Most of us know the foods recommended for good heart health. Accordingly, we know food components, such as vitamin C, that strengthen our immune system and protect us from infections. But have we realized that our brain health can also be positively affected if we pay attention to two or three things in our diet?
Whether you are a student in exam period, or you want to perform better at work, let’s take a look at 9 foods that improve cognitive function, i.e. the ability of our mind to stay sharp and active.
Fatty fish: A large percentage of our brain is made up of fat, and omega-3 fatty acids are used to structure its cells. Salmon, mackerel and sardine are fish that contain two essentials omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are essential for cognitive functions such as learning and memory. When we take them in sufficient quantity, they seem to improve our mood, since they facilitate the synthesis of the “hormone of joy” (serotonin) and strengthen our ability to make decisions, reducing the stress we feel. Conversely, low levels may be associated with an increased risk of depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Coffee: As we know, coffee wakes us up. However, it does not only do that! Because of caffeine and its antioxidant compounds, has a direct supportive effect on our brain. More specifically, studies show that it helps us stay focused as it reduces the effect of a substance (adenosine) that causes drowsiness, improves mood and sharpens our alertness.
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