Wendy Miller via NaturalHealth365 – Your brain is the most complex organ in your body. It is responsible for not only your physical health but your mental and emotional health as well. When it comes to diet, most people think of the nutrients they need to build muscles, support the immune system, and boost their energy levels.
The fact is if we don’t provide our brains with the “supernutrients” they need to manage all of the systems within the body, one or more of those systems may eventually fail. Looking closer at the main components that make up most diets, you will be able to identify nutrients that target the brain and boost its performance.
Protein Is One of the Best “Supernutrients” for Your Brain and Here Is Why
Neurotransmitters in the brain are made up of proteins. Each protein connects to another like a wall of bricks allowing messages to be sent throughout the body. Different protein sources offer a wide range of nutrients vital to brain health and function.
THESE Protein Sources Offer Unique Brain-Supportive Benefits
While red meat is getting a bad rap for cholesterol, its saving grace is B12. Red meats are one of the primary sources of B12 in our diet. Along with the other B vitamins and amino acids, the entire network works together to keep the brain functioning efficiently and improve memory.
Dairy and eggs
Both dairy and eggs are good sources of protein. In addition, vitamin D – normally associated with healthy bones and teeth – also supports healthy brain function. It is one of the main nutrients the brain relies on to prevent cognitive impairment. Be sure, of course, to consume pasture-raised, organic eggs and organic dairy products whenever possible.
Fish is a superfood in itself. It contains many vitamins, minerals, and natural oils that support efficient brain function and support memory, both short and long-term. However, be mindful of the types of fish you choose to eat, as some contain significantly higher levels of heavy metals than others.
Give Your Body and Brain the Fuel it Needs by Including Plenty of High-Quality Carbs in Your Diet
Proteins are often thought of as the building material for the body. While proteins help to make up the structure, carbohydrates provide the fuel. The majority of the body uses carbohydrates to burn calories. In the brain, however, it’s the nutrients within the carbs that make all the difference.
Eggs are full of nutrients, including choline. Choline is related to the B-vitamins and is the precursor to acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is necessary for cognitive function and is known to boost memory and improved focus. Tryptophan is also found in eggs which has been shown to elevate mood.
Many fruits like the “berries” (cherries, blueberries, acai berries, etc.) contain high levels of antioxidants. By destroying free radicals that make their way into our bodies through the environment, processed foods, and excessive amounts of stress, antioxidants help the body to function more efficiently. Berries are also known to have high levels of both vitamin C and vitamin A.
Vegetables, especially the green leafy kind, contain vital nutrients like lutein, beta carotene, and vitamin K that the brain must have to function. In addition, without vegetables in our diet, we would also lack vital minerals like selenium, zinc, and magnesium. These minerals are essential for cognitive brain health.
Here Are the Best Dietary Sources of Healthy Fats
There are healthy fats out there that play a role in healthy brain function. Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) collect the bad fat cells as they flow through the bloodstream. MUFAs can be found in many different types of foods, including a few you may really look forward to.
Fatty acids, most commonly known as Omega 3, 6, and 9, are found in a variety of foods, including salmon, fish, tuna, avocados, and nuts. Dark chocolate also falls into this category and, when eaten in moderation, offers a tasty ingredient for many of your favorite dishes.
Olive oil is one of nature’s superfoods. It’s not only a MUFA; it is also known as a powerful antiviral. It also contains large amounts of antioxidants and Vitamins K and E. Combined, these nutrients can supercharge the brain, supporting memory and cognitive function.
Breaking down the foods in your diet will allow you to include more foods that support brain health on every level. From cognitive function to improving memory, brain-healthy foods can elevate mood, prevent depression, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. The key is finding ways to incorporate each one into your diet.
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