The brain is a remarkable and complex organ that serves as the command center for nearly every function of the body. The brain is responsible for vital functions including
- And so much more!
Having a healthy brain helps every system in your body work efficiently and as it was designed.
When people think of health, they generally think about making sure their bodies are getting enough sleep, eating right, and getting plenty of exercise. These are important activities that not only preserve the body’s health, but the body’s command center too!While you’re thinking about taking care of your physical health, make sure you add brain health to the mix because your brain needs good food for health and intelligence.
What you eat matters when it comes to overall health, but especially when it comes to brain development and preventing diseases like dementia. Foods rich in antioxidants, fatty acids, and complex carbohydrates are very important for brain function. Take a look.
Antioxidant foods combat free radicals- Foods high in salt, fat, and sugar can cause our bodies to react in negative ways. Spiked increases in blood glucose and insulin can cause an abundance of free radicals which can be harmful to cells. These spikes can be caused by consuming salt, fat, and sugar too often or too much all at once. Eating foods high in antioxidants can combat free radicals and stabilize the situation. Additionally, antioxidant foods are known to slow down the aging process, prevent loss of vision, stroke, and heart disease. Consuming antioxidant rich foods is good for your brain’s health and intelligence.
Omega 3 fatty acids aid in learning and memory- Omega 3 fatty acids play a key role in brain function. There are different types of Omega 3 fatty acids, and DHA, or docosahexaenoic, is a primary fatty acid found in the cell membranes of the brain. Foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids help maximize the functions of the brain and fuel the brain in the best way possible.
Diets rich in carbohydrates and fiber are essential for brain health- Dementia and other cognitive decline seems to be on the rise. Eating foods rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber can help prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s. Many fad diets include reducing or eliminating good sources of important carbohydrates and fiber. Cutting out grains like oats, brown rice, and foods like sweet potatoes can actually create deficiencies that affect brain health. These complex carbohydrates are excellent sources of energy that your brain uses to keep peak function and health.
Your body needs health foods and exercise to stay fit. Investing in eating right and exercising your muscles is evident by a slim, fit body free of illness and disease. In the same way, your brain depends on high-quality foods and mental exercise to keep fit. When planning your menu for optimal physical health, be sure to incorporate foods rich in antioxidants, Omega 3 fatty acids, and complex carbohydrates to help your brain achieve peak performance too.
Foods That Are Great for Brain Health
Eating right for brain health might be a new concept. Most people focus on foods that help them lose and maintain weight or give them peak performance physically so it may not occur to them to eat for their brain’s health too. From birth till death, our brain is responsible for nearly every function of the body. The brain tells the systems how and when to operate and the brain regulates how the systems carry out their duties. Of all the organs in the body, the brain has the biggest and most important job.
The best foods for brain health are:
- Complex Carbs
- Omega Fatty Acids
Finding foods from each category is pretty easy. Many whole foods you already love are already doing the trick. Adding some new foods to your lineup could close any gaps and make sure you’re eating a wide variety of foods that optimize brain function.
Complex carbs give you longevity and energy. Eating complex carbs fuels your body and your brain. Some of the best sources are:
Many of these foods provide the added benefit of healthy fiber that helps keep your gut and your digestive tract functioning well too.
Antioxidants combat oxidative stress to the brain. Free radicals are dangerous for brain health. Counteracting and reducing the impact of free radicals is easier with antioxidant-rich foods. Some of the best sources of antioxidant foods are:
The wonderful thing about antioxidant-rich foods is the wide variety within each category. There are many types of berries, beans and dark green leafy veggies to choose from. That makes it easy to choose foods that are rich in antioxidants without feeling bored.
Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids taste great! We all know that high-fat foods tend to taste great. Foods that are higher in fat are satisfying and have great mouth feel which makes consuming them easier. Try these foods to boost your brain health and your weekly menu:
Flax and chia seeds
These fun foods add variety and flavor to your menu while also providing excellent health and nutrition for your brain.
It’s easy to create menus that include foods from each category- some foods even offer multiple benefits in one. Have fun choosing foods that you already love and try incorporating new foods into the mix.