652Do You Know Your Brain Foods?
- Jul 15, 2008Has anyone ever told you that fish is "brain food?" What does this really mean?
It appears there may be some association between the foods we eat and the power of our brain. Just like the rest of our bodies, the brain reacts negatively to a constant intake of high-fat and junk foods and prefers to be nourished by a well-balanced diet.
Studies have documented the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fatty fish, in lessening the damage wrought by dementia. One study showed that eating at least one fish meal per week may significantly lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Fish is not the only food that has been linked to improved brain power. There are also benefits to eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fiber. Other touted brain foods are the brightest colored fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, strawberries, prunes, raspberries and blackberries, because antioxidants found in them have been linked to improved memory. In addition, foods containing B vitamins or magnesium are crucial to ensuring normal brain and nerve function. Both of these nutrients are often found in whole grains and in enriched and whole grain products such as bread, rice, pasta and fortified cereals.
Finally, remember that just like the rest of your body, your brain needs energy, which it prefers to get from glucose. This may be one reason why some people who follow a low-carbohydrate diet report feeling sluggish. Just like every other aspect of nutrition, balance and moderation are the keys. Consider using the MyPyramid guidelines to help you eat your way to a healthier brain!
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