The 8 Best and Worst Foods for Your Brain
The brain is a complex organ and different foods have different effects, explains Mary Ann Lila, director of the Institute for Human Plant Health at North Carolina State University. Some foods—healthy, colorful vegetables, healthy fats, and proteins—can actually build brain tissue and reduce inflammation while others have the opposite effect.
4 best foods for brain health
Add a few handfuls of berries to your salad or morning smoothie for a big brain boost. Recently research found that just 2.5 cups of flavonoid-rich berries a day for six months reduced inflammation and significantly improved the speed at which the brain could process information. It is essential to eat blueberries daily to reap the benefits.
“[Flavonoids] improve brain tissue by reducing inflammation and not allowing oxidative stress to disrupt brain function,” It has to be a regular intake of flavonoids, says Lila. “You have to eat one portion a day; you can’t just recharge on the weekends.”
Wild-caught salmon and other fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which in 2022. study associated with greater brain volume, improved abstract thinking, and logical thinking; Omega-3s also slow cognitive decline and reduce the risk of developing dementia.
Three pieces of sushi contain about three ounces of salmon—enough to get those essential fatty acids and improve brain health, says Nyree Dardarian, director of the Center for Nutrition and Performance and professor at Drexel University.
Whether you prefer them scrambled, poached or fried, eggs are packed with nutrients like choline and lutein that support brain function. Eating one egg a week is connected with slower rates of cognitive decline.
A morning jolt of caffeine can also give the brain a boost.
“[Coffee] it doesn’t build brain cells or provide fuel for the brain’s neurotransmitters, but it seems to help people with neurological diseases,” Lila explains. “Coffee helps you to be more alert and helps you to concentrate.”
Studies show that the popular drink could help slow cognitive decline and improve planning and decision-making abilities. But too much coffee can have the opposite effect. He used to drink more than six cups of coffee a day connected up to a 53% increase in the risk of dementia.
4 foods to avoid or minimize
1. Fast food
Drive-thru menu items tend to be high in fat, salt and sugar and lack other important nutrients.
“Limit your drive-thru visits to once a week or less,” says Dardarian. “Eating too much fast food has long-term repercussions on cognitive health.”
Research presented at the 2022 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference found that adults who got at least 20% of their calories from highly processed foods experienced a 25% faster decline in their ability to plan and execute tasks. In the under-30s, fast food was eaten more than three times a week connected to a higher rate of mental stress.
Cookies, cakes, pies and other such delicious baked goods are high in trans fats (which can also appear on food labels as partially hydrogenated oils). In addition to increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke, trans fats also affect the brain.
Adults over 60 with the highest levels trans fats in their blood, they were 50% more likely to develop any form of dementia and 39% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Ditch the diet soda. Aspartame, an artificial sweetener found in countless foods and beverages, inhibits essential brain functions, including the release of dopamine and serotonin, and connected with an increased risk of learning problems, irritability, and other neurobehavioral health problems.
Chronic alcohol use it can reduce brain volume and lead to persistent learning and memory problems. The latest research has shown that even moderate alcohol consumption affects the brain: In a study of 36,000 adults, increasing intake from half a beer a day to a full pint had the same effect on the brain as aging two years. You don’t have to give up happy hour, but Lila advocates moderation.
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