Sunday, 29 March 2020

The Brainy Food

Updated: March 22, 2014 1:00 pm

Our brain requires nutrients just like our heart, lung and muscles do. Some foods can prove to be very beneficial for the brain. Specific nutrients can affect cognitive processes and emotions thus controlling the brain’s functioning. A well-balanced diet also helps our brain avoid diseases.

Let us know which foods keep our grey matter intact

Whole grains: Our brain needs adequate energy to enable it to concentrate and focus. It gets the steady supply of energy in the form of glucose, found in the blood sent to our brain. We can achieve this by opting for whole grains that release glucose slowly into blood stream and keep us mentally alert throughout the day.

Beets: This root vegetable helps in boosting the brain power. Scientists are of the opinion that the natural nitrates available in beets are responsible for widening of blood cells, thus enabling better blood flow to brain and enhancing the mental performance. It is also a great source of folate, manganese and betaine which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Tomatoes: It has been scientifically proved that lycopene a powerful anti -oxidant found in tomatoes could help protect the free radical damage to cells which leads to development of Alzheimer’s.

Sage extracts: The constituent compounds of sage extracts prevent the breakdown of neurotransmitters, acetylcholine which is chiefly functional in learning and other cognitive process.

Nuts: Nuts are a great source of Vitamin E. A good supplement of Vitamin E might help prevent cognitive decline, particularly in elderly people.

Oats: Oats are very nutritious and healthy, because of their unique cholesterol lowering properties. Glucose is the primary fuel for our brain which comes from carbohydrates that are abundant in oats.

Lentils: Lentils are full of folate and Vitamin B, which aid in boosting our brain power. Folate plays a vital role in decreasing levels of amino-acids that impair brain functioning.

Flax Seeds: Flax seeds are the best source of essential fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids which improve the working of cerebral cortex thus strengthening sensory processes.

Walnuts: A diet rich in walnuts can improve mental performance. It boosts brain power because of specific variants of anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids found in it. Low omega-3 intake has been linked to depression and decline in cognitive function. Walnuts have potential health benefits in the area of memory and cognitive functioning as well. Moderate amounts of walnut can also improve behavioural skills in elder adults.

Black berries, pumpkin seeds and avocado: These are a great source of potassium, which helps fight free radicals.

Spinach: Spinach can prevent or delay dementia. The nutrients in spinach prevent damage to DNA cancer cell growth and tumour growth and also slow down the effects of aging on brain.

Broccoli: Broccoli is a great source of various minerals, vitamins and fibre, such as vitamins C, B, K, beta- carotene and iron. These nutrients protect the brain against free radicals, maintain proper blood flow and remove heavy metals that can cause damage to the brain.

Dark chocolate: The flavonols in chocolate improve blood vessel functions which in turn improve cognitive functions and memory. Chocolate also improves mood and its analgesic properties help reduce pain.

By Nibhanapudi Suguna

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