Top food choices to support a healthy brain
A balanced diet filled with a variety of nutrient dense foods can help your grey matter shine a little brighter. So where do you start?
By Bio Island Nutrition Team
Our brains are the command centre for some of our bodies most important functions. It allows us to have thoughts, memory, movement, learning and emotions through complex systems. Maintaining and supporting a healthy brain throughout life is critical and through a balanced diet filled with a variety of nutrient dense foods you can help your grey matter shine a little brighter. So where do you start? Below are are some top food choices to support a healthy brain:
Contains Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA which are important for brain development and function at all ages. DHA is essential to pre and postnatal brain development, whereas EPA seems more influential on behaviour and mood. Both DHA and EPA generate neuroprotective metabolites.
Contains choline and a high-quality source of protein. Choline has been shown in studies to help regulate memory and mood. Additionally, your brain requires proteins to communicate with neurons and the brain needs an ongoing daily supply of high-quality proteins, as it cannot store them.
These are a great grain for your brain, with oats being a low GI and high-quality energy source, meaning it is great fuel for your brain across the day. Oats also are a source of B vitamins and magnesium which are again great for fuelling your brain the right way each day.
Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and other berry varieties contain anthocyanins which is how berries get their vibrant colours, it also means they have high antioxidant activity. These anthocyanins can cross the blood-brain barrier, depositing themselves in areas of the brain related to learning and memory, which in studies have shown to assist in healthy cognitive function.
A great vegetable to easily incorporate into your diet sweet potatoes provide your brain energy and also contain vitamin C and beta-carotene (our bodies help convert beta-carotene into vitamin A). With vitamins C and A both being antioxidants. Your brain has high concentrations of Vitamin C, and interestingly whilst it may deplete from other areas of your body the brain maintains its vitamin C levels. Vitamin C also supports cognitive performance as it plays several important roles in our nervous system.
Regardless of which type of beans, they help stabilise blood sugar levels, and provide a healthy energy source for your brain, which it needs constantly, as it cannot store glucose. Beans also provide a good source of fibre, which is supports a healthy gut. This is important as more and more studies are showcasing that dietary fibre may positively influence cognitive and brain health through immunomodulation and/or the gut-microbiota-brain system.
Dehydration can take its toll in many ways on our bodies, and our brain is no exception. Water accounts for about 75% of brain mass. Studies have shown that cognitive functions may decline in some people even at mild levels of dehydration, these include poorer concentration, increase reaction times, impacts on short term memory and negative mood changes. In summary, being and staying hydrated is critical to the normal and proper functioning of the body and the brain, especially in the maintenance of cognitive function.
This information does not take into account your personal situation and is general in nature. You should consider whether the information is appropriate for your needs and seek professional medical advice.
Always consult your healthcare professional before taking any supplements or if any concerns arise.