In this article
- What is brain food? Do brain boosting foods exist?
- Good brain food: The best foods for memory, proven through research
- Brain foods: Power foods for the brain–how do they get there?
- Brain food lists: The top ten power foods for memory enhancement
- Brain healthy foods for memory and brain-boosting exam preparation
What we eat affects our brain. History tells of Native Indian tribes such as the Cherokee believing a warrior took on the qualities of the meat he ate. Old African communities refused to eat tortoise in case this made them slow. Post twentieth-century, this tradition continues; callous and shocking live monkey brain food in China to Kuru in Papua New Guinea caused by funerary endocannibalism. These traditions sound like folklore, and they are. Yet, in part, these communities were right-the nutrients we digest make us who we are.
What is brain food? Do brain boosting foods exist?
The effects of food on cognitive powers start before food enters the mouth. Memory is hereupon keyed up through scent and sight, altering the emotional status. Upon ingestion, insulin and glucagon-like peptide (GLP1) are released, visiting and mobilizing the hypothalamus and hippocampus, both of which contribute to learning and memory. On the opposite branch, a groaning belly without sustenance releases ghrelin and leptin which emit a similar effect upon the same areas of the brain, and the same effects upon learning and memory. In parasympathetic vagal innervation of the intestine, gut activity influences emotions and vice versa. Bearing this in mind, vagal nerve stimulation is used to treat chronic depression, itself linked to cognitive degeneration and memory loss. Good brain food is not folklore, but de rigueur to our development as a species.
Good brain food: The best foods for memory, proven through research
The best foods for memory are raw and organic. This article does not mull over memory supplements although these are of great worth. As memory food, raw fruits and vegetables contain much higher levels of vitamins, minerals and phytotherapeutic compounds than found in anything processed or cooked. Foods that negatively affect brain function are nearly always processed with added sugar, such as Coca Cola.
The four main groups that positively affect cognition and therefore the foods that help memory are:
- Dietary fatty acids
- B6 and B12
- Low calorie options
The last on the list might not fit the criteria given to encapsulate power foods for the brain but has a well-deserved position. Not only does non-extreme calorific restriction slow ageing and delay age-related disorders, it probably improves hippocampus-dependent spacial learning, insulin sensitivity, and blood glucose levels, all of which are associated with memory loss. Therefore, while the right food for the brain is of the utmost importance, so is the right quantity of food for the brain and a refined memory.
Brain foods: Power foods for the brain–how do they get there?
One of the opposition’s arguments is that little of what is digested reaches the brain. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is questioned as to its opening to foods that boost brain power-a potential dilemma. However, although the BBB stops the unrestricted entrance and exit of molecules, it can convey messages which have a direct impact upon our capacity to store and retrieve memories . For a super brain boost, gut serotonin cannot pass the boundary, yet it can influence other organs such as the liver and adipocytes. These evacuate hormones that cunningly maneuver past the blood-brain moat. The brain boost is therefore secondary and indirect.
Brain food lists: The top ten power foods for memory enhancement
The best brain food should be fresh, organic (pesticide- and chemical-free), unprocessed and savory. Nuts are a preeminent example for optimal food for brain function, yet manufacturing and big business have created roasted, salted, honey-coated, sugar-coated, chocolate-covered and crispy-coated varieties where factory-line toxins negate the good. Alternatively, the bag of ‘plain’ nuts with added raisins, coconut slivers, cranberries, and other seeds may seem like the brain power option, yet raisins contain levels of dextrose that drastically inflate blood sugar levels contriving hyperinsulinemia in normal adults and hyperglycemia in diabetics.
Another example of the food version of the wolf in sheep’s clothing is tuna polluted with methylmercury. Methylmercury (the degraded form of mercury found in oceans) causes blindness, deafness, impaired mental functioning and even pediatric microcephaly with plenteous exposure. With this in mind, the ensuing list of brain food only refers to organic forms:
- Wild Atlantic or Alaskan salmon
- Egg yolks
- Extra virgin oil (unheated)
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Live, unsweetened yogurt
Brain healthy foods for memory and brain-boosting exam preparation
Brain boosting foods are inherent to any study schedule; long periods of sitting hunched over a desk with little time spent outdoors in often unventilated rooms or dorms creates a high-toxicity atmosphere where excellent nutrition counts. Brain food snacks need to have a low calorific value if daily exercise is avoided; several smaller snacks as a replacement for larger meals suits this period of brain-crunching, fact-absorbing labor.
Brain food for kids to help with school results should not deviate from the natural daily diet as qualitative nutrition is essential during growth. Brain boost food in the young should be part of everyday life. Should processed foods, saturated fats or simple carbohydrates be included in this menu, removing or reducing these and replacing them with the top ten in the above list of brain food is the correct step.
The subject of brain food for studying is not a complex one, but the supplements industry have developed their own versions of quick and simple nutritious capsules with the same brain boosting effects as organic, nutritious foods. For examinations, both methods supply voluminous nutrition, yet the food sources offer the additional benefits of satiation, olfactory, gustatory and visual stimuli, fiber, and a moment’s imperative brain-recharging distraction from textbooks and folders.