When we think about food, we usually think about nourishment for our bodies. However, what we put into our bodies can affect our minds as well. “Everything in the brain that isn’t made by the brain itself is imported from the food we eat.” said Mosconi. Different macronutrients and micronutrients impact our emotions as well as our cognition. Therefore, it is important to make sure consume enough of the needed nutrients to ensure our mental health as well.
What Are Some Brain-Healthy Foods?
Arugula is a brain-healthy nutrient rich food that contains vital nutrients such as calcium, potassium, folate and vitamin C. Leafy greens are high in vitamin E, which is an essential antioxidant brain nutrient. Fresh cod, eggs, broccoli and salmon contains choline, which is a nutrient produce in small amounts by the liver. Tryptophan is a needed amino acid for the brain to produce serotonin, which is a feel good neurotransmitter. If your brain is low on tryptophan, it will impact your mood as your brain does not have enough tryptophan to produce serotonin. Nuts and seeds are high in tryptophan as well as oats.
It was found that brain healthy foods are consistent with the foods found in the Mediterranean diet as well as MIND diets. Most of the food found in those diets are colorful, varied and whole. The Mediterranean diet prioritizes omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and whole grains as well as greens such as kale, avocados, olive oil, salmon and nuts. The Mediterranean diet is ranked as one of the healthiest diets of all as it is known to be unprocessed, and lowers the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Why is Brain Health So Important?
If the needs of the brain are not met, issues such as Alzheimer’s and dementia as well as learning and memory impairment may develop. Especially when people are young, their brains are still developing and require the proper nourishment to do so properly. Brain health is also linked to cognitive performance as well as affecting the mood of the individual. With all that in mind, brain health is one of the most important factor determining someone’s quality of life.
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