Brainfood: nutrition, diet and brain health

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Brainfood: nutrition, diet and brain health

2015-04-18 15:39:36

Every part of human body needs the great variety of nutrients for living and functioning. Some of nutrients seem to have a positive effect on brain and mind (Gómez-Pinilla, 2008). Balanced diet is an important part of the healthy lifestyle, and together with physical activity ensure, that your brain is working at the top speed.


You can simply achieved balanced diet recommendations with the MyPlate rule - half of your plate in two of daily meals should be colourful vegetables and fruits, and other half need to be sources of proteins and carbohydrates. One or two glasses of diary products daily complete the rule, but for beverages you can also drink caffeine, for example in coffee or tea - next week I am going to show you, how caffeine affect body and improve health. Brain seems to prefer some protein sources and you can try include them in your diet:

  • Legumes, especially soy beans, contain polyphenols such isoflavone, which improve memory (Lamport et al., 2012).
  • Nuts, especially walnuts, contain omega-3 and other fatty acids which probably prevent dementia (Issa et al., 2006). You need three walnuts a day if you are an average women, or five walnuts if you are an average men, to satisfy daily recommendation for omega-3.
  • Eggs and/or fish - contain tyrosine, creatine and vitamin B12 - every nutrients with some research suggesting improvement in cognitive function or preventing dementia.

You need to know, that phytochemicals and other nutrients from edible plants have a very strong, mostly positive impact not only for brain, but the whole body. Five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, statistically increase lifespan for an average 1,5 hour, by reducing the risk of chronic diseases (Spiegelhalter, 2012). Also one serving of nuts a day seems to have the same effect on health (Grosso et al., 2015).

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Gómez-Pinilla, Fernando. "Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function." Nature Reviews Neuroscience 9.7 (2008): 568-578.

Grosso, Giuseppe, et al. "Nut consumption on all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies." The American journal of clinical nutrition 101.4 (2015): 783-793.

Issa, Amalia M., et al. "The efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids on cognitive function in aging and dementia: a systematic review." Dementia and geriatric cognitive disorders 21.2 (2006): 88-96.

Lamport, Daniel J., et al. "The effects of flavonoid and other polyphenol consumption on cognitive performance: A systematic research review of human experimental and epidemiological studies." Nutrition and Aging 1.1 (2012): 5-25.

Spiegelhalter, David. "Using speed of ageing and “microlives” to communicate the effects of lifetime habits and environment." BMJ 345 (2012).

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