Glioblastoma Awareness Day: Foods That Can Boost Health Of Your Brain

"Eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress — the "waste" (free radicals) produced when the body uses oxygen, which can damage cells," Dr Sharma said.

Put simply, what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood.
Put simply, what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood.

Think about it. Your brain is always “on.” It takes care of your thoughts and movements, your breathing and heartbeat, your senses — it works hard 24/7, even while you’re asleep. This means your brain requires a constant supply of fuel. That “fuel” comes from the foods you eat — and what’s in that fuel makes all the difference. Put simply, what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood.

According to Dr Jyoti Bala Sharma – Director and HOD, Neurology, Fortis Hospital Noida – like an expensive car, our brain functions best when it gets only premium fuel.

“Eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress — the “waste” (free radicals) produced when the body uses oxygen, which can damage cells,” Dr Sharma said.

Unfortunately, just like an expensive car, your brain can be damaged if you ingest anything other than premium fuel. If substances from “low-premium” fuel (such as what you get from processed or refined foods) get to the brain, it has little ability to get rid of them. Diets high in refined sugars, for example, are harmful to the brain. In addition to worsening your body’s regulation of insulin, they also promote inflammation and oxidative stress. Multiple studies have found a correlation between a diet high in refined sugars and impaired brain function — and even a worsening of symptoms of mood disorders, such as depression.

Following foods are good for brain health:

Wholegrains
May improve concentration and focus. Like everything else in your body, the brain cannot work without energy. The ability to concentrate and focus comes from an adequate, steady supply of energy (in the form of glucose) in our blood, to the brain. Achieve this by choosing whole grains which have a low glycemic index which means they release their energy slowly into the bloodstream, keeping you mentally alert throughout the day. Eating too few healthy carbs, like wholegrains, may lead to brain fog and irritability. Opt for ‘brown’ wholegrain cereals, finger millet, pearl millet or oats.

Oily fish
May promote healthy brain function. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) can’t be made by the body which means they must be obtained through food. The most effective omega-3 fats occur naturally in oily fish in the form of EPA and DHA.Good plant sources include flaxseed, soya beans, pumpkin seeds walnuts and their oils. These fats are important for healthy brain function, the heart, joints and our general well-being. Although studies are at an early stage there is some suggestion that adequate amounts of omega-3 fats in your diet may help to relieve depression.

What makes oily fish so good is that they contain these active fats in a ready-made form, which means the body can use it.

Low DHA levels may be linked to an increased risk of dementia Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss, whilst having sufficient levels of both EPA and DHA is thought to help us manage stress and make the good mood brain chemical, serotonin.

If you’re vegetarian or vegan you may wish to add seeds like flaxseed, hemp and chia or basil seeds to your diet, or consider a plant-based omega-3 supplement from micro-algae.

Blueberries
Consumption of blueberries may be effective in improving or delaying short-term memory loss. They’re widely available, but you can also achieve the same effect with other dark red and purple fruits, like blackberries, and veg, like red cabbage. These contain the same protective compounds called ancantocynin.

Tomatoes
May prevent free radical damage. There is good evidence to suggest that lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes could help protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells that occurs in the development of dementia particularly Alzheimer.Other foods supplying this, and similar protective phyto-nutrients, include papaya, watermelon and pink grapefruit.

Eggs
May delay brain shrinkage. Certain B vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid – are known to reduce levels of a compound called homocysteine in the blood. Elevated levels of homocysteine are associated with increased risk of stroke, cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
Other B vitamins including vitamins B1, B3 and choline play an important part in regulating normal brain function. Choline which is rich in egg yolk, is essential for the memory-boosting brain chemical, acetylcholine.

Opt for B-rich foods like egg , chicken, fish,leafy greens and dairy.Other useful vegan sources of B vitamins, including B6, include nutritional yeast, avocado, soya, nuts and seeds.

Blackcurrants
May reduce anxiety and stress. Vitamin C has long been thought to have the power to increase mental agility, and some research suggests that a deficiency may be a risk factor for age related brain degeneration including dementia. Furthermore, interesting studies demonstrate that vitamin C may be useful in managing anxiety and stress.One of the best sources of this vital vitamin are blackcurrant.Others include guava, lychee, citrus fruits such as orange, lemon and amla.

Pumpkin seeds
May enhance memory and boost mood. Richer in zinc than many other seeds, pumpkin seeds supply this valuable mineral which is vital for enhancing memory and thinking skills. They’re also full of stress-busting magnesium, B vitamins and tryptophan, the precursor to the good mood chemical serotonin. Other useful food sources include chickpeas and nuts including cashews and almonds.

Nuts
May help protect healthy brain function. A research show suggests that an adequate intake of vitamin E might help to prevent cognitive decline, particularly in the elderly. Nuts are a great source of vitamin E along with leafy green vegetables, olives, seeds eggs , brown rice and whole grains

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