Food not only affects our physical health but also plays a crucial role in maintaining our mental health. According to the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research, a healthy diet can prevent diverse mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression.
We can boost vital functions of the brain by regularly incorporating essential nutrients, such as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, into our diet.
Six Superfoods to Boost Mental Function
1.Turmeric: A Potent Source of Curcumin for the Brain
Turmeric controls inflammatory processes in our body and reduces stress. It contains curcumin as an active ingredient that can directly enter the brain by crossing the blood-brain barrier.
● Assists brain cell growth: Curcumin in turmeric boosts the production of growth hormone and facilitates the generation of brain cells. It may offer benefits by retarding the degeneration of mental functions due to aging.
● Fights depression: Curcumin encourages the production of serotonin and dopamine to elevate mood and ease the effects of depression.
● Improves memory: There is promising research to suggest that curcumin in turmeric may boost memory in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.
2. Pumpkin Seeds: The Storehouse of Healthy Nutrients
Free radicals can impair brain functions. Similarly, micronutrients play a vital role in the maintenance of mental health and several neurological functions. Pumpkin seeds are rich in micronutrients and antioxidants that scavenge free radicals to protect the brain.
● Zinc in pumpkin seeds assists nerve functions and may prevent a variety of neurological disorders.
● Copper boosts neurological functions and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions. Pumpkin seeds contain copper, thus improving mental health.
● Magnesium in pumpkin seeds is vital for brain & memory functions. Its deficiency can lead to depression, epilepsy, and migraines.
● Iron helps prevent the impairment of cerebral functions. Pumpkin seeds comprise iron to boost mental health.
3. Berries: Neuroprotective Brain Boosters
Strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are superfoods that offer tremendous benefits for the health of your brain. Berries help maintain memory and enhance brain & memory functions.
These fruits have a detoxifying effect because of the ingredient polyphenol. The recycling and cleansing effect of this chemical may delay the degenerative processes of the brain.
4. Green leafy Vegetables: The Power of Nutrients and Antioxidants
Eating green leafy vegetables can benefit you in several ways. There are many helpful vitamins and antioxidants in common leafy vegetables, which boost brain functions by improving mental health.
● Folic acid: Green leafy vegetables, including spinach, provide high amounts of folic acid to fight depression. Folic acid is also helpful for enhancing concentration and reducing the effect of free radicals.
● Vitamin K: You can get vitamin K from leafy vegetables like mustard greens, which supports brain functions and prevents free radical damage.
● Lutein: It is one of the several antioxidants in spinach. Lutein prevents the degeneration of cognitive functions.
5. Fish: Rich Source of Omega-3 Fats
Fatty fish such as salmon and sardines provide omega-3 fats that are crucial for the development and functioning of the brain. Omega-3 fatty acids help in building brain cells. They are also helpful in the improvement of nerve functions. Fatty fish are superfoods that promote overall brain functions and enhance memory.
Omega-3 fats assist the development of the central nervous system and minimize the effects of depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and several mental health conditions. A regular diet of fatty fish can be an ideal brain health supplement.
6. Whole Grains: Mood Stabilizers
Complex carbs such as whole grains can benefit mental health because of the sustained release of glucose. The steady energy supply to the brain helps stabilize the mood and prevent negative feelings such as anger, irritation, and depression.
Whole grains provide complex carbohydrates and fiber to ensure that the individual is happy and calm. You can consider adding whole wheat, brown rice, and oats to your diet to improve the consumption of complex carbs.