The Top 5 Foods for the Brain

Dr. Juli Mazi ND

August 9, 2022

Carbohydrates are essential for the brain. Our bodies do not store glucose but instead need a steady stream of it. Fortunately, there are foods that provide the brain with exactly the right type of carbohydrate. Instead of processed, refined carbohydrates, we should focus on eating foods with natural sources of carbohydrates like whole grains and vegetables. This way, we can be sure to get all the vitamins and nutrients our bodies need to keep our brains functioning at optimal levels.

Fruits and vegetables are a good source of antioxidants.

The central nervous system is susceptible to oxidative stress, and plant foods rich in antioxidants may protect cognition. A total of 31 studies examined the effects of antioxidant-rich foods on cognition in people of different ages. Seventeen included intervention studies while the remaining six were cross-sectional and prospective. These studies included subjects with mild cognitive impairment, mild dementia, or both. In the plant foods that were studied, they also chose the ones with the most antioxidants, especially lycopene.

Blueberries are a great source of antioxidants and can be considered one of America’s first superfoods. They are packed with flavonoids, which increase the flow of blood to the brain and enhance concentration. Further, studies have shown that blueberries can improve the functioning of the brain in people with mild cognitive impairment. So, if you’re concerned about brain health, blueberries should be a staple in your diet.

Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids.

Researchers have found that consuming olive oil is good for the brain, heart, and metabolism. Studies have also found that oleic acid may reduce inflammation. Among other benefits, olive oil may improve the brain’s memory. Researchers believe that the brain uses oleic acid to transmit signals between nerve cells and other parts of the body. Monounsaturated fats are essential for health, and they are found in high amounts in the Mediterranean diet.

However, if you’re looking to lose weight, olive oil may be just what you’re looking for. Although olive oil contains monounsaturated fats, it’s not healthy to consume it in excess. While olive oil has many benefits, it is not a healthy option if you have high cholesterol levels. The amount of monounsaturated fat you consume will depend on your specific health goals.

Egg yolks are a good source of choline.

Many of us don’t get enough choline in our diets. However, eggs are a good source of choline and are an excellent source of it. A single egg yolk contains 112 milligrams of choline, a sufficient amount to support brain health in both women and men. And because eggs are so versatile, you can include them in a variety of meals.

In a study, choline and betaine concentrations in plasma dropped after four hours, although the level of dimethylglycine did not reach an optimum level until six hours after the test. It was found that egg yolk phospholipids increased plasma levels of choline, while choline bitartrate was less effective. Both types of phospholipid were significantly metabolized to dimethylglycine.

Walnuts improve memory.

Researchers from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, have found that walnuts can help improve memory, concentration, and the speed at which the brain processes information. The findings are important for our aging population, where the prevalence of dementia has reached over 35 million. Eating walnuts could help improve cognitive function, and the benefits are not only temporary. For optimal brain health, eat at least two servings of walnuts daily.

Despite their high calorie content, walnuts are also very high in antioxidants. The omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts may help protect brain cells from oxidative stress. They may also improve cognition and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. While there are no clinical trials yet, these findings are promising. A study that came out in April 2022 in the journal Nutrients shows that eating walnuts is linked to the disease moving more slowly.

Turmeric improves mental alertness.

There are countless benefits to turmeric, but one of the most impressive is its ability to enhance brain cell production, which is essential for optimal learning, memory, and mood. Studies show that curcumin can increase the amount of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), a molecule at the forefront of brain health today. BDNF helps connect brain cells and protect them from damage. Turmeric is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, making it an excellent remedy for mental sluggishness.

Interestingly, researchers have also found that turmeric increases mental alertness in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. In one study, people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease reported a significant increase in their Mini-Mental State Examination scores, from 12/30 to 17/30. Two other patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD) had no change in their scores, although they were recognized by their family. All the patients had taken turmeric for over one year, and there was no sign of re-exacerbation. Turmeric has been shown to reduce the amount of antipsychotic drugs needed in a patient with BPSD.

Dark chocolate boosts memory.

The benefits of dark chocolate are well known, but how does it actually boost memory? One study by Lee Berk, an associate dean of research at Loma Linda University, investigated the effects of 48-gram bars of 70% cocoa chocolate on human brain waves. The higher the cocoa content, the stronger the effects. The researchers measured their subjects’ electroencephalogram responses to an extract containing gamma waves. They came to the conclusion that the main reason chocolate affects the brain is the gamma frequency, which is linked to complex functions like memory and recall.

The high flavonoid content found in cocoa may have beneficial effects on human cognitive function. The high levels of flavonoids in chocolate could increase cerebral blood flow and enhance cognitive function. This would be beneficial for general alertness and performance. Furthermore, these flavonoids may be beneficial for those suffering from vascular impairment. However, more research is needed to determine whether these benefits are permanent. This is an important question to be answered.