Having difficulty concentrating or retaining information? Brain foods can help!
To keep our focus sharp during a day to day basis and throughout the rest of our lives, our brains rely on important nutrients to function at their best capabilities! A well-rounded diet involving a balance of carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals is critical start for supporting mind health. However, certain types of foods among these nutrient groups can help the brain more than others.
Carbohydrates: The fuel to get your brain through the day
Of the nutrients listed, carbohydrates are considered the primary source of energy for the brain (Sizer, S. 2014). However, do not be mistaken between the types of carbohydrates that affect brain in differing ways.
Complex carbohydrates: are made up of many starch molecules and fiber, causing it to take longer to breakdown in the digestive system. This results in steadier blood sugar levels over a longer period of time thus providing the brain with longer lasting energy (Sizer, S. 2014).
Simple Carbohydrates: are made up of only one or two molecules, so they get digested and absorbed quicker, resulting in an immediate spike followed by a significant crash in blood sugar levels. Therefore it only provides energy to the brain for a short amount of time (Sizer, S. 2014).
Some sources to limit from your diet:
Fats- The dietary staple that prevents memory decay
While carbohydrates are responsible for providing the brain with consistent energy, fats play a critical role in supporting brain health for a longer period of time. Now it is important to understand the differing types of fats that can either damage or strengthen memory.
Unsaturated Fats & Omega 3s: liquid substances at room temperature, which aid in strengthening the walls of brain cells so they can effectively communicate. A deficiency in these sources of fat have been linked to diseases associated with the mind such as Alzheimer's and Dementia (Morris, M.2015)
Saturated & Trans Fats: solid substances at room temperature which can lead to a build up of plaque in the brain, causing a decrease in brain cell communication efficiency. Diets that are high in these fats are associated with the onset of a stroke or diseases such as Alzheimer's and Dementia (Wegerer, 2014).
Some sources to limit in your diet:
Theses are just a few ways to boost your brain power through the foods you eat. Additional ways to enhance the memory can also be achieved through adequate sleep, water intake, and physical exercise. As you can see, the types of foods we feed our bodies with can dictate the efficiency of energy used for the brain, as well as for the rest of the body.
The ability to improve your memory is up to you! By making these minor dietary and lifestyle changes you can maximize your metal capacity significantly!
Moore, M. (2017, November 15). 4 Types of Foods to Help Boost Your Memory. Retrieved November 4, 2018, from https://www.eatright.org/health/wellness/healthy-aging/memory-boosting-foods
Morris, M. C., Tangney, C. C., Wang, Y., Sacks, F. M., Bennett, D. A., & Aggarwal, N. T. (2015). MIND diet associated with reduced incidence of Alzheimers disease. Alzheimers & Dementia, 11(9), 1007-1014. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2014.11.009
Sizer, F. S., & Whitney, E. N. (2014). Nutrition: Concepts and controversies (13th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
Types of Fat. (2018, July 24). Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/
Wegerer, J. (2014, May 22). Nutrition and Dementia: Foods That Increase Alzheimer's Risks. Retrieved November 3, 2018, from https://www.alzheimers.net/foods-that-induce-memory-loss/
Some sources to add to your diet:
Some sources to add to your diet:
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