Look good, feel good

Well­ness and beauty

Paradise - - Contents -

Re­searchers have iden­ti­fied sev­eral foods as par­tic­u­larly ben­e­fi­cial for the brain. The good news from one of the lat­est stud­ies, pub­lished in the on­line jour­nal BMJ Nutri­tion, Pre­ven­tion & Health, is that many of the foods are pop­u­lar in Pa­pua New Guinean and South-East Asian di­ets.

Here are 10 brain-healthy foods iden­ti­fied in the study and how they help your brain.

1 Turmeric

It’s the cur­cumin in this spice, of­ten added to cur­ries and stews, that does all the good work. Cur­cumin can im­prove mem­ory, boost lev­els of feel-good chem­i­cals dopamine and sero­tonin, and help new brain cells grow while de­lay­ing men­tal de­cline.

2 Fatty fish

Omega-3, found in fatty fish such as salmon, mack­erel and sar­dines, is re­quired to build brain and nerve cells and is es­sen­tial to keep your men­tal fac­ul­ties sharp. It also im­proves your mood, pro­tects the brain from de­cline and, when eaten in baked or broiled fish, has been found to in­crease those parts of the brain that af­fect mem­ory, emo­tions and de­ci­sion mak­ing.

3 Sage

Sage has an­tiox­i­dant and an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties that im­prove con­cen­tra­tion and mem­ory. It has also been found to in­hibit an en­zyme that plays a part in Alzheimer’s dis­ease.

4 Berries

Straw­ber­ries as well as blue­ber­ries, black­ber­ries and mulberries con­tain flavonoids, cat­e­chins, caf­feic acid and an­tho­cyanin – plant com­pounds with an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory and an­tiox­ida­tive prop­er­ties that de­lay cog­ni­tive de­cline and im­prove brain cell com­mu­ni­ca­tion, learn­ing and mem­ory.

5 Dark choco­late

The co­coa pow­der in dark choco­late con­tains an­tiox­i­dants, caf­feine and flavonoids, all of which are ben­e­fi­cial for learn­ing and mem­ory. Flavonoids are mood­boost­ers, too.

6 Pump­kin seeds

High in mag­ne­sium, iron, cop­per and zinc, pump­kin seeds also con­tain an­tiox­i­dants. Mag­ne­sium is es­sen­tial for the part of your brain that con­trols learn­ing and mem­ory.

7 Nuts

These are filled with vi­ta­min E, which pro­tects cell mem­branes from dam­age. Wal­nuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, and al­monds are par­tic­u­larly high in vi­ta­min E.

8 Broc­coli

While broc­coli is an­other an­tiox­i­dant-high food, it is es­pe­cially high in vi­ta­min K, which is es­sen­tial for form­ing a cer­tain type of fat in the brain cru­cial for mem­ory.

9 Cof­fee

The caf­feine and an­tiox­i­dants in cof­fee im­prove alert­ness by block­ing the chem­i­cal that makes you feel sleepy, boost the feel­good neu­ro­trans­mit­ter sero­tonin, and sharpen con­cen­tra­tion.

10 Eggs

Eggs are high in choline – which is con­cen­trated in the egg yolk – as well as fo­late and vi­ta­mins B6 and B12, all good for de­lay­ing cog­ni­tive de­cline and ward­ing off de­pres­sion.

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