By Dr Srilatha
Published on 26/07/2022
Did you know that the food you eat has various effects on your health? Everyone has those midnight cravings for ice cream, chocolates or the need for an extra cup of coffee. Sometimes we don't understand that our behaviour is a result of the food we just ate. Some people also consume high-calorie foods in order to overcome a temporary illness.
Type of food we eat has a impact on the health and functioning of our brain. Both short-term and long-term brain functions can benefit from brain-boosting foods.
Diet for a Healthy Brain
Here is the list of foods that must be consumed to have a healthy brain:
Green, leafy vegetables:
Spinach, amaranth,spring onions, mint leaves,curry leaves, basal leaves, sorrel leaves and fenugreek leaves are rich in brain-healthy nutrients like lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin K, beta carotene, folate, zinc, selenium. These greens helps in the prevention of cognitive decline.
- Pulses & grams: Whole grams and pulses are rich source of protein. Tryptophan helps in producing neurotransmitters.Add soyabeans, chick peas and kidney beans as they are excellent source of tryptophan.
Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, berry fruits and citrus fruits are rich in vitamin c, good antioxidant and may help avoid age-related memory loss and other mental health problems.
Tea and coffee:
Caffeine a stimulant that can enhance brain function and boost metabolism. When consumed in moderation, coffee can elevate the mood and makes us alert.Caffeine reduces risk of stroke.
Nuts & oil seeds:
Nuts are high in protein and healthy fats, and they also improve memory.Include handful of assorted nuts & oilseeds. Walnut eating can enhance cognitive performance while also lowering the risk of other disorders such as cardiovascular disease, depression, and type 2 diabetes.
Fatty fish are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial unsaturated fats associated with decreased beta-amyloid levels in the blood. Eat fish at least twice a week, such as salmon, tuna,mackerel,herring trout and sardine.
- Dark Chocolate An inch of dark chocolate which has >70% of cocoa has a great benefit on brain function.
Now the question is; What foods should be avoided for a healthy brain?
Some foods may have negative effects on the brain, affecting both the mood and memory while raising the risk of developing various diseases.
Eliminating certain foods from your menu can help lower the risk of developing neurological issues. Here are some worst foods that can affect the brain:
- Processed foods : Packed & processed foods lower the brain function and can lead to impairment of brain function.Processed foods have additives,colours,emulsifiers,preservatives and taste enhancers which are harmful for brain.
Soda and other sugary drinks:
Avoid super-sweet drinks if you want to keep your brain fresh and healthy as you age. People who drink a lot of sweet tea, soda, and other sugary beverages are much more likely to develop memory problems. These drinks, which usually include fructose, may cause specific areas of the brain to shrink.
Refined carbs, especially those that don't taste particularly sweet, can cause blood sugar spikes. This is usually followed by a crash, which might leave you feeling mentally foggy. Eating too many refined carbohydrates may increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease, particularly in persons who are genetically predisposed to it. When it comes to carbohydrates, choose whole-grains.
Darkers cuts of red meat can cause inflammation in the heart and the brain.They are rich in saturated fats & cholesterol and can cause stroke or cardiovascular diseases.
A single glass of wine or beer can mess with the mind because alcohol directly affects the communication pathways in the brain. The more you drink, the more difficult it may be to process new information or recall information. Alcohol might also cause confusion or depression.
Our eating habits affect both our temperaments and physical personalities. A balanced diet, adequate hydration and good physical activity helps in overall physical and mental well being.