Our body needs nutritious food to enrich our diet, and so do our brain and mind. This article will answer what the best brain food is. It will discuss in detail why these foods are good for the brain. In the end, the article will answer some frequently asked questions about the brain.
What is the best brain food?
The food that helps the brain to function efficiently are coffee, omega-3 fatty acids, and spices like turmeric. We will understand how these foods help the brain in detail below.
The human brain, crammed with a staggering amount of 86 billion neurons protected within the bones of our skull is a machine to reckon with. It’s systematic, organized and faster than the fastest computer. And every machine needs to be oiled well and maintained accordingly. Especially a machine that never rests.
The human brain is constantly at work. That is understandable that it might be the case when we’re awake, it is also true when the human brain is at rest. The reason is that the nervous system, specifically the brain conducts all operations related to repairing and recuperating the body when we are sleeping.
Along with the task of rejuvenation, which requires a lot of energy, especially when we are getting better from illnesses and injuries- especially brain injuries, the brain also consolidates and solidifies memory, as well as all that we have learnt during the day, and carries out the process of inoculation for creative ideas and thought.
This makes it extremely important for us to nourish not only our body but also our brain and mind. We can do so by ensuring that we are eating a nutritious diet and taking care of our bodies with the help of exercise and other forms of body movement.
Here are the reasons why the above-mentioned foods are good for your brain.
If you start your day with coffee, then this will be great news for you. Coffee contains caffeine and antioxidants. These two main components of coffee have a positive effect on the brain. Caffeine stored in coffee increases alertness. It does so by blocking adenosine, a chemical messenger or neurotransmitter that makes you feel drowsy and sleepy. This keeps the brain alert.
Caffeine also has the tendency to improve our mood. It does so by boosting dopamine, which is known as a feel-good hormone.
Being alert, not being sleepy and having an improved mood is in turn related to sharpened concentration and focus.
This is why people on their way to work often have a cup of coffee in their hands. However, these effects last the short term, which makes people want to consume more coffee. However, excessive coffee can make you jittery and has ill effects as well. So be careful when you go chugging coffee throughout the day.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Though some people might find it difficult to eat and digest fatty fish, there is no denying that is the best source of brain-boosting food. This is primarily because it contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Omega-3 Fatty Acids have known as brain boosters and some studies have shown that they help in enhancing memory.
Our brain makes use of omega-3 fatty acids to shape our brain and nerve cells, and these fats are also necessary for learning and memory. In fact, a lack of Omega-3 Fatty Acids is said to cause learning impairments and is also linked with depression in some cases.
Apart from omega-3 fatty acids and coffee, blueberries are also good brain-boosting food for the brain. While blueberries have a number of health benefits, their most important benefit is that blueberries, along with other pigmented and deeply coloured berries provide anthocyanins to the brain.
Their anthocyanins are a class of compounds in plants which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
The advantages of antioxidants are that they play the role of fighting again oxidative stress, as well as inflammation. These are conditions that contribute immensely to brain ageing and another form of neurodegenerative decline and disorders.
Few of the antioxidants found in blueberries have been discovered to gather in the brain and assist in improving connections between neuronal cells that facilitate communication inside the brain, as well as between the many organs of the body. It also helps that they are extremely delicious to consume.
Apart from these foods, turmeric which is a spice mostly used to make curry has been a topic of discussion. The reason for that is that one of the active ingredients of turmeric is curcumin.
Research shows that curcumin is able to enter the blood-brain barrier. What this means is that it can enter the bloodstream, and then can directly enter the brain to be able to have favourable effects on them.
These are some of the benefits that the brain can enjoy, thanks to turmeric. Turmeric may help enhance our memory. Curcumin is shown to help improve memory in people with age-related neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease.
It does so by taking out the amyloid plaques that are characteristic of this illness. It is also sometimes linked with easing depression, by boosting neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
Both these neurotransmitters are known to improve and boost one’s mood and emotional state. Apart from these benefits, curcumin also assists the brain in producing new brain cells, which could be the key to improving the condition of people dealing with neurological conditions, or even curing them. However, more research studies need to be carried out to fully understand its benefits and how it works.
Why does the brain need to be nourished?
The brain needs to be nourished with not just food, but also additional supplements as it is more complex and performs more functions than all the other organs combined.
In fact, the brain ensures the rhythm and coordination between all other organs, as well as with each organ and the brain itself. This means that the brain consumes an immense amount of the total energy the body produces.
To be precise, this powerhouse of an organ uses around 25% of the body’s total energy production to only provide energy to the neurons in the brain. It probably uses even more energy when it is resting.
Given that our world is getting more and more polluted each day, as climate change progresses the way it does, we are constantly exposed to toxins and pollutants.
Thus, we should not only be taking care of our diet, but we should also be considering taking supplements, after consulting our physician. Additionally, we should invest our time and energy in our health by exercising, walking, running or other forms of bodily movements.
These foods and methods should help us in boosting our brain!
Our body needs nutritious food to enrich our diet, and so do our brain and mind. This article answers what the best brain food is. It discusses in detail why these foods are good for the brain. In the end, the article will answer some frequently asked questions about the brain.
Frequently Asked Questions: What is the best brain food?
How much of the brain is fat?
About 60% of the brain matter is made up of fat. This fat helps in creating cell membranes in the body. Good fat, also known as omega-3 fatty acids are the fats in the brain which help in creating cell membranes in the body.
Can your diet affect your brain?
If an individual’s diet consists of bad fats it can result in the brain making low-quality nerve cell membranes that do not function well. Thus, it is important to ensure that your diet consists of all the essential nutrients and good fats to enable your brain to make higher-quality nerve cell membranes (Innis, 2008).
What makes up 80% of the human brain?
The cerebral cortex makes up about 80% of the brain’s space or total volume. This is interesting because the cerebral cortex is a relatively recent development in humans when compared to the evolutionary history of the human brain (Ackerman, 1992).
Why is trans fat bad?
Trans fats are actually more harmful than both saturated and hydrogenated fats combined! They increase your cholesterol levels and thus can endanger your brain and body for the worst.
Ackerman S. Discovering the Brain. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1992. 2, Major Structures and Functions of the Brain.
Innis, S. M. (2008). Dietary omega 3 fatty acids and the developing brain. Brain research, 1237, 35-43.