Foods that Boost Your Brain’s Performance
The human brain represents about 2% of our body weight. However, it consumes about 20% of the energy we use to perform at its best.
Its demand for glucose is very high, for which it needs to use up to 50% of the energy extracted from the carbohydrates we consume every day.
Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins B, C and E, antioxidants, flavonoids, choline, and tryptophan, among others, are elements that stimulate and promote brain performance and the production of neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters are responsible for transmitting information from one neuron to another, so they are vital and positively influence our cognitive abilities.
What Does the Brain Depend On?
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are among the best known when it comes to fighting neurodegenerative diseases and also improves memory.
We can find these beneficial fatty acids in foods such as oily fish, some nuts and seeds such as flax and chia.
Antioxidants are also needed to fight oxidative cell damage to the brain, thus slowing down degenerative processes characteristic of aging as well as numerous mental illnesses.
Vitamin B1 or Thiamine
B vitamins are essential for the proper health and functioning of the brain.
A noticeable deficit of this vitamin can lead to Korsakoff’s syndrome, a memory and learning disorder common in people who repeatedly drink alcohol.
Some foods that contain this vitamin, B1, also called thiamine, are pork chops, pistachios, and sunflower seeds.
Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid
Vitamin B9 is essential because it is involved in the synthesis of amino acids and the formation of nerve tissue.
Shortages of it, as well as other B vitamins, is associated with developmental problems in children.
Some foods that contain this vitamin B9 are leafy green vegetables such as spinach and legumes such as lentils.
People who eat a healthy amount of flavonoids through fruits and vegetables, reduce the brain damage associated with aging.
Tryptophan is one of the eight essential amino acids in the human diet.
We are dealing with the metabolic percussion of serotonin, melatonin, and niacin.
High levels of tryptophan in the brain trigger an increased release of the hormone serotonin, which is of great importance and plays a significant role in regulating mood, anxiety, appetite, and sleep.
Calcium is a fundamental mineral for the brain’s optimal functioning as it plays a leading role as a messenger for the nerve cells. It also acts as a regulator of neurotransmission and controls nerve excitability.
Having a calcium deficit is difficult since the body has a large reserve in the bones. Still, it is not advisable to leave it aside since its quantity can be affected by external factors such as the intake of some drugs.
The most popular foods containing calcium are dairy products. There is also calcium of vegetable origin in spinach or sesame seeds.
Magnesium is necessary for transforming various B-complex vitamins into their active form, improving working memory and long-term memory.
The balance between magnesium and calcium levels prevents the excitability of the nervous system. Having a deficit of either can lead to severe neurological problems. So secure your intake with magnesium-rich foods like pumpkin seeds or cocoa powder.
Vitamin C – Ascorbic Acid
In the brain, we can find the highest concentration of this essential vitamin, specifically in the pituitary gland. Its importance lies in the fact that it works by protecting the brain against oxidative stress.
Vitamin C can be found in foods such as oranges, lemons, and red peppers.
Egg yolk contains choline, a nutrient that also belongs to the B-complex vitamin group that strengthens the nerve connection of the neurons.
Increased dietary intake of choline can lead to improvements in cognitive performance and thus protect against memory loss.
Foods that will protect your brain
Tuna, swordfish, sardines, mackerel, anchovies, or salmon are some of the bluefish that should be part of the daily diet to improve the brain’s performance thanks to its high content Omega 3 fatty acids.
However, remember that large blue fish such as swordfish or tuna are not advised for daily consumption due to their high concentration of heavy metals.
It has been shown to increase memory and stimulate the production of new brain cells. It has also been found to help restore brain function in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and strokes.
Very nutritious fruits containing a powerful antioxidant. Blueberries, blackberries, redcurrants, strawberries, blackberries, are a source of polyphenols, which are essential to prevent oxidative stress.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
It is a fundamental ingredient for the proper functioning of the brain to protect it from cognitive degeneration and maintain its neural connections in good condition.
Taken as an infusion, it is a natural tea low in caffeine and with a high content of antioxidants. It also acts against anxiety and is attributed to anxiolytic powers as it provides us with dopamine, an essential substance for the brain that helps us relax more easily.
It has properties that promote concentration and mental performance. On top of that, it also has anxiolytic properties and is perfect for reducing stress. It is a good balancer of our nervous system, besides containing vitamin B1.
One of the favorite foods on every shopping list. And that is that we are looking at a superfood. Rich in antioxidants that provide us with folates and folic acid to keep our memory running smoothly.
It is estimated that taking an ounce of chocolate with over 70% of cocoa is an excellent ally in the production of endorphins, improving our mood.
And there is nothing that a bar of good chocolate does not cure. Besides, it is an excellent antioxidant that also contains vitamin B, potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium.
Rich in Magnesium, Vitamin E, B-Complex, and monounsaturated fatty acids that control blood flow and prevent neurodegenerative diseases.
Thanks to its choline content, which belongs to the B group of vitamins, eggs can improve attention span and long-term memory.
Due to their high phosphorus content, nuts become the most effective seeds if we think about mental performance.
An unhealthy diet can affect many aspects of our overall health, including our ability to concentrate or our cognition.
It is up to us to ensure that our brain remains active and healthy, something that has an impact on the proper functioning of the rest of the body, as well as on our mental state.