Super Foods for Super Brains!

Super foods are packed with nutrients that have health-enhancing properties ranging from prevention of heart disease and cancer to improving skin tone and boosting memory and brain function. Their health benefits may be overstated but they do provide the recommended nutrients when included as part of balanced diet. Here are 5 super foods that help boost brain function and improve memory.
1-Milk is rich in vitamin B6, vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium and potassium – all of which are necessary for improving memory and cognitive functions. But what is especially beneficial to brain health is the milk protein, especially cow milk protein. The cow milk protein is made up of 20 percent whey protein and 80 percent casein protein. The whey protein is a mixture of alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin and serum albumin. A research study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that dietary protein rich in alpha-lactalbumin (cow milk protein in this case) improves cognitive performance in stress-vulnerable people by increasing brain serotonin activity levels.
2-Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable from the cabbage family, is a super food because scientists have found that it can protect the brain following injury. Broccoli contains a chemical called sulforaphane that helps strengthen the protective network of capillaries called the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The BBB is a semi-permeable lining made of tiny capillaries; it protects the brain from ‘foreign substances’ which may injure the brain. The BBB also maintains a constant environment for the brain.
3-Potato may seem to be the least likely food for improving memory or brain function, but in fact the baked potato with flesh and skin and without salt is a very healthy, low calorie, high fiber food. It is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese – all of which are beneficial to brain health.
4-Mango is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and vitamins K, A and E. Fruits like mangoes and banana are high in vitamin B6 content and are therefore good for brain health.
5-Honey is the oldest natural sweetener known to man. Honey is made up of equal parts of glucose and fructose and it contains a variety of B-vitamins, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and anti-oxidants – all of which are good for brain health.

More Tips to Help Memory Loss

Concerned about memory loss? Take heart. Simple steps — from staying mentally active to including physical activity in your daily routine — may help sharpen your memory.
-Eat a healthy diet. A heart-healthy diet may be as good for your brain as it is for your heart. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose low-fat protein sources, such as fish, lean meat and skinless poultry. What you drink counts, too. Not enough water or too much alcohol can lead to confusion and memory loss.
-Include physical activity in your daily routine. Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain. This may help keep your memory sharp. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity (think brisk walking) or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity (such as jogging) — preferably spread throughout the week. If you don’t have time for a full workout, squeeze in a few 10-minute walks throughout the day.
-Manage chronic conditions. Follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations for any chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and depression. The better you take care of yourself, the better your memory is likely to be. In addition, review your medications with your doctor regularly. Various medications can impact memory.

Eat Oily Fish to Prevent Memory Loss

Eating oily fish while avoiding red meat can help prevent memory loss in later life, a study suggests.
People who adhere to a Mediterranean-style diet are 19 per cent less likely to encounter problems with their thinking and memory skills by their sixties.
Eating foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, such as fish, chicken and salad dressing, and limiting the amount of red meat, saturated fats and dairy products we consume could help ward off conditions like dementia, researchers said.
Previous studies have suggested a variety of benefits from the Mediterranean diet, including longer life and a lower risk of conditions including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer and dementia.
The new study, published in the Neurology journal, was the largest to examine the link between healthy eating and “cognitive functioning” – a group of thinking and memory skills which decline in some people during old age and are a warning sign of dementia.
Researchers from the University of Alabama studied data on a national sample of 17,478 Americans with an average age of 64 who had taken part in a stroke study.
Oily fish contains EPA and DHA in a ready-made form, which enables the body to use it easily. The main sources of oily fish include salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards and kippers. Low DHA levels have been linked to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.

Junk Food Makes you Dumb!

The consumption of junk foods may lead to memory loss, suggests new research. Poor diet was found to induce memory loss in rodents in as early as six days.
A team of researchers from the University of New South Wales experimented with rats; rats were placed on a diet rich in sugar and fat. The performance of these rats were compared with rodents on a healthy diet. At the end of just six days, those rats on poor diet were found to develop memory loss.
Poor diet was associated with a cognitive decline that happened very quickly,” researcher Margaret Morris said.
“So within six days of the diet, the animals performed less well on a spatial memory task.
We were surprised at how fast it was.
The researchers observed inflammation in the hippocampus in these animals; the hippocampus is a part of the brain involved in formation and storage of memory.
Memory issues in rats became apparent before the appearance of physical symptoms. “The animals of course weren’t obese after just six days on the diet. So the changes in cognition, the loss of memory, happened well before there was any weight change,” said Professor Morris.
So now comes the question, is the new finding applicable to humans?
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