... and chocolate made the list.
Your brain is the hub of your body, it keeps your heart beating and lungs breathing.
As our bodies age, so do our brains, which is why it’s important that we try to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep it working for, not against us.
MORE THAN 1 OF YOUR 5 A DAY
Blueberries provide countless health benefits. A lot of these stem from the antioxidants they’re packed with.
Antioxidants act against both oxidative stress and inflammation. These conditions may contribute to brain ageing and neurodegenerative diseases. Some of these antioxidants accumulate in the brain, helping improve communication between brain cells.
They’re also an excellent source of vitamin C. This protects the cells against damage and absorbs iron into our bloodstream.
Try sprinkling them on your breakfast cereal or adding them to a smoothie!
MAKE IT A DOUBLE
If an espresso is a highlight of your morning, you’ll be glad to know coffee made the list.
Two main components in coffee — caffeine and antioxidants — help your brain. Now we know all about antioxidants, so where does caffeine come in?
Caffeine sharpens concentration, that’s a given. But did you know it may also boost some of your “feel-good” neurotransmitters, such as serotonin. It also keeps your brain alert by blocking adenosine, a chemical messenger that makes you sleepy.
FAT IS GOOD FOR ME?
Fish and seafood are great sources of protein and are typically low in fat. Now whilst slightly higher in fat than other varieties, salmon packs in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
About 60% of your brain is made of fat, and half of that fat is the omega-3 kind
Not only can these fatty acid reduce joint stiffness and inflammation but are essential for our brain’s development and functionality. They help protect the brain’s neuron’s and reduce cerebral inflammation.
Most amazingly, it’s thought to help us manage stress, produce serotonin and reduce the risk of dementia.
COME TO THE DARK SIDE
You’re probably wondering what Chocolate is doing on the list?
Dark Chocolate, and specifically cocoa powder, are packed with a few brain-boosting compounds. These include, flavonoids caffeine and our old friend antioxidants.
The flavonoids in chocolate gather in the areas of the brain that deal with learning and memory. Researchers say these compounds may enhance memory and also help slow down age-related mental decline.
In one study including over 900 people, those who ate chocolate more frequently performed better in a series of mental tasks, including some involving memory, than those who rarely ate it.
KEEP IT GREEN
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale and broccoli are a great source of minerals, rich in nutrients such as vitamin E, vitamin K and folate.
Vitamin E protects the cells from damage. Research suggests it is able to prevent or delay age related cognitive diseases.
Vitamin K has is also know to sharpen the memory — so eat your greens and you’ll have this blog post memorised for life.
NOT SO COMPLEX
Food doesn’t just fuel the body, it fuels the mind. Our brains need energy to be able to function properly. Carbohydrates typically form the main source of energy in our diets.
Complex Carbs like wholegrain pasta and rice release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, Thus preventing blood sugar levels spiking too rapidly. It keeps your energy levels stable, allowing you to be mentally alert throughout the day.
Hey, we aren’t saying you can’t indulge in the odd biscuit and crisps from time to time, but try and opt for healthier carbs. Power your mind and body.
Today you’re the best version of you. But tomorrow, you’ll be better.
Your arbour, your best self