Food for the Brain

Brain Power Foods 

 

The brain is the control center for the entire body, and the brain needs to be fueled continuously and given nutrients for it to perform well. We eat impacts how our brain functions. Eating brain powering foods can have short and long-term effects on their overall function. 

 

Research has found that compounds such as flavanols, antioxidants, polyphenols, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals naturally found in food can help the brain and make sure it continues to perform well.

 

State of Mind has compiled a list of 12 foods that are proven to power your brain. 

 

1. Wild Salmon- Helps promote healthy brain function because of the omega-3 fats that naturally occur in oily fish in the form of EPA and DHA. Diets with higher levels of these fats may enhance memory, manage stress, produce serotonin, and help prevent function declines. 

2. Turmeric-  It has many antioxidants and can help improve the brain's oxygen intake, benefits the immune system, and increases memory and cognitive function.

 

3. Nuts and Seeds- Contain omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and are rich sources of vitamin E. Research shows that higher overall nut intake was linked to better brain function in older age. Some good nuts are hemp, chia, flax, and pumpkin seeds. 

 

4. Blueberries- Have high antioxidants and improve cognitive function. The antioxidant compounds help enhance communication between brain cells, reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain, and increase plasticity. 

 

5. Dark Chocolate - Has antioxidants and magnesium, zinc, and fiber. The antioxidants can help increase plasticity, fight against fatigue, and help with mood and alertness. 

6. Sage- Has memory-enhancing properties that can prevent memory loss in the future. 

 

7. Avocados- Have healthy unsaturated fats, which are crucial for brain health. They also have nutrients such as folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, and copper. 

 

8. Beans- Help balance blood sugar levels 

 

9. Whole Grains- Promote cardiovascular health, which also helps the brain. Whole grains are proven to aid concentration, which is crucial for students. 

 

10. Kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli- Have nutrients such as vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene, helping slow down cognitive decline. 

 

11. Eggs- Are a good source of vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, and folic acid, which are proven to help slow down cognitive decline.

 

12. Coffee- decreases the risk of dementia and cognitive decline.

 

Sources

10 Superfoods to Boost Brain Power

Foods linked to better brain power - Harvard Health


Superfood Recipes

We found an amazing website with 45 superfood recipes, these are two of our  favorites from the site! To look at the rest of the amazing recipes check out 45 Superfood Recipes That Are Good for Your Brain.


 

Shredded Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

 

Impact on the Brain 

This delicious recipe has 2 brain power superfoods, kale that has nutrients  such as  vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene which can help slow down cognitive decline, and pistachios that contain antioxidants which help improve brain function. 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 small bunch kale (about 8 ounces), stemmed and thinly sliced (about 6 cups)

  • 1/2 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

  • 1/2 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 cup honey mustard salad dressing

  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

 

Directions

Toss together all ingredients.

Salmon & Feta Wilted Spinach Salad

Impact on the brain

This delicious salad is not only tasty but also has ingredients  which protect the brain and improve its  overall functions. The salmon  promotes healthy brain function because of the omega-3 fats that naturally occur in oily fish in the form of EPA and DHA.  Also  the spinach has nutrients  such as vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene which can help slow down cognitive decline. Overall this meal is great for the brain. 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 salmon fillet (8 ounces)

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon Greek seasoning

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 4 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach

  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano

  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

  • Lemon wedges

 

Directions 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Place salmon on a foil-lined baking sheet, skin side down. Sprinkle with lemon juice and Greek seasoning. Bake until fish just begins to flake easily with a fork, 15-18 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine quinoa, broth and oil; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, 12-15 minutes.

  3. To serve, break salmon into 1-in. pieces using a fork. Place spinach, tomatoes, quinoa and salmon in a large bowl. Add cheese, herbs and pepper; toss gently to combine. Serve with lemon wedges.

 

Vitamins that are Good for the brain

 

State of Mind will formally state that the supplements recommended in these sections are recommendations based on doctors' and scientists' research. Please contact your doctor before taking any supplements. Vitamins are in no way a replacement for medication or therapy. Also, make sure to ask your doctor how many and which vitamins you should take. Like anything, if you take too many, it can be extremely harmful to your health. 

 

We have created a list of 6 vitamins that benefit the brain.

 

1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is most commonly gotten from the sun, but many lack this nutrient. Vitamin D is a crucial nutrient for the nervous and immune system. For many people, the sun gives them a sufficient amount of Vitamin D, but many need it in supplement form. 

2. Omega 3- Fatty Acids 

Omega 3 supplements are usually in the form of fish oil or krill oil. Omega-3 with EPA and DHA can help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease, among many other benefits such as improved eye health, humans who do not get a sufficient amount of DHA are more prone to poor eye health. Omega 3 is also found to help reduce symptoms of ADHD in children. Omega 3 also improves bone health

and sleep.

 

3. Magnesium 

Magnesium is vital for bone health, especially for teenagers who are still growing. Every cell in the human body needs magnesium to function and is involved in 600 reactions in the body. Magnesium also helps with exercise performance.
 

4. Probiotics 

Probiotics affect gut health, which improves overall health. Probiotics are also found to improve brain health. 

 

5. Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is an extremely healthy antioxidant; antioxidants are molecules that help the immune system. They do this by protecting the cells from free radicals, which are harmful molecules. These harmful molecules can accumulate and cause disease. Vitamin C protects the immune system and helps prevent ailments; vitamin C is a prevalent supplement taken by teens to avoid sickness. Especially during the COVID- 19 pandemic, vitamin C is very important.
 

6. Vitamin E

Vitamin E oil has numerous benefits, such as improved skin, antioxidants, longer cell life, and immunity. Many foods contain vitamin E, such as dry roasted sunflower seeds and roasted hazelnuts. For extra Vitamin E, you can take supplement versions in tablets. Please ask your doctor before taking Vitamin E although uncommon overdosing can cause serious effects.

 

Sources:

Natural supplements for mental health - Harvard Health

5 supplements for mental health

The 3 Most Important Vitamins for Mental Health – NAMI CCNS – Chicagoland Mental Health

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-magnesium-benefits#TOC_TITLE_HDR_8

https://www.healthline.com/health/all-about-vitamin-e#more-research

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