The health of the brain is critical, though, as it is the powerhouse that reminds us how to chew and swallow as well as moderate hunger and satiety cues. Furthermore, a healthy brain can reduce the opportunity for brain disorders to take over, especially with advancing age.
Foods that Benefit Brain Health and Enhance Memory
Peppermint. Research suggests not only the smell, but the flavor, of peppermint can enhance memory. Additionally, alertness and attentiveness has been shown to improve. Chewing on a stick of gum prior to an exam may lead to improved test scores.
Beef. Beef is rich in iron and zinc, two minerals attributed to brain health. Studies have shown young students who are iron deficient demonstrate learning impairments. Researchers now find zinc to be essential in the roles of memory and learning functions. Furthermore, suggestions are made that the lack of zinc can increase the risk of dementia and cognitive decline.
Fish. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, and herring are filled with omega-3 fatty acids, a type of "good" fat. Although omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with brain health for years, a recent studied suggests at least one serving a week could ward of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
Walnuts. Ironically, walnuts actually do resemble the structure of the brain. Like oily fish, the brain benefits can be attributed to omega-3 fatty acid content. Additionally, vitamin E concentrations found in walnuts has been associated to memory improvements.
Beets. Specifically, research shows drinking beet juice may fight the progression of dementia. Areas of the brain often lack blood supply with advancing age, a phenomenon thought to contribute to dementia and poor cognition. Nitrites found in beets have shown to widen blood vessels, thus increasing oxygen-rich blood flow to the brain.
Eggs. Eggs contain high amounts of choline, an essential element for normal brain development. Choline is critical in the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter important for memory and communication between brain cells.
Oats. Folate found in oats is crucial for proper brain development and function. It also plays an important role in mental and emotional health. Furthermore, the glucose found in oats and other whole grains is the brain's preferred energy source. Like mentioned with beef, the zinc content found in oats can also attribute to overall improved brain health.
Hendrick B. Beet Juice Good for Brain. WebMD. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20101103/beet-juice-good-for-brain.
Storrs C. Study links eating fish with healthy brains, regardless of mercury. CNN. Available at: http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/02/health/fish-alzheimers-brain-mercury/