The brain needs the right balance of nutrients, including protein and sugar, to function well. A brain-healthy diet is most effective when combined with physical and mental activity and social interaction. It has been seen that people with high cholesterol and high blood pressure had six times greater risk of dementia.
- Nuts. A good intake of vitamin E might help to prevent cognitive decline, particularly in the elderly.
Nuts are a great source of vitamin E. Nuts contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats to keep your arteries clear. A diet rich in walnuts may improve mental performance. A synergy between the specific type of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids in this nut might be at work to boost brain power. One ounce a day is just right, an ounce is about twelve walnuts or twenty four almonds.
- Dark Vegetables and Fruits. Dark skinned fruits and vegetables have the highest levels of naturally occurring antioxidant. Vegetables like kale, spinach, brussels sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, beets, red bell pepper, onion, corn and eggplant. Fruits with high antioxidant levels include prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, plums, oranges, red grapes and cherries.
- Cold Water Fish. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) cannot be made by the body and must be obtained through diet. The most effective omega-3 fats occur naturally in oily fish. Sources of oily fish include salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards and kippers. Fish are packed with EPA and DHA, supercharged omega-3 fatty acids that bolster communication among brain cells and help regulate neurotransmitters responsible for mental focus. 13.5 ounces a week or three servings about the size of your fist is just right.
- Whole Grains. The ability to concentrate and focus comes from the adequate, steady supply of energy – in the form of glucose in our blood to the brain. Achieve this by choosing wholegrains with a low-GI, which release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, keeping you mentally alert throughout the day. Opt for ‘brown’ cereals, wheatbran, granary bread and brown pasta.
- Seeds. Flax seed is the best source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)—a healthy fat that improves the workings of the cerebral cortex, the area of the brain that processes sensory information like touch and taste.
- Tomatoes. Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes, could help protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells which occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s.
- Lintels. These legumes are brimming with folate, a B vitamin shown to help boost brain power. Folate also plays a role in decreasing levels of amino acids that can impair brain functioning.