How to increase brain power | Top 10 foods for brain health
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(1) Fatty fish
This type of food is rich in omega3, 6,9 fatty acids. These fatty acids have great benefits to the brain.
These fatty acids play a crucial role in the cognitive development of the child as it had been found that high levels of a fatty acid called (DHA, 22:6-n-3) in the brain reflect the needs of the foods that contain this fatty acid. (1).
It also had been found that these fatty acids have a great benefit to Alzheimer patients. As the central feature of Alzheimer’s disease is cognitive dysfunction. A higher intake of DHA can be clinically beneficial in preventing or reducing cognitive impairment. (2)
( 2) Walnuts
There is an evidence that walnuts consumption is associated with decreasing levels of having brain disorders like depression, Parkinson disease and Alzheimer disease as walnuts have important components that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects. (3,4).
Walnuts have a high content of about (3.68 mmol /oz) of antioxidants as melatonin, flavonoids, phenolic acid, foliate, gamma-tocopherol (vitamin E), selenium, and juglone. In addition, walnuts contain a high amount of n-3 α-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid that has a high anti-inflammatory effect. (5).
( 3) Black berries
Blackberries are noteworthy, as they are rich in nutritional amounts of vitamin C. The half daily recommended dose of vitamin C may be provided by 1 cup of blackberries. (144 g).
Vitamin C is involved in collagen synthesis in the brain, which is needed for blood vessel formation and integrity. (6,7).
( 4) Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate provides great benefits for memory improvement, relieving stress, and cognition improvement.
There is evidence that there is a relationship between dark chocolate and improving cerebral blood flow and helpful vascular changes. These effects serve the processes of attention and work memory. (8).
( 5) Eggs
Egg yolk consumption is related to improving cognitive functions and also helps elderly people memory as eggs contain two important items (zinc and selenium). (9,10)
(6 ) Spinach
Spinach boosts memory, promotes focus, prevents inflammation that is harmful to the brain, and sharpens cognition. This is because spinach contains folate (one of the b vitamins) and vitamin B 6 (11).
( 7) Avocado
Avocado helps the brain by improving cognitive functions, especially for elderly people through its antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects.
Avocado is related to the increase of the macular pigment density, a biomarker of lutein which benefits the cognitive functions. (12)
Turmeric improves brain function and its consumption is related to a lower risk of brain diseases.
It has been found that turmeric boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a growth hormone that functions in the brain and is related to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. (13)
( 9) Bananas
Bananas contain tryptophan which is very helpful to the brain. Studies have shown that is very crucial to improve recognition and memory. (14).
( 10) Milk products
It has been found that milk products are playing an important role in improving cognitive functions. As it contains vitamin b12, bioactive peptides, whey protein, and α-lactalbumin. (15).
1) The essentiality of long chain n-3 fatty acids in relation to development and function of the brain and retina. Lauritzen L, Hansen HS, Jørgensen MH, Michaelsen KF
Prog Lipid Res. 2001 Jan-Mar; 40(1-2):1-94.
2) Kotani S, Sakaguchi E, Warashina S, Matsukawa N, Ishikura Y, Kiso Y, Sakakibara M, Yoshimoto T, Guo J, Yamashima T. Dietary supplementation of arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids improves cognitive dysfunction. Neurosci Res. 2006;56:159–164.
3) Content of redox-active compounds (ie, antioxidants) in foods consumed in the United States. Halvorsen BL, Carlsen MH, Phillips KM, Bøhn SK, Holte K, Jacobs DR Jr, Blomhoff R Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jul; 84(1):95-135.
4) Melatonin in walnuts: influence on levels of melatonin and total antioxidant capacity of blood. Reiter RJ, Manchester LC, Tan DX Nutrition. 2005 Sep; 21(9):920-4.
5) Anti-inflammatory effect of alpha-linolenic acid and its mode of action through the inhibition of nitric oxide production and inducible nitric oxide synthase gene expression via NF-kappaB and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways
6) Antioxidants and cognitive training interact to affect oxidative stress and memory in APP/PSEN1 mice. Harrison FE, Allard J, Bixler R, Usoh C, Li L, May JM, McDonald MP Nutr Neurosci. 2009 Oct; 12(5):203-18.
7) Does vitamin C deficiency affect cognitive development and function? Hansen SN, Tveden-Nyborg P, Lykkesfeldt J Nutrients. 2014 Sep 19; 6(9):3818-46.
8) Tissue distribution and neuroprotective effects of citrus flavonoid tangeretin in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease. Datla KP, Christidou M, Widmer WW, Rooprai HK, Dexter DT Neuroreport. 2001 Dec 4; 12(17):3871-5.
9) Gao S, et al. Selenium level and cognitive function in rural elderly Chinese. Am J Epidemiol. 2007;165:955–965.
10 ) Ortega RM, et al. Dietary intake and cognitive function in a group of elderly people. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997;66:803–809.
( 12) Role of lutein and zeaxanthin in visual and cognitive function throughout the lifespan. Johnson EJ Nutr Rev. 2014 Sep; 72(9):605-12.
(13) BDNF and full-length and truncated TrkB expression in Alzheimer disease. Implications in therapeutic strategies. Ferrer I, Marín C, Rey MJ, Ribalta T, Goutan E, Blanco R, Tolosa E, Martí E J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 1999 Jul; 58(7):729-39.
(14) Tryptophan supplementation induces a positive bias in the processing of emotional material in healthy female volunteers. Murphy SE, Longhitano C, Ayres RE, Cowen PJ, Harmer CJ Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2006 Jul; 187(1):121-30.
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How to increase brain power – Top 10 foods for brain health – How to increase brain power for study