It is not news that eating healthily is good for your health. But did you know that healthy eating can also make your brain larger? A study published in the journal Neurology found that people who follow a diet abundant in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish may have bigger brains. Here Joanne Washburn, Food.news, reflects on some of the best nutrients for keeping the brain sharp:
“Scientists say that our brains can burn as much as 350 to 450 calories from thinking alone, and it can burn more depending on the mental effort that certain tasks require. So just imagine the immense role of proper diet in maintaining optimal brain health.
But it’s not just calorie intake that people need to look out for. The brain requires more of certain nutrients, too, to maintain optimal cognitive function.
Best nutrients for brain health
Some nutritionists say that our brains require ten important nutrients, while others consider only three as the most crucial for brain health. But despite the difference in number, they all point to the same food components.
In general, nutritionists agree on which nutrients are essential for keeping the brain healthy. Here are six of them, according to experts at Advanced Neurotherapy in Boston, Massachusetts:
Omega-3 fatty acids
Neurons tend to shrink in later life, resulting in forgetfulness. This is a normal part of aging. But according to recent studies, increasing your intake of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a kind of omega-3 fatty acid, can help support neuronal function.
DHA can also reduce inflammation in the brain, which is believed to accelerate cognitive decline, and enhance concentration. For this reason, nutritionists often recommend eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, especially to people who are at risk of dementia. Maintaining adequate amounts of DHA in our bodies can also help reduce the risk of mental disorders like depression.
In addition, omega-3s are crucial for learning in children. In 2016, scientists found that third-graders taking omega-3 supplements could read faster after just three months of supplementation than their peers who did not take the supplements. The effects of omega-3 supplementation were also apparent in children with mild attention problems.
To increase omega-3 intake, eat lots of fish and seafood. People allergic to these foods can instead get their omega-3s from almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, sesame seeds and chia seeds. Using healthier oils like sesame oil and extra-virgin olive oil for cooking can also help you increase your omega-3 intake.
B complex vitamins
Our intake of B complex vitamins – all eight of them – has a huge impact on our mood and mental performance. But on top of improving our mood, these vitamins can also increase our tolerance to stress, thus making us more resilient.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.food.news/2020-09-05-6-nutrients-that-boost-brain-health.html
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