In order for the brain to function optimally, it needs the right amount of nutrients. If it doesn’t get enough of the material it needs, it will struggle to build brain cells and keep the lines of communication open between the cells and their receptors. When this occurs, cognitive decline is not too far behind. Food is a great natural tool we can use to help our brains stay healthy and overcome these dysfunctions. If your diet isn’t cutting it, it may be time to reconsider what you eat so that you can boost your brain function and regain control over your health. Here are some foods that can support brain function, which you can add to your diet today.
1. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is a great brain-boosting food, and you can pair it with berries and walnuts for a decadent flair. Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, which protect against aging and illness by targeting free radicals that cause oxidative stress and damage tissues. Antioxidants are a great nutritional weapon we can use against cognitive decline and dementia because they help protect the blood-brain barrier. Other foods rich in antioxidants include cilantro and artichokes.
Liver may not have been what you were hoping for, but it does have impressive levels of vitamin B12, which is crucial in blood and brain cell health as well as DNA synthesis. Studies show that individuals who have Alzheimer’s have significantly low levels of B12, suggesting that an increase in your intake may help prevent or fight against cognitive decline. If you can’t fathom stomaching liver, you can find equally impressive amounts of B12 in supplements, clams, sardines, beef, or salmon.
Almonds are a great source of magnesium, which is a mineral that many Americans shouldn’t (but do) ignore. If your magnesium levels get too low, you’re at risk of developing cognitive decline. Thankfully, supplementing magnesium or boosting your intake can be an effective strategy in combating declining brain function.
Sauerkraut is a great probiotic, and those with any form of chronic illness knows that your gut and immune system are crucial to your overall health. Eating fermented foods can also give you a boost in NAD+, an essential molecule in energy production. This molecule is also known to help the brain produce neurotransmitters. In some studies, using supplements to enhance NAD+ intake has helped individuals stop the progression of Alzheimer’s, so focusing on getting more fermented foods in your system can help you kick your cognitive decline to the curb.
Your diet has the potential to make or break your health, so it’s important that you focus on nutrition if you’re going to heal and regain control over your health.
However, it’s important to note that when it comes to nutrition plans as a form of treatment, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
While these foods are generally helpful, it doesn’t take into account each person’s unique dietary needs. That being said, it’s important that you partner with a functional medicine practitioner who can use cutting-edge testing to pinpoint your specific deficiencies and imbalances so that they can tailor a treatment plan for you. And in that way, you’ll be on the right track to beating cognitive decline.