The brain needs nutrients such as oxygen (iron carrier), glucose, phosphorus, silicon, magnesium, and fatty acids, like Omega-3, among others. The goal is to prevent oxidation, send oxygen to every corner of our body, and provide it with high-quality nutrients. The following is a list of food that contains these nutrients, which are good for maintaining a healthy brain.
Best Food for a Healthy Brain
- Fish and seeds are rich in Omega-3. It is found in fish (coming from an animal source), flax fibers and chia seeds (which come from a plant in the Lamiaceae family native to Central America). It promotes the functioning of neurons and improves brain activity. Omega-3’s have some interesting properties, such as preventing tissue aging, which allows functions to stay intact for longer.
- Red fruits are rich in polyphenols. They are foods like cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and red wine. They have an excellent capacity to protect from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, osteoarthritis or heart failure.
- Brocolli as an antioxidant and fiber carrier. It is low in calories, proteins, sugars, and fats. It has lots of water, fiber, vitamins A (betacarotene), C, E, K, B3 and B6, folic acid, good minerals, and sulfurous compounds such as glucosinolates, flavonoids, and lutein.
- Oatmeal (as a good, complex, slow absorbing carbohydrate). Presently, this is one of the healthiest cereals and helps to control blood sugar by slowly releasing glucose. It also reduces bad cholesterol in the blood and therefore helps to avoid cardiovascular problems that prevent blood from flowing freely. It has a calming effect allowing for better concentration and mental performance. It’s excellent for the heart, arteries, diabetes and good for fighting constipation. Its energy-giving carbohydrates and vitamin B1 exert a positive effect on memory.
- Nuts. Antioxidants and rich in Vitamin B. They provide us with nutrients such as phosphorus, vitamins B and E, magnesium and potassium. They help maintain good cardiovascular health and promote oxygenation while vitamin E protects against oxidation.
- Leafy greens like spinach and endives. Rich in iron and folic acid. It is called folic acid because it is found in the leaves (folium in Latin) of the vegetables. Folic acid is involved in the formation, development, and maturation of red blood cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to all cells in the body. It also improves mental performance capacity.
Avoid abusing substances like sugar, carbohydrates, red meat, and dairy products.
We also need to care for our second brain: the intestines, which are our emotional brain. It processes and absorbs most of the food we eat. To do this, it is important to prevent the abuse of substances that need a lot of energy to be digested or that are inflammatory such as sugars, carbohydrates, excess red meats, and dairy, among others.
For more information:
- “The Links Between Diet and Behaviour. The influence of nutrition on mental health”. Report of an inquiry held by the Associate Parliamentary Food and Health Forum. January 2008.