Can what we eat affect our brains?
The answer is yes. Yes because our brain is an organ that needs special nutriments like any other organ in our body.
The dysfunction associated with the brain is called dementia. One of such dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. The dietetic factor that can reduce someone risks of developing dementia include:
- Moderate consumption of alcohol
- Higher intake of some antioxidants and vitamins
- Lower intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fats
- Higher intake of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats
- Higher intake of omega-3 fat
- Higher intake of vegetables and fruits
The author of the book Brain Food: The surprising Science for Cognitive Power shares a lot of light on the relationship between what we eat and brainpower. He is a neuroscientist and a certified integrative nutritionist.
Good and bad cholesterol
Cholesterols are found in fats. There are good and bad ones. Bad cholesterol increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and dementia, while good cholesterols can protect the brain and the heart from damage.
The food with bad fat or cholesterol includes butter, lard, meat, full-fat dairy products, coconut oil, palm oil, and chocolate.
The food with good fat or cholesterol includes olive oil and olives, some margarine and vegetable oils, avocados, nuts and seeds, and fish.
Micronutrients for the brain.
Antioxidants destroy the free radicals in our body and allow the body to produce the energy it needs from some food components. Free radicals may contribute to brain cell death in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. According to some studies, vitamins E and C can protect us from some dementias. However, an antioxidant is primarily found in foods and vegetables. Typical fruits and vegetables that can protect the brain include blueberries, peanuts, Tomatoes, lentils, and chickpeas.
B vitamins play vital roles in cell metabolism. Shortages can cause a number of health problems including conditions associated with dementia such as cognitive deficits, memory loss and confusion. Some research suggests that low levels of vitamin B12 and folate (vitamin B9) in particular may be associated with an increased risk of dementia.
Alcohol and the Brain.
The risk of dementia is closely associated with the level of alcohol intake. Moderate risk of dementia is associated with moderate alcohol intake. Excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking pose a significant health hazard and have been associated with an increased risk of developing dementia.
What about food supplements?
It is not really sure of the effectiveness of food supplements over the brain. Ongoing studies show that natural foods might be better than food supplements. It is obvious that people might not be able to get the full range of the required food for a healthy brain; in those cases, food supplements might be considered. The range of the foods good for a healthy brain include:
- Oily fish with a high level of Omega3 acids.
Example: salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines.
- Dark chocolate
5. Nuts and seeds
Example: sunflower seeds, almonds, and hazelnuts
Example: brown rice, barley, bulgur wheat, oatmeal, whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta
Example: strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, blackcurrants, mulberries.
The caffeine in coffee blocks a substance in the brain called adenosine, which makes a person feel sleepy. Beyond boosting alertness, a 2018 study suggests that caffeine may also increase the brain’s capacity for processing information.
Taking vitamins B, C, or E, beta-carotene, or magnesium may improve brain function if a person has a deficiency in any of them. If a person does not have a deficiency, these supplements are unlikely to improve mental performance. Research suggests that taking ginseng may improve this performance. The organika, Korean Red ginseng has been proven to enhance physical and mental performance in stressful situations, to improve cognitive function and reduce mental fatigue and also to promote healthy sugar regulation. You might need to buy and try it at Amazon.com.
Nootropics are natural supplements or drugs that have a beneficial effect on brain function in healthy people. They can boost memory, motivation, alertness, and creativity. They can reduce age-related brain dysfunction. Some Nootropics are listed above. They are Fish oils, Caffeine, etc. Additional Nootropics include Resveratrol, Phosphatidylserine, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Ginkgo Biloba, Creatine, Bacopa Monnieri, Rhodiola Rosea and S-Adenosyl Methionine.
A word about those Nootropics.
Caffeine, Fish oils, Resveratrol, Phosphatidylserine, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Ginkgo Biloba, Creatine, Bacopa Monnieri, Rhodiola Rosea and S-Adenosyl Methionine are considered the best Nootropics in the world. This claim is substantiated with the trusted sources which advocate the efficacy of those nutrients for the Brain.
It’s been suggested that taking resveratrol supplements could prevent the deterioration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain associated with memory (22Trusted Source).
One of the best Reseratrol in the market is the RESVERATROL GOLD 1250 mg. It is an anti-aging, anti-cholesterol, antidepressant, and an antioxidant agent. You may want to check it at Amazon.com
Phosphatidylserine is a type of fat compound called a phospholipid, which can be found in your brain (35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source).
It’s been suggested that taking phosphatidylserine supplements could be helpful for preserving brain health (37Trusted Source).
Taking acetyl-L-carnitine supplements has been claimed to make you feel more alert, improve memory and slow down age-related memory loss.
It’s thought to work by increasing blood flow to the brain and is claimed to improve brain functions like focus and memory (53Trusted Source).
Interestingly, creatine supplements can improve memory and thinking skills in people who don’t eat meat (61Trusted Source).
It’s been shown to improve thinking skills and memory, both in healthy people and in elderly people suffering from a decline in brain function (64Trusted Source, 65Trusted Source, 66Trusted Source, 67Trusted Source, 68Trusted Source, 69Trusted Source).
It’s thought to help improve mental processing by reducing fatigue (71Trusted Source).
It may be useful for enhancing the effects of some antidepressants and reducing the decline in brain function seen in people who have depression (77Trusted Source, 78Trusted Source, 79Trusted Source).