8 NUTRIENTS FOR A SUPER- CHARGED BRAIN
Epigallocatechin3-gallate ( EGCG)
EGCG is a nutrient in green tea. Its cardiovascular benefits are well known, but its positive effects on brain cells are a more recent discovery. EGCG helps generate neuron cells in the hippocampus, the area of the brain that processes information from short-term to long-term memory. A 2017 review of green tea and its effects on cognition, mood and brain function supported its beneficial effects. Two or three cups a day are ideal.
Quercetin is found in lettuce, apples, onions, berries, broccoli, tomatoes and guavas. “In the longer term, in rodent models, it’s benefitted cognition, learning and memory,” Beart says.
Ageing is linked to lower brain levels of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, according to UK-based nutrition professors Ricardo Uauy and Alan Dangour. Fish and fish oil tablets are good sources of it.
Turmeric is a herb with an antioxidant and antiinflammatory effect that you can use in cooking or take as a supplement. When tested on people with Alzheimer’s disease, turmeric helped reduce inflammation. “Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a free radical scavenger,” Hill says. “Free radicals in our body cause damage and increase the likelihood of inflammatory diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.”
Lutein is a pigment in leafy green veg, broccoli and egg yolks that has a protective role. A team at the University of Illinois in the US found that daily leafy greens help preserve “crystallised intelligence” – the ability to use skills acquired over a lifetime.
Red wine is rich in the antioxidant resveratrol. “It’s associated with clearance of beta amyloid, a protein linked with Alzheimer’s,” Hill says.
Fisetin is a molecule found in strawberries. “It travels into the brain, where it blocks oxidative stress and inflammation,” Beart says.
Monounsaturated fatty acids ( MUFAs)
Found in olive oil, nuts and avocados, these healthy fatty acids support the brain’s attention network and help with cognition, according to research conducted by the University of Illinois in the US.