Are you wondering about what food is good for your brain and what food can harm your brain? My blog post today is going to be about food that helps your mind to stay sharp (I call this food “Brain Food”). I am also going to talk about the food that prevents your brain from working its best.
Why is eating brain food so important? By eating brain food, you give your body the nutrition it needs so that you have the ability to concentrate, maintain alertness and help you to successfully address the challenges you come across every day. Eating brain food is beneficial for anyone whether they are a child, a university student, a middle-aged person or a senior.
Some food that you can eat to optimize your brain function are food that contains healthy DHA Omega 3 fat. The food in this category include: ocean harvested salmon, walnuts, flaxseed, avocado, coconut oil and flaxseed oil.
Food that are high in antioxidants are also critical in optimum brain functioning. Food in this category include green tea, blueberries, asparagus, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, almonds and papaya.
Food that have high levels of B vitamins are also beneficial. Some food in this category include potatoes, sunflower seeds (Vitamin B6), spinach, collard greens, turnip greens (Vitamin B9) and natural Greek yogurt (vitamin B12).
And last on the good brain food list are food that are high in tyrosine. This list includes such items as cheese, beef, lamb, bison, pork, fish, chicken, nuts, seeds, eggs and dairy food.
Now, for the food that you should totally stay away from to keep your mind sharp. Stay away from any food that contains wheat. This includes all bread, cookies, cakes, pastas and the majority of processed foods which have wheat in them as fillers. Read the label of packaged food. If it says that it contains wheat, put it down.
Stay away from processed sugar of any kind. Along with the havoc that fluctuating blood sugar levels can have on a person’s mood and ability to concentrate, current research is suggesting that a person who consumes a diet with lots of sugar is placing themselves at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have been finding more and more evidence that there is a link between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s (the most common form of dementia).
Any food that has MSG should be avoided. MSG is an excitotoxin which overstimulates neuron receptors and causes a continuous firing of impulses until those neuron receptors become exhausted and die a few hours later.
There is still controversy as to whether Aspartame (a popular artificial sweetener) has negative effects on brain health. Some people have reported headaches after consuming products with aspartame. Until there is more research done, my recommendation is to stay away from artificial sweeteners to maintain the health of your brain.
And lastly, a quick word about alcohol. Excessive consumption of alcohol will damage the brain. However, there is some evidence that show that mild consumption of alcohol does not do any damage to the brain. What does this mean? The current research suggests that an occasion glass of wine will not harm the health of a person’s brain. Until more evidence comes out, a person who wants to maintain the health of their brain should either abstain completely from alcohol or practice moderation in consumption.