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Nutrients to Improve Your Brain Health

Adding foods that are rich in compounds to your diet can help nourish your mind and keep your brain in optimal condition.

Bowl of almonds

In addition to keeping your brain active (learning a musical instrument or doing puzzles, for example) and making sure its hydrated throughout the day, eating the right foods is key to a healthy brain.

The brain consumes up to 20 percent of our total calorie intake - so it makes sense that feeding yourself well will allow it to perform optimally. Foods rich in B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants should make up some of your diet as they are all tied to brain health.

Fruit and Veg: It’s a list we are becoming familiar with for overall good health, but leafy greens, berries, other colourful fruit and veg, herbs and spices are also top brain foods. Not only are they important for the antioxidant polyphenols they contain but eating a variety of whole plant foods is key to keeping the gut/brain axis firing by way of a healthy microbiome.

Healthy Fats: A 2020 study found that people with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids (found in oily fish, walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds) had increased blood flow to the brain. The researchers also identified a connection between omega-3 levels and preservation of CBF (cerebral blood flow) with ageing. This suggests that omega-3 supplementation may have an important role in the preservation of CBF which, in turn, means that there are no cognitive issues - such as delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain.

Nuts Every Day: Nuts deserve a special mention because as well as being a healthy, fibre-rich snack they boast some impressive brain health benefits too. Almonds are high in vitamin E, an antioxidant that absorbs damaging free radicals that can target brain cells, while walnuts contain those all-important omega-3 fats.



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