There is no magic pill to prevent cognitive decline. However, consuming a lot of nuts, fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains can protect the brain from early aging and (now common) dysfunctions.
Nutrients like omega-3, B vitamins and antioxidants support brain health. Incorporating food rich in these on a regular basis can improve the health of the brain, memory, cognition and attention.
- Ashwagandha: This herb is known to reduce anxiety and stress. It has been seen to increase acetylcholine levels which support better memory, mental focus and intelligence. This herb also reduces mental fatigue and enhances sleep quality. It protects the brain nerve cells from damage.
- Brahmi: This Ayurvedic herb is believed to sharpen the brain by protecting cells and increasing chemicals associated with learning and memory. It has shown to improve spatial learning and retaining power.
- Shallaki: This herb improves brain function mainly due to its antioxidant property. The antioxidants present fight against the free radicals responsible for causing brain cell damage and supports stronger memory.
- Curcumin: A compound found in turmeric, offers therapeutic relief. It is a rich antioxidant which supports against brain cell damage. It has found to delay or reverse brain diseases or age related decreases in brain function.
- Walnut: A top nut for brain health with a significantly high concentration of Omega-3. Study has shown it to protect brain health in newborns, improve cognitive performance and prevent cognitive decline. Consume soaked walnuts.
- Hazelnut & Almond: Both are the most concentrated sources of vitamin E available which aids in cognitive development of the brain and delays brain decline. It is best to soak these overnight and then eat.
- Peanut: Peanuts are high in Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and B1 (thiamine) which support healthy brain function in a child. The high concentration of Vitamin E antioxidant in peanut protects against brain nerve damage. It is best to consume soaked peanuts as that increases the antioxidant content manifolds, while retaining the Vitamin Bs.
- Pumpkin Seed: Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, copper, and much higher in zinc than other seeds, which help in increasing concentration and memory. Magnesium in the seed helps with stress-busting and the presence of a unique compound supports the production of good mood chemical serotonin.
- Soy: The nutrient content of soy foods is linked to improvements in cognitive and memory functions. This bean is rich in a particular group of antioxidants called polyphenols which save the brain from free radical damage.
- Banana: It improves the memory power. Vitamin B6 in banana promotes the production of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine which enhances concentration and ability to focus.
- Spinach: It has a wide variety of brain-boosting nutrients- Vitamin A, B12, K and Iron. Researchers have found that even one serving of spinach per day may help your brain stay a decade younger (probably owing to Vitamin A) than those who do not consume the green leafy vegetable on a regular basis.
- Dark Chocolate: A study showed that eating cocoa for five days improved blood flow to the brain. Compounds in dark chocolate boost memory, attention span, reaction time and problem-solving skills.