A good mood and a vital memory – Being alert and clear, being in a good mood, keeping a vital memory … More and more it turns out that this also depends on what you eat. Because the food on your plate does not only affect your body, but also your brain. Make sure these six foods are on your menu regularly and your brain will thank you.
1. Fatty fish
Unsaturated fats are just about the most important building blocks for our brain. And the right unsaturated fatty acids are in fish. Oily fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines contain a lot of these so-called omega-3 fish fatty acids. Research indicates that eating fatty fish protects against deterioration of the brain in old age.
Nuts, and especially walnuts , are perfect food for your brain. Not only are they high in fiber, which is beneficial for your gut, but also the right kind of fats. Nuts are full of unsaturated fats. And of all nuts, walnuts contain the most omega-3 fats. Is that why they look so much like brains in shape?
3. Dark Chocolate
The power of chocolate is most likely in the polyphenols. These substances are thought to reduce the risk of stroke by fighting arteriosclerosis and inflammation. Pyphenols occur naturally in cocoa. The darker the chocolate, the more cocoa and thus the more polyphenols. But they are also in wine, olive oil, berries, tea, coffee, walnuts and vegetables.
Caffeine increases alertness and concentration. This is evident from scientific research. There are also indications that three to four cups of coffee a day helps protect against the occurrence of dementia. It is not yet clear whether this is only due to the caffeine or other ingredients in coffee.
5. Lots of vegetables in all colors of the rainbow
The fact that people in the blue zones with a healthy brain grow old, is partly due to the amount of vegetables they eat. Vegetables provide many bioactive substances. Each color of vegetable provides a different kind. They often act as an antioxidant, preventing direct damage to brain cells. But vegetables also provide polyphenols that help keep the condition of the blood vessels in the brain healthy. And then vegetables are also packed with fiber. These are – with a detour via your intestines – beneficial to your brain.
6. Fermented Products
Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi … all examples of products containing live bacteria. These are usually the beneficial lactic acid bacteria. These have a positive influence on the bacterial composition in the intestines. This works just like the good bacteria ( probiotics ) that are added to dairy drinks or powders. And the more beneficial the bacterial composition in your gut, the more beneficial that is likely to be for your brain.
The brain-intestinal Axis
It may sound silly, but a good deal of your brain health passes through your gut. The better the condition of your intestines, the more beneficial it is for your brain functions. Our intestines have such an extensive nervous system that it is sometimes called the second brain . This nervous system regulates everything in your body and transmits signals to your brain and vice versa. The bacteria in your gut play a major role in keeping that second brain healthy. The more varied the composition of bacteria in your gut, the better. Eating fiber-rich food, among other things, helps to keep the bacterial composition in the intestines varied. Fibers are excellent food for the bacteria in your intestines.