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The Best Food to Keep the Brain Healthy

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 8 Feb 2013 | comments*Discuss
Brain Food Healthy Performance Dementia

The health aspect of certain food does appear to change frequently depending on the latest scientific findings. But there are some recognised food types that if consumed regularly can help to keep the brain healthy.

Elderly People and Keeping the Brain Healthy

Cognitive decline in later life is a worry for many elderly people. There are certain types of brain food that can help to address issues such as memory loss and keeping the brain focused. Dementia is a problem for one in 20 people over the age of 65. There are certain types of food that can help increase brain functions such as memory, motivation and help decrease stress and the aging of the brain. Sticking to a balanced diet is important, but the right kinds of food can make a significant different to brain performance.

The Right Fats to Improve Brain Health

Mood and mental health are influenced by certain vitamins, and consuming the right kinds of fat is important. Brain performance is not only influenced by how much fat is eaten but also the types of fat consumed. Omega-3 fatty acids commonly found in fish oil is one of the best fats to keep the brain healthy. Oils that are commonly used in cooking and food preparation contain very little Omerga-3 but plenty of Omega-6. A good balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 is recommended, and oils such as walnut oil and Canola oil will provide a good supply of both.

The Benefits of Choline and Brain Health

Choline is a nutrient found in the B vitamin family and is necessary for a healthy body and brain. Eggs can supply this fat like B vitamin and can help to decrease fatigue and increase memory performance. The adult intake of choline is recommended as 425 milligrams per day for women and 550mg for men. Choline can also be found in food such as milk, liver, spinach, cauliflower, chicken and codfish. A deficiency in choline has been linked to neurological problems and diseases of the liver.

Avoid That Sugar Rush

The sugars found in carbohydrates do make a significant difference to brain performance. Certain sugars can cause the brain to fluctuate wildly and can cause mood swings. Floury and sugary foods can cause those sugar highs that cause blood sugars to surge followed by a sudden crash leaving people irritable and fatigued. Complex carbohydrates do take longer to break down and supply a steady energy rather than a sugar surge. Food with a low Glycemic Index (GI) will be the best to avoid those sugar rushes.

Breakfast Food That Has a Low Glycemic Index (GI)

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day that many people skip. Cereals such as oatmeal and bran have a low count of the Glycemic Index and can help with focus and short term memory. Foods such as high fibre cereals, whole fruit and milk will are the best brain foods to consume in the morning. Overeating in the morning will however have the opposite effect and can decrease concentration. Chopped up fruit such as cherries and grapes in some high-fibre cereal will be one of the best ways to kick the brain into gear in the morning

Nuts and Seeds are Excellent Brain Food

Certain nuts and seeds provide vitamin E, which is an excellent antioxidant. The walnut is considered one of the most healthy nuts as well as sunflower seeds, cashew nuts and flaxseed. These nuts and seeds are a great source of vitamins, nutrients and minerals that cleanse the body and help to improve brain performance. Consuming an ounce of nuts and seeds per day can help to boost the brain and detoxify the body. Coconuts, almonds, pumpkin and Sesame seeds are also healthy brain and body food.

One of the Most Nutritious Foods

Blueberries are among the best foods to help reduce age related diseases such as dementia. Blueberries improve learning and motor skills and protect the brain from stress. This fruit also has the highest antioxidant level of any fresh fruit and is rich in vitamins E, A, C and B complex. Blueberries can not only help to prevent the body from aging but can help to reduce stomach fat, prevent infections and boost the immune system. Potassium, copper, zinc, selenium and anthocyanin in blueberries make this little fruit one of the best brain foods available.

It is important to stick to a well balanced, healthy diet regardless of age. Eating too much or too little of healthy foods can cause problems with focus, and can cause fatigue and mood swings. Elderly people can take the option of boosting vitamins and nutrients using supplements that have been approved by their doctors.

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