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Great foods for a healthy brain and mental focus

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Certain foods are great for brain health and enhanced mental focus. It is important to eat a healthy diet not only for the health of our brain today but to prevent neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s in the future.

Omega-3 Foods

Omega-3 has been found to protect our brains from shrinking as we get older, which can lead to the loss of both memory and cognition.

Another study found that those with a higher level of omega-3 in their blood had increased blood flow to their brain. And increased blood flow gives the brain more oxygen and nutrients keeping the brain healthy.

Omega-3 fatty acid can protect the cells in our body, including the cells in the brain. This protects the neurons of the brain. You can get plenty of omega-3 from the following foods:

Wild-caught fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines
Flaxseed and chia seeds
Walnuts
Berries

Berries like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, mulberries, and blackcurrants are all excellent foods for brain health. Berries, especially blueberries are high in antioxidants.

Berries contain antioxidants and phytonutrients like quercetin, anthocyanin, caffeic acid, and catechin. Blueberries have some of the highest amounts of anthocyanin of any foods.

Studies found that berries with their potent antioxidants can help prevent age-related memory loss and illnesses of the brain by protecting cells from damaging free radicals. Berries can change how neurons communicate in the brain and improve motor control and cognition.

Dark Chocolate

The cocoa in dark chocolate contains another type of antioxidant called flavonoids. Like all antioxidants, flavonoids are important for the health of the brain.

A 2013 study found that flavonoids in dark chocolate may promote neuron and blood vessel growth in the parts of the brain that involved in learning and memory.

Another study using imaging methods to look at brain activity found that participants that ate 70% dark chocolate enhanced neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity gives the brain the ability to form new neural networks throughout life.

Broccoli

Broccoli has compounds called glucosinolates, which break down into isothiocyanates. These isothiocyanates reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases in the brain.

Broccoli also contains a good amount of vitamin C and flavonoids, which will further enhance brain health. Broccoli is in the cruciferous family of vegetables that also include:

Cabbage
Cauliflower
Kale
Brussels sprouts
Bok Choy
Turnips
Tea

Any kind of tea, but especially green tea is high in L-theanine, which can relieve stress and anxiety. Theanine is great for enhancing mental focus and can reduce the jitters that come with caffeine.

Studies found that L-theanine reversed cognitive impairment and oxidative damage in the brain caused by chronic stress.

Whole Grains

Whole-grain foods like oats, brown rice, millet, barley, whole grain pasta, and whole-grain bread especially with flaxseed, or hemp seed have a healthy amount of vitamin E. Vitamin E is an excellent antioxidant that can help rid our brain of cell-damaging free-radicals.

Vitamin B12

Foods with vitamin B12 are important for our mental wellbeing. It is necessary for memorization, focus, and the health of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

Foods with B12 include wild salmon and nutritional yeast. You should also consider taking a B12 supplement.



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