The inspiration for this post is an article titled, “5o Things You Can Do to Improve Your Brain’s Health” which was posted on the Examined Existence website. Text under the heading, “Article” is an excerpt of the article. I am not planning to share all 50 tips in this post or in the cumulative series of posts titled, “Feeding the Brain,” but I will share a link to the full article in the final (3rd) post of this Feeding the Brain series.
I am not a nutritionist or medical professional. Check with your physician prior to changing the foods you eat or the beverages you drink. The information in the article, and subsequently in this post, is not suitable for all people.
7. An Apple a Day Keeps Memory Loss at Bay
Never underestimate the power of this fruit. Research suggests that quercetin, a chemical found in apples, has neuroprotective properties against cell damage. Most of quercetin is in the apple skin, so make sure you eat them as well. Aside from apples, quercetin is also found in citrus fruits, parsley, sage, and tea.
8. Fight Brain Aging with Grape Juice
Just like chocolate, grape juice contains polyphenols that enhance communication of neurons, memory, and learning abilities. In a study conducted by Krikorian et. al., it was found through magnetic resonance imaging that elderly people who regularly drink grape juice demonstrate improved short-term memory.
9. Chew gum.
Do you think Michael Jordan knows that his habit of chewing gum while playing basketball improves his alertness? Whether he knows it or not, chewing gum does help. According to the Center for Occupational and Health Psychology at Cardiff University, there is evidence that chewing gum improves aspects of cognitive function, mood, along with selective and sustained attention. Another study explored the effects of chewing gum on memory, mood, learning, and performance, and showed that chewing gum increases alertness and intellectual performance. In addition to improving cognitive function, chewing gum is also a great stress reliever.
10. Power up with chicken and eggs.
Whichever came first doesn’t really matter in this case – both foods are great sources of choline, a precursor molecule of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a vital neurotransmitter that regulates body functions and improves memory and cognitive performance, a deficiency of which is associated with degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, it is also linked with the prevention of neural tube defects in fetal development, anxiety, and depression.
11. Eat dark chocolates.
Aside from its high sugar content, chocolate contains flavonols that give a short-term boost in cognitive skills. In addition, polyphenols in cocoa are found to prevent cognitive impairment of aging people. Bisson et. al. studied the long-term effects of cocoa polyphenolic extract on cognitive performance of aging mice, and they observed that the treated mice displayed increased thinking abilities when they were subjected to different environmental stimuli.
Sugar intake of not more than 25 grams can boost alertness and improve memory. Glucose is an essential nutrient for metabolism and a primary energy source for the brain, deficiencies of which result in many neurologic symptoms like loss of consciousness, impaired thinking ability, and memory loss. So, in place of other unhealthy, sugary delights, go for a bar of dark chocolates to satiate your sweet tooth and keep your brain healthy at the same time.
Shadow of Doubt
Keep in mind the list of food and beverages is not customized for your specific needs. Some people may have negative reactions to the food or beverages listed in the Article. For example, some of the listed food and beverages may interact negatively with medicine or supplements you are taking, and some of the items may negatively impact your heart, liver, cholesterol, blood sugar, or other body parts. Furthermore, some of the items listed are known to cause allergic reactions in some people. There may also be a significant difference between the quality and healthfulness of products within a category of food or beverage. The article is also missing any mention of an “ideal” portion size.
Click here to read another Beyond Injury post about brain health.
Thanks to Trina Tbi Chambers-Bradlee who shared the article with me; Examined Existence for publishing the article upon which this post is based; Google for helping me find the picture I used; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture and text I used in this post.