The brain requires as much nutrients as the rest of the body parts require. As we age, our brain starts losing its performance and power and as a result, Alzheimer's disease, dementia and similar other memory loss diseases occur in the aging individuals. However, to resist this, or at least to make sure that the extent of these diseases is not severe, you can choose these 'super foods' and incorporate them in your regular diets. This will help you to have a better brain activity.

Food for Better Brain Activity

Brain Foods for Adults:

Adults must have these following foods in their regular diets to help boost their brain activity –

  • Berries and Purple Grapes Help Boost Brain Activity – Blueberries, Acai berries, strawberries, Goji berries, blackberries and grapes are very good for the brain. At the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston, it was reported that age-related cognitive decline can be managed with the use of these berries. In fact, there is also a very useful nutrient called phytonutrient resveratrol that is available in purple grapes as well as in red wine that helps the brain to perform well. Reports have suggested that berries can significantly slower the mental decline associated with focus and memory.
  • Avocado to Help Improve Brain Health – Although avocado is a fatty fruit, it contains monounsaturated fat and hence, it is good for low blood pressure and also to control and lower hypertension. Since hypertension can contribute into declined cognitive abilities, the low blood pressure will help in promoting brain health. Also the oleic fatty acid contributes in the formation of the coating for the insulation of nerves in the brain and helps to speed up the information travel process.
  • Nuts and Seeds Helps Promote Brain Health – In general, the common nuts like walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, filberts, peanuts, cashews and seeds like sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and flaxseed are all rich in Vitamin E. Even non-hydrogenated nut butters like almond butter, peanut butter, as well as tahini are very good for promoting brain health. Flaxseeds contain ALA, a fatty acid of omega 3 families that helps in building the other 2 fatty acids EPA and DHA. These 2 help the brain directly to protect and build neurons. Walnuts contain the memory-protective vitamin B6. Sesame contains zinc that helps maintaining a good memory, learning and also to develop brain activities. It also helps balance the trace metals in the brain.
  • Broccoli and Cauliflower Helps in Development of Brain – Choline is a B vitamin that helps in the development of brain, improve learning and memory and boost cognitive function. This can be found in rich quantities in broccoli. Broccoli and cauliflower also contain vitamin K that is also effective in maintaining good memory functionality.
  • Dark Chocolate Helps Improve Memory and Cognitive Functions – Dark chocolate has been proven in several reports and surveys to be quite effective in improving memory and cognitive performance, function and ability. As per the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centre, dark chocolate is rich in flavonols, antioxidants, minerals like potassium, copper, and magnesium and vitamins that all contribute in better brain functioning. Little amount of caffeine helps in improving mood and magnesium stimulates the release of endorphins and serotonin, which too help in having a good mood and mental state. However, the milky, creamy and rich in sugar content chocolate bars are not useful at all.
  • Dark green leafy vegetables are good for Brain – Spinach, kale and all other leafy green vegetables are rich in vitamin E and folate. Folate reduces the level of homocysteine in the blood that is a significant cause of killing the nerve cells in brain. However, folate breaks down the level of homocysteine and thus, indirectly helps in the functioning of the brain.
  • Wild Alaskan Salmon & Mackerel are good for Brain Development and Its Functioning – This fish contains a rich source of omega 3 fatty acid that develops the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This is the part of the brain that is associated with memory. Not only this fish, but also the sardines, tuna and mackerel are helpful for the brain development, functioning and performance as they all contain a rich source of fatty acid.
  • Quinoa and Brown Rice – This source of complex carbohydrates and fibre helps to supply the brain with the essential glucose that it craves for. The iron in it helps to keep the blood oxygenated and the vitamin B content protects the blood vessels as well as also balances mood. Just like quinoa, brown rice too is a component that is extremely useful for the brain as it also contains a high level of vitamin B. All other complex carbs that have a good quantity of vitamin B is good for the brain.
  • Celery – Age related memory loss has been significantly reduced in those, who regularly consume celery. It contains luteolin which slows the inflammation in the brain. This inflammation is the primary cause of neurodegeneration and gradual memory loss. Peppers and carrots are also rich sources of luteolin.
  • Turmeric – This yellow spice that is used mostly in Asian cooking is a rich source of the anti-inflammatory antioxidant curcumin. A wide range of neurological disorders are treated with this component since, as a neuroprotective agent, it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier.
  • Coconut Oil for Better Brain Activity - To keep the brain functioning properly, it needs energy and this energy or fuel it gets from converting fat into energy. Ketones are one such fuel that helps the brain to function properly. Coconut oil has a huge amount of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) that is a rich source of ketones. It restores and renews the neurons and also improves the nerve function in the brain.
  • Chickpeas and Lentils – Chickpeas or Garbanzo beans have a rich source of magnesium that helps the brain with its speed for transmission of the messages. Lentils on the other hand have a high source of iron that helps in quick information processing especially in the cortex part of it. Also for learning, mood and behaviour a neurotransmitter called dopamine is formed from iron that the lentils supply.
  • Crab – The daily requirement of the amino acid called phenylalanine is supplied from one serving of crab. It also helps in making noradrenaline and thyroid hormone, brain-stimulating adrenaline and also the neurotransmitter dopamine. This helps in fighting Alzheimer's to a great extent.

Brain Foods for Children:

Although all these 'super foods' are also suitable for kids, but during their developing age, they need foods that will help them to develop a strong brain that will be able to fight memory loss and other brain disorders in future.

  • Eggs - For the creation of memory stem cells, one of the most important elements is Choline. Eggs contain Choline in a heavy amount and hence, it is very useful that you give your kid one egg daily.
  • Oatmeal Helps Improve Memory in Children – A research done by the Tufts University in collaboration with Quaker Oats showed that children within the age group of 9 and 11 years, who were given oatmeals in breakfast, had a greater memory than those, who were not given oats. It contains vitamin E, B complex and zinc that are very useful for brain.
  • Greek Yoghurt – The brain also needs carbohydrate and protein supplies and the dairy products and carbohydrates help them to get this. Low fat milk, yoghurt and other dairy products is useful for the kids to supply the brain with the necessary protein and carbohydrate.
  • Lean Meat Helps Develop Kids Brain Better – Lean beef and other meat alternatives that are rich in iron and zinc are very useful for the kids' brains to develop better. If the brain is not supplied with enough iron and zinc through the meat supply, it may suffer from deficiencies.

When kids are being served the food, it is very useful that you supply them with a significant amount of colourful vegetables and fruits. Clubbing them with each other will help the parents to supply the child with all the necessary brain foods in one single meal.

Moreover, kids follow the footsteps of parents. Thus, following a good food habit yourself will also develop the same habit in the kid's right from the childhood.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: June 27, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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