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Jan 21, 2020

Your brain is the control centre of your body and in charge of keeping your heart beating and lungs breathing and allowing you to move, feel and think. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your brain in peak working condition.
 

Luckily there are several nourishing foods (known as “brain foods”) that may enhance your cognitive function and improve the health of your brain. Nutritious wholefoods considered to strengthen the functioning of your brain include whole grains, tomatoes, eggs, broccoli, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, turmeric, kimchi, kale and dark chocolate. Let’s take a look at our top five favourite brain foods.
 

Top 5 Brain-Boosting Foods
Sweet Potato
Fatty Fish
Nuts & Seeds
Avocado
Blueberries
 

1. Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are a nutritious source of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates retain their nutrients and are higher in dietary fibre than simple carbs. Sweet potatoes keep you feeling fuller for longer. They also help balance your blood sugar levels which enhances the functioning of your brain. The humble sweet potato offers your brain a good dose of antioxidants. Especially one called anthocyanin, which may have beneficial memory enhancing effects[1].
 

2. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish, also known as oily fish are fabulous brain foods. Wild salmon, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines, and tuna are all types of fatty fish. Salmon contains the highest amount of omega-3 (EPA and DHA) essential fatty acids. These two ‘good’ fats may offer fabulous health benefits for your circulation, arteries, lungs, heart and brain. Some fish contain mercury and other contaminants, so always check where your fish have been sourced and speak to your health care professional, especially if you are pregnant.
 

Many of us struggle to eat the recommended daily amount of fatty fish in our diet. Your body can’t make fatty acids so to support your healthy cognitive function you might like to use Ethical Nutrients Hi-Strength Fish Oil.
 

3. Nuts & Seeds

Nuts and seeds are a fabulous source of vitamin E, protein, complex carbohydrate, dietary fibre and omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids. Omega 3’s help reduce inflammation which improves the capillaries and blood vessels in the brain. Lowering inflammation and oxidative stress with essential fatty acids enhances blood flow to your mind, enabling your mind to concentrate, retain and recall knowledge.
 

Our brain and bodies require a regular supply of protein throughout the day. Muscles, skin, hair, nails, hormones, and neurotransmitters are all made of protein. A neurotransmitter is a chemical released from nerve endings that transmit impulses to other nerves, muscles or glands. There are different types of neurotransmitters, but the neurotransmitters responsible for brain functioning include:
 
• Acetylcholine – Memory, Learning, Attention Span
• Dopamine – Motivation, Happy Mood, Memory & Movement
• Glutamate – Memory, Attention & Concentration
• Noradrenalin – Concentration & Memory
• Phenylethylamine – Alertness & Mental Activity
 

You need your protein to ensure these neurotransmitters function optimally. Fill your diet these nuts and seeds; almonds, Brazil, cashew, chia seed, flaxseed (linseed), hazelnut, LSA (ground linseed, sunflower seed + almond), macadamia, natural nut butter, pecan, pepita (pumpkin seeds), pine nut, pistachio, poppy seed, sesame seed, sunflower seed, tahini and walnut.
 

4. Avocado

Avocados offer high amounts of monounsaturated fats, which are fantastic for brain health. Avocados have an alkalizing effect on your pH and help keep your blood sugar levels balanced. Balanced blood sugar levels are essential for optimum brain functioning2). Avocados also contain vitamin K and folate which helps improve memory, concentration and all other aspects of cognitive function such as attention, memory, judgment and evaluation, reasoning, problem-solving, decision making and comprehension.
 

5. Blueberries

Blueberries contain vitamins and brain-boosting antioxidants which may prevent memory loss, dementia and cognitive decline, especially in older adults3.
 

If you are unable to fill your diet with all these nourishing foods on a daily basis and you wish to support your cognitive function and brain health, Ethical Nutrients Hi-Strength Fish Oil is a convenient alternative to ensure you get your RDI4).
 
References
1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02980027
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2805706/
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20047325
4. https://www.ethicalnutrients.com.au/products/product/o3fo

Published by Ethical Nutrients.

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