Top 10 foods for brain and nervous system
We all know eating healthy is important for our mental and physical well being. But sometimes our bodies require some specific nutrients to be more active and healthy. Brain being a part of our body also requires some important nutrients to function properly. Here we bring to you a list of foods that will help you improve the functioning of your brain and nervous system, especially the gray matter.
Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are rich in Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Magnesium all of which are important for proper functioning of our nervous system. Vitamin B is essential in the process of synthesizing and circulating neurotransmitters, which are brain chemicals that regulate heartbeat, respiration and digestion. Magnesium helps in calming the nerves. Vitamin E and C acts as anti-ageing for the nervous system.
Nerves are protected by myelin sheaths, which contain very high level of fatty acid. So, people who are deficient in fatty acids may suffer from damage of the nerves. Fish has Omega 3 fatty acid and thus helps in healing of the nerves and nervous system.
Not all chocolates are manufactured equally. In fact, 70 per cent of chocolates available in the market are highly processed and barely have any benefits.
Dark chocolates are full of flavonols which have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant property. These properties help to lower the blood pressure and improve the blood flow, to both brain and heart. Skip milk and white chocolates and go for a minimally processed dark chocolate with at least 70 percent of cocoa. This will ensure that you get its brain benefits!
Broccoli is rich in Vitamin K which is known to improve brain power and cognitive skills. Many studies have reported that because broccoli is rich in a compound called glucosinolates which can slow the breakdown of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which the central nervous system needs to perform its function properly, keeps our brain and memory sharp. Low levels of acetylcholine are linked with Alzheimer’s.
A study conducted at Boston University tracked 1400 healthy adults for 10 years who consumed eggs daily, and the results found that regular egg intake resulted in better performance on some memory tests.
Eggs are rich in choline and B vitamin. When you consume eggs, the choline in them is used by the brain to make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is important for memory and communication among brain cells.
As we have already mentioned, omega 3 fatty acid has an important role to play in cognitive functioning. According to New York Times, Journal neurology, low level of omega 3 fatty acid is linked with smaller brain volume and poor mental performance.
Salmon is a rich source of omega 3 which can strengthen the brainpower. According to a research conducted at the University of Pittsburgh, adults under the age of 25 who increased their omega-3 intake over six months improved their test scores, measuring the working memory.
Rich in both Vitamin K and folate, avocados help prevent blood clot in the brain and thus protects you from stroke. Apart from that, avocados also help to improve memory and concentration. The best thing about avocados is they have the highest protein and lowest sugar content as compared to any other fruit.
Almonds have high levels of brain-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and lots of brain-protecting vitamin E just like the salmon fish.
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. Apart from all this, pumpkin seeds contain powerful antioxidants that protect the body and brain from free radical damage.
Magnesium is essential for learning and memory and low magnesium levels are linked to many neurological diseases, including migraines, depression and epilepsy. Your brain uses copper to help control nerve signals. And when copper levels are out of whack, there’s a higher risk of neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s. Zinc is crucial for nerve signaling and its deficiency has been associated with many neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and depression.
A study conducted in 2014 showed that nuts can improve cognition skills and even help prevent neurological disorder. Also, another study found that women who ate nuts regularly over the course of several years had a sharper memory, compared to those who didn’t eat nuts at all. There are several nutrients in nuts, such as healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E, all of which are good for brain health. Vitamin E shields cell membranes from free radical damage thus helps to slow the mental decline.
While all nuts are good for your brain, walnuts are considered a better choice, since they also contain omega-3 fatty acids.