If you want your brain to function at an optimum level, it is important to provide it with the required nutrition. Here are 5 top nutrients for good brain health.
The foods we eat can have a big impact on the structure and health of our brains. A poor diet, lack of exercise, certain health conditions, lack of sleep, smoking and drinking too much alcohol can affect our brain health.
It’s important that we eat a healthy diet that includes good quality protein, plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats to support the health of our brain. Certain foods contain specific nutrients and it is these nutrients which are needed to make sure our brain is functioning at an optimal level.
5 nutrients that boost brain health and function
Following are five nutrients to take note of when eating for good brain health.
#1. Omega 3’s
Omega 3s are essential fatty acids, which means they cannot be made in the body and we must get them from our diet. They play a crucial role in brain function, as well as protecting the brain against decline. Omega 3’s can be found in oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, and sardines. For vegans, they can be found in flaxseed, and walnuts.
#2. B Vitamin’s
There are eight B Vitamins. They include thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9) and cobalamin (B12).
B vitamins are necessary for brain and nerve health as they play a key role in ensuring the brain achieves its full potential. B Vitamins keep us feeling energised and focused on a day-to-day basis. They also help promote long-term brain health and protect cognitive and memory decline as we move through life. B Vitamins can be found in a number of foods including salmon, leafy greens, eggs, beef, nutritional and brewers yeast.
#3. Vitamin K
Eating lots of broccoli is good for you! Broccoli is high in vitamin K and choline as an added bonus for brain health. It helps to enhance cognitive function and keep the brain and memory sharp. Vitamin K can also be found in spinach, kale, brussel sprouts, parsley, avocado, silverbeet, prunes, kiwi fruit, and blueberries.
Magnesium helps regulate the stress response and is needed for energy production, helps to reduce inflammation and improve sleep. All of these are essential to healthy brain function, learning, memory, and concentration. Magnesium can be found in bananas, dark chocolate, raspberries, legumes, almonds, passionfruit, cashews, and brazil nuts.
The brain is highly susceptible to oxidative stress and antioxidants are needed from the diet to help protect the cells in the brain. Oxidative stress contributes to age-related cognitive decline and brain diseases. Antioxidants can be found in blueberries, strawberries, pecans, raspberries, dark chocolate, kale, and red cabbage.
Eating a diet rich in these nutrients will provide many benefits to brain health and the health of your entire body. They will help boost your memory and concentration, reduce inflammation, help protect the cells in your brain and keep your brain functioning at an optimal level, especially as we get older as our cognitive function can decline.
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*Disclaimer: the contents of this blog post are for informational purposes only and it does not replace medical advice, opinion, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided through this blog post should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. If you have, or suspect you may have, a medical or psychological problem, you should consult your appropriate health care provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog post.