Top 11 foods to improve memory and mood: add them to your diet

By Jurassic JennMay 5, 2024 19:03 PMDiets and Nutrition
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Top 11 foods to improve memory and mood
Top 11 foods to improve memory and mood. Source: www.metropolisindia.com

Nutritionists have named the best brain foods that help improve memory and mood.

This was reported by SSPDaily.

Nuts

Nuts are easy to eat on the go, a great addition to salads, and a truly versatile food. Evidence suggests that eating a variety of nuts can have significant benefits for the brain and cognitive processes.

The "best nut" according to Northwestern Medicine is walnut, which is rich in short-chain omega-3 fatty acids. This is a type of omega-3 fat that helps reduce inflammation and stress, as well as prevent cognitive decline with age. Walnuts also contain an incredibly high amount of polyphenols, antioxidant compounds found in plants that help the brain resist the harmful effects of oxidative stress.

Seeds

Seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect brain cells from oxidative damage, but they are also high in fiber, which takes care of your gut biome.

By adding chia, flax, sunflower, or pumpkin seeds to your baked oats or smoothies, you'll get extra fiber along with fatty acids and folic acid, which will help keep your gut and therefore your brain healthy.

Fatty fish

Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, anchovies, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are critical for brain development.

Regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to increase blood flow to the brain, which increases oxygen content, promoting brain health and utilization. The brain uses three times more oxygen than the body's muscles, so increasing its oxygen supply can improve cognitive function.

A study in Plos One found that six months of fish oil supplementation improved working memory performance. This improvement showed that there are pro-cognitive effects that can improve inflammation and cell signaling.

The Harvard Institute of Health recommends that you try to eat fish at least twice a week, and you can do this by replacing your usual protein source with fish. For example, instead of having tomato pasta with grilled chicken, you can supplement it with grilled salmon. And if you're not a fan of fish, you can buy over-the-counter fish oil supplements.

Dark and leafy greens

Dark and leafy greens, such as kale, broccoli, and spinach, are rich in vitamin K, lutein, folate (vitamin B9), and beta-carotene, according to the Harvard Institute of Health.

Vitamin K supports the nervous system and can regulate calcium levels, which support cognitive function and memory, as calcium is needed to transmit messages from the brain to the rest of the body.

Lutein plays a role as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent and supports communication between the eyes and brain, improving reaction time, which is especially beneficial for athletes.

According to PubMed research, low levels or deficiencies in folate are associated with sad moods, mental fog, and difficulty with memory and concentration.

And beta-carotene, which provides vitamin A, is an antioxidant and plays an important role in maintaining mental health and cognitive function, according to a systematic review. However, beta-carotene has its best effects when consumed with other nutrients that have antioxidant properties, so a varied diet is key.

Avocado.

An ideal salad topping, great on toast and in sauce, avocados are perhaps even more versatile than nuts and seeds. Avocados contain omega fatty acids, fiber and plenty of vitamin E, which are so important for health.

Some studies show that vitamin E delays the progression of Alzheimer's disease in people diagnosed with mild to moderate disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate contains flavanols, which are antioxidants. A study has shown that they can protect neurons from neurotoxins and suppress neuroinflammation, helping to improve memory, learning, and cognitive function.

Red wine

Although not a food, it is one of those drinks that can be consumed in moderation without fear of killing brain cells. We've all heard of the benefits of polyphenols for the heart, but what about the brain?

Polyphenols are antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. A study found that while excessive wine consumption increases the risk of dementia due to neurotoxic effects, "light to moderate wine consumption appears to reduce the risk of dementia and cognitive decline as a function of age."

Eggs

Eggs are a source of choline, a micronutrient that helps reduce inflammation, and its increased consumption is associated with improved memory and cognitive function. The body also uses choline to create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory. Eggs are also a great source of vitamin D, which is associated with improved mood, and the vitamin B12 found in eggs also helps support mental health, as a deficiency of this vitamin is linked to cases of depression.

Blueberries

Blueberries contain many antioxidants that counteract the oxidative stress to which the brain is prone, and thus slow down the aging process at the cellular level. Folate-rich blueberries reduce inflammation and support healthy serotonin levels. Simply add a few berries to your breakfast by putting them on your cereal or pancakes, or add them to your smoothie: you can use frozen blueberries for convenience, as they will have the same effect as fresh ones.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a source of lycopene, which gives them their red color and is a protective antioxidant. One study showed that where the level of lycopene in the body was lower, there were higher rates of Alzheimer's disease. The fruit also contains beta-carotene and vitamin C, which protect against cellular damage.

Whole grain products

Whole grains, including oats, quinoa, wild rice, and rye, help improve both memory and mood. They are rich in B vitamins, which reduce inflammation in the brain, helping to preserve memory. Low levels of B12 have been linked to depression and other mood effects, so increasing your intake can help stabilize your mood.

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