Every year, during the holiday season, it is expected to have a great feast. However, putting the wrong kinds of food may harm your brain. In comparison to the rest of your body, the brain uses a great load of energy. Feed it with the right foods. This holiday season and every day, incorporate some “brain food” into your diet to help boost your chances of maintaining a healthy brain. Your Orange County Neurosurgeon, Dr. Robert Louis highlights the top five important nutrients for the brain.
- Antioxidants. While oxidization is necessary for life, it can cause chain reactions that are damaging to the brain, which is highly vulnerable to oxidization. By adding antioxidants into your meal, you can protect your brain from oxidative stress and promote learning and memory. Antioxidants have become very popular in numerous diets and can be easily found in foods enhanced with antioxidants. Naturally, antioxidants can be found a berries like blueberries and turmeric.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Essential for healthy brain function, omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial part in the cell membranes of the brain. Deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with a higher risk of mental health conditions like ADD, dementia, depression, dyslexia, and schizophrenia. Omega-3 fatty acids improve cognition in children and the elderly. Foods like chia, fish, and flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Iron. Iron also helps blood carry oxygen to the body, including the brain. When the brain lacks oxygen, it can lead to problems with maintaining attention, poor memory and learning. Adding iron into your diet can improve cognitive function, especially in women. Iron can be found in lean red meat, lentils and beans.
- Vitamin E. Studies have shown that lower levels of vitamin E have been associated with poor memory in the elderly. Include vitamin E foods into your meal to prevent cognitive decline and improve brain performance. Vitamin E can be found in nuts, seeds, wheatgerm and foods fortified with vitamin E.
- Folic Acid. Lack of folate in the body have been linked to various neurological conditions such as depression and cognitive impairment. Incorporating folic acid-rich foods into your diet can counter cognition decline and dementia in older age. Citrus fruits, whole grains and leafy vegetables like spinach are a great source of folic acid and can easily be added to the holiday menu.
This season, help promote a healthy brain and include these nutrients into your holiday meal.
Your Orange County Neurosurgeon, Dr. Louis, can help discuss your dietary needs to improve your brain’s health. Call (949) 383-4185 or Contact us today.