Tuesday, 5 October 2010

brain foods

Over the years, it has been discovered that certain foods help your mental abilities such as abilities with memory and mental clarity. The following foods are listed on the BBC Good Food website (as well as other sources) and have been studied scientifically to prove that they help people mentally.

With a clear mind comes clear thinking. This links these foods to my topic of philosophy.

WHOLEGRAIN FOODS

Foods such as wholewheat pasta, cereals and wheatbran have been proven to make people better at reciting information. The study conducted involved a number of women taking a supplement of folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. When compared to women who were not taking the supplement, it was revealed that they recited information far more clearly.

Diagram of the wholegrain

OILY FISH

Oily fish such as mackerel, trout and sardines contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids which contain a good amount of DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) of which low levels in humans have been proven to link to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Oily fish also includes iodine which has been linked with improvements in mental clarity.

Some freshly caught mackerel

BLUEBERRIES

One of the 5 'super foods'. Blueberry extract has been linked with improvement of short term memory loss. They have a whole load of other health benefits too.

Some fresh blueberries

BLACKCURRANTS

From berries to currants. Vitamin C has been linked for a long time with the ability to increase mental agility. Blackcurrants are one of the best sources for this vitamin.

Some blackcurrants

PUMPKIN SEEDS

Pumpkin seeds are excellent sources of zinc and have been proved to be vital for managing memory and thinking skills.

A close-up of some pumpkin seeds

BROCCOLI

Broccoli contains vitimins B12, B6 and K which all help the brains cognitive function. The B vitamins contain homocysteins which have been linked to prevention of Alzheimer's disease.

Broccoli

AVOCADO

As well as plenty of other nutrients, Avocado's contain monounsaturated fats which are essential for smooth blood circulation, which helps the brain function more productively.

A poster showing different kinds of avocado

TOMATOES

Good evidence has been found that lycopene - a powerful antioxidant in tomatoes - helps to reduce the effects of Dementia and Alzheimer's as it helps to prevent damage to certain brain cells that contribute to the deterioration of the brain in these diseases.

An array of tomatoes on a market stall

SAGE

Sage was traditionally thought to boost brain power and memory for centuries. However, it has only been in the past decade that more-or-less conclusive evidence has occurred that this is genuinely true. For example, in 2003, scientists at Newcastle University carried out an experiment where healthy young adults took sage oil capsules which resulted in them performing better in a word recall test. So sage improves your memory. Be sure to include sage on your spice rack.

Some sage leaves cut from a sage plant

EGGS

Eggs have always been speculated to be good for the brain. Various studies in the past have claimed that eggs are good for the brain and that they induce clear thinking. For example, the American Journal of Epidemiology suggested that a good intake of vitamin E could help to prevent bad memory. As eggs are a good source of vitamin E this makes them suitable for this. Eggs also contain choline. The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Sciences Academy of the U.S. claimed in 1997 that choline is, "essential to ones diet" due to choline being a key nutrient in development of the brains motor skills. This makes eggs a suitable food for consumption for this reason.

A lot of eggs

There are plenty of other foods that have been speculated and evidenced to help our ability to think clearly and assist brain development and motor skills. These are certainly some of the most talked about.

Be seeing you!

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