brilliant beverages instead of drinking artificial beverages loaded with sugar. Take a chill drink berry smoothie and improve your brainpower. Always go for a healthy MIND diet and keep your brain active and alert.
Healthy memory-boosting meal plan (2000 calories)
- 1 apple (60 calories) carbs 15g protein 0g fat 0g
- 4 boiled egg whites (68 calories) Carbs 0g fat 0g protein 16g
- Cooked oatmeal served with blueberries (229 calories) carbs 37g
- protein 5.5g Fat 7g
- 1 cup steamed broccoli (31 calories) carbs 6g protein 3g fat 0g
- 1 cup spinach avocado smoothie (144 calories) Carbs 13g protein 4.6g
- fat 1.4g
- 1 cup walnuts (104 calories) carbs 14g protein 16g fat 18.4g
- 1 cup cooked beans (50 calories) carbs 5g protein 2g fat 0g
- Greek yogurt topped with sliced almonds (173 calories) carbs 5.92g
- protein 6.38g fat 15.19g
- 2 oz grilled chicken (134 calories) carbs 0g protein 15.35g fat 7.65g
- 1 cup almond milk (40 calories) carbs 1.40g protein 1.51g fat 3.58g
- 1 cup Collard green (11 calories) carbs 2.05g protein 0.88g fat 0.15g
- 1 cup Mediterranean salad (106 calories) carbs 3g protein 8g fat 7g
- ½ whole wheat pita (60 calories) carbs 15g protein 3g fat 1.66g
- 1 cup beet greens (8 calories) carbs 1.65g protein 0.84g fat 0.05g
- 1 cup kale (34 calories) carbs 6.71g protein 2.21g fat 0.47g
- 1 cup green tea (15 calories) carbs 2g protein 0g fat 0g
- 1 cup blackcurrants (18 calories) carbs 4.36g protein 0.4g fat 0.12g
- 2 small raw carrots (41 calories) carbs 9.58g protein 0.93g fat 0.24g
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds (290 calories) carbs 4g protein 18g fat 23g
- 2 oz salmon (75 calories) carbs 0g protein 7g fat 5g
- 1 cup brown rice (215 calories) carbs 44.2g protein 4.99g fat 1.74g
- 1 cup coffee (2 calories) carbs 0.09g protein 0.28g fat 0.05g
- 1 banana (60 calories) Carbs 15g protein 0g fat 0g
Each person needs to maintain their mental health and increase their intake of healthy and nutritious food because unhealthy and food lack of nutrients and minerals cannot provide you anything. This question pops up in every person’s mind; why should I need to be so picky regarding food choices?
If you want to be healthy and not want to be involved in any severe disorder, you have to be a bit picky regarding your eating pattern. These days, every individual is busy concentrating on caring about their eating pattern, but it is indispensable for every living being to get a healthy life. The brain is the second largest part of the body, and maintaining its health is our duty. We all have to take care of our bodies. If we have a good memory, a focused brain, we can do more things in our lives. Therefore, each of us needs to be careful regarding brain health. Its importance cannot be ignored. If your brain is healthy, your whole body is healthy.
Have you ever felt tired or sluggish without doing anything? This indicates that your brain is weak, and probably some cognitive function has been declining, leading to memory loss. Always choose polyunsaturated foods, more fruits, and vegetables and drink plenty of water. Also, drink healthy beverages instead of drinking sugary drinks, which can be very dangerous for your health. Therefore, take good care
of your brain and improve your brainpower and live a long, happy life.
WRITTEN BY: SARAH SUMBAL ( Nutritionist )