The brain requires some essential nutrients, to function in a healthy and effective manner. These nutrients can be easily derived from a diet that contains all the necessary good groups, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, plus a healthy source of proteins. Without these nutrients, the brain might suffer, with problems appearing in the form of memory loss, difficulty concentrating and loss of mental agility. Let us find out more information on these essential nutrients and how the brain uses them to maintain an excellent state of health.
1. Complex Carbs
Complex carbs also known as macronutrients, are equally important to proteins and fats. These provide the brain with much-needed energy, stimulating the release of happiness hormones, such as serotonin, at the same time. A diet that is rich in complex carbs, especially from fresh fruits and vegetables, is also recommended for those who suffer from brain injuries and memory loss. The most important thing is to avoid consuming refined carbs, as these do not have the same benefits to offer. Sources of complex carbs include winter squash, beets, carrots, yams, and potatoes.
Proteins are rich in amino acids, which are essential for the proper functioning of the brain. When one does not include sufficient amounts of proteins in the diet, the brain is affected (neurotransmitter levels are reduced). In consequence, one has trouble concentrating and suffers from mood swings and insomnia. The best source of protein is meat, preferably free-range and grass-fed. Wild fish, dairy products, and organic eggs are also excellent sources of proteins. Proteins can also be obtained from vegetable sources, but their quality differs.
For a long time, it was stated that fats were bad for our health, increasing the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. However, according to recent research, fat is good for us, and it should be a part of our daily diet. In fact, those who follow low-fat diets are at a higher risk for diabetes, because many of the foods they eat are rich in sugar. Healthy fats are essential for the brain, reducing the risk of dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions. Keep in mind that the brain is largely composed of fats, which means that it also needs fats to function. Recommended sources of healthy fats include fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, and tuna), avocado, nuts & seeds, coconut oil and butter (grass-fed).
While the body requires several types of vitamins to maintain a good state of health, the brain benefits the most from the B complex. These are known to improve the overall functioning of the brain and are often administered to those who have suffered a stroke. B vitamins are also known to reduce the risk of mood swings, as well as improve the resistance to stress (better coping). The lack of B vitamins, on the other hand, leads to brain fog, concentration problems, and memory loss; it even increases the risk of dementia. Recommended sources of B vitamins include clams, beef, turkey, oysters, and chicken. You can also consume crab, salmon, eggs, trout, and herring.
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for the health of the bones and joints; however, as recent research has shown, it might also play a very important role in the health of the brain. The lack of vitamin D within the body can have a negative impact on the brain, leading to memory loss, mood swings, and cognitive impairment. In fact, it has been suggested that, by consuming more foods that are rich in vitamin D, one could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Recommended sources of vitamin D include cod liver oil, sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, raw milk, caviar, eggs, and mushrooms. Sometimes, you might also need to take vitamin D supplements. Also, keep in mind that sun exposure is required for the proper absorption of vitamin D within the body.
Magnesium is one of the essential minerals we need to maintain the best possible state of health. Unfortunately, magnesium deficiency is a common occurrence, leading to concentration difficulties, mood swings, and brain fatigue. When we have adequate levels of magnesium within the body, we perform better, enjoy higher energy levels, and we can relax. Among the most recommended sources of magnesium, are spinach, bananas, dark chocolate, avocado, figs, black beans, yogurt, kefir, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and chard. Magnesium supplements are also available, upon necessity.
These are essential nutrients that our brain requires to stay healthy and function in an effective manner. It is important to follow a diet that includes all the above-mentioned food groups, rich in vitamins, minerals, and other healthy nutrients. You can also take best brain foods to improve overall focus, memory and cognitive function.