We live in a health conscious world. This much is true. But did you ever really think that the food you eat could be controlling or altering your mental state? There is today a growing body of evidence that seems to suggest that the food we eat can indeed have a significant impact on our mood, memory and cognitive function. While it is common for people to lose some cognitive function as they grow older, other disorders such as depression or memory loss can be combatted. This article will take a look at some nutrients essential for having good brain health.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 Fatty acids are found primarily in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. They play a major role in brain health and have demonstrated their ability to improve it, time and time again. It is commonly thought they work by increasing elasticity in brain cells, allowing for readier absorption of key nutrients and vitamins. Numerous studies have highlighted omega-3’s ability to fight off depression. For the vegetarians out there, there is the option to supplement with products such as Cod Liver Oil, or indeed Omega-3 is also found in abundance in flaxseeds and flaxseed oil.
Magnesium is excellent for keeping headaches at bay and is in fact commonly referred to as ‘nature’s tranquilizer’. Foods high in magnesium include green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds. Numerous research studies have underlined their ability to help migraine sufferers who are often magnesium-deficient. It is believed that it works by acting on the brain structures that trigger attacks.
Gingko Biloba is an ancient Chinese herbal medicine that has been used for centuries to improve cognitive and mental function. There is also science backing it as studies have shown that it works by increasing blood flow to the brain. In this way it is very effective for those suffering from circulatory problems. A Danish study concluded that it has the ability to improve concentration, alertness and increase memory capacity by up to 25%.
Folic Acid is a B vitamin that has shown its necessity in the development of foetal brains, yet more and more evidence is now underlining the role it plays later on in life. A study conducted at the University of Maastricht for 3 years concluded that women aged between 50-70 who took folic acid every day had significantly better memory than those who did not. They were also faster at processing information. Many individuals choose to take folic acid as part of a B complex supplement since they work synergistically in the brain. Folic acid is also found in green vegetables, liver, and pulses.