Healthy Foods

The 5 foods you need to boost brain health this year

By choosing the right foods, you can vastly improve your memory, learning capabilities and alertness

Although the COVID-19 pandemic was one of the worst global tragedies the world has ever experienced, it also made us become more health conscious. The benefits of exercise, as well as how the foods we eat can affect both our bodies and our brains, became a big focus for much of society. Of course, we were all taught growing up that eating five fruits and veggies daily is incredibly important to stay at a healthy weight.

However, we weren’t taught that veggies as well as beans, wholegrains and nuts can keep our brains functioning at their best. So, whether you’re healing from a brain injury, or you just want to be more alert this year, here are five of the best foods you can eat to boost your brain health in 2022.

1. Turmeric

Turmeric is one of the best foods for the brain due to its high amounts of Curcumin, the yellow chemical that gives Turmeric its colour. Many clinical trials have been done to analyse how Curcumin can help prevent chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, however the compound is also an amazing memory booster, can reduce brain fog, and enhance overall cognition. Want to incorporate more turmeric into your diet?

Check out this Persimmon and Turmeric Cheesecake Slice created by Kelly Fielding for One Green Planet’s website archive: persimmon-and-turmeric-cheesecake-slice.

2. Walnuts

You may have noticed in your day-to-day life that there are certain whole foods that resemble certain body parts. For example, celery stalks look like our bones and kidney beans resemble our kidneys. However, one food that bears a striking resemblance to the brain is walnuts. Walnuts are made up of many nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6 and vitamin E.

The nut also reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, which can lead to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Although walnuts are packed full of nutrients, omega-3 is perhaps the most important. It plays a huge role in anti-inflammatory processes as well as maintaining healthy cell membrane structure allowing for effective brain cell communication.

3. Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the best foods for memory function and can increase learning ability. The cruciferous veggie also has antiamnesic properties, which actually preserves memory while the compound Sulforaphane promotes brain healing and reduces swelling after traumatic injuries. Although that might sound impressive, Sulforaphane’s miraculous healing properties don’t stop there. It can also help heal damaged cells in the brain which allows the cells to communicate more effectively.

4. Chickpeas

It is a known fact that chickpeas are great for smooth digestion and healthy bowel function, but you may not know that these little beans are also an excellent brain food. Due to their high levels of magnesium, which encourages good brain cell communication, chickpeas are a great food to help you stay more alert. Magnesium also allows blood vessels to relax promoting good blood flow to our brains. Aside from the fact that chickpeas are incredibly healthful, they are also very adaptable to different culinary dishes. From vegan meringue to humous, chickpeas are one of the most versatile foods around.

Check out some recipes below from much loved food blog The Full Helping that will inspire you to make these little legumes a staple part of your diet:

  • Chickpea Pesto Pasta Salad,
  • Savoury Chickpea Cobbler,
  • Roasted Carrot Humous, thefullhelping. com/roasted-carrot-hummus

5. Blueberries

The last but still extremely important food to consume if you’re wanting to boost brain power is blueberries! Known as a superfood there are many reasons they are worthy of this title. Blueberries are filled with antioxidant compounds called Anthocyanins. These compounds can combat against oxidative stress which speeds up the brain’s ageing process and can improve brain cell communication. They are great in recipes for overnight oats as well as cheesecake! If you’re wanting to add more of these nutritious berries to your diet, look up the incredible blueberry recipes below.

Tip: Make sure to wait till blueberry season for ultimate juiciness and flavour!

  • 18 Luscious Vegan Blueberry Recipes,
  • Feasting on Fruit,
  • Best of Vegan,

Whether you’re trying to improve memory or just help your brain be more alert, eating foods that improve brain function is always a good idea. From cobblers to tea to delicious salads, the above foods can be incorporated easily into your diet no matter your cooking skill. So, give them a try. Your brain will definitely thank you!

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