What you feed your body is what the brain gets and what we do to our brain we do to our body. With the correct diet and lifestyle changes, you can overcome symptoms of brain dysfunction and keep your brain healthy. There are several things that are linked to brain health and development, but most come back to the nutrients in foods we eat and how it affects directly our brain performance. In Dr. Hyman’s YouTube channel and podcast, he breaks down foods we can eat to boost our brains and make our bodies feel better.
- Fatty fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, a major building block of the brain. Omega-3s play a role in sharpening memory and improving mood, as well as protecting your brain against cognitive decline. Try and consume fish at least twice a week, but choose varieties that are low in mercury, such as salmon, cod, and tuna. If you are not a fan of fish or have allergies, you can always talk to your doctor and get an Omega-3 supplement or choose plant-based omega-3 such as Avocados or flaxseeds.
- Pumpkin seeds are rich in micronutrients that are important for brain function, and also contain powerful antioxidants that protect the body and brain from free-radical damage. They are excellent sources of zinc which is crucial for nerve signaling, magnesium essential for learning and memory, copper helps control nerve signals and iron helps to improve brain function. You can always benefit from adding pumpkin seeds to your diet.
- Nuts contain a host of brain-boosting nutrients including, vitamin E, healthy fats, and antioxidants. Eating nuts can improve heart health markers, and having a healthy heart is linked to having a healthy brain. While nuts are good for your brain, walnuts may have an extra edge, since they also deliver anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
- Eggs are a rich source of several vitamins and choline which, are essential in regulating mood and promoting proper brain function and development. Choline is a micronutrient that your body uses to create neurotransmitters that help regulate mood and memory.
- Green leafy vegetables (broccoli) are packed with powerful plant compounds including antioxidants, vitamin K, folate, and beta carotene, which may protect the brain against damage.
- Berries, have a deep color and deliver anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which contribute to brain aging and neurodegenerative disease. Some of the blueberries have been found to accumulate in the brain and help improve communication between brain cells. Try sprinkling them over your breakfast cereal, adding them to a smoothie, or enjoying them as-is for a simple snack.
Many foods can help keep your brain and gut healthy because a healthy gut can also mean a healthy brain. Just as important as including these brain-boosting foods in your diet is steering clear of foods that can negatively impact brain health.