IS THERE A HEALTHY FOOD FOR BRAIN HEALTH?
The compounds derived from the diet influence brain function. This statement becomes more and more clear over time.
This subject gives food for thought and becomes an important point especially since the strong progression of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
“Not that they suddenly appeared in the 20th century, but clinicians have been slow to distinguish normal physiological aging from pathological aging. “
Indeed, this theme is pushing more and more the scientific and medical community to pay particular attention to the action of vitamins, fatty acids and other nutrients on the brain.
The relevant way to improve brain health – and combat cognitive decline – is through a number of actions such as regular physical activity, cognitive stimulation exercises, intermittent fasting, and therefore healthy eating adapted to age and activity.
OUR BRAIN IS MADE OF FOOD.
Today, there is ample scientific evidence that what we eat and drink affects our ability to maintain a healthy, alert and active mind.
On the other hand, it is simple for all of us to recognize that intuitively the foods we eat shape our thoughts, actions, emotions and behavior.
For the majority of people, when they feel weak, they catch a few squares of chocolate, while others if they are tired want a tight black coffee.
Clearly, each of us uses food to soothe our moods and clear our head almost automatically, without seeming to think about it.
However, most diets focus on our appearance rather than our way of thinking.
This is partly due to the fascination of Western society for the diktat of appearance and the bias of medicine for drugs and surgery.
In fact, contemporary medicine often ignores how our diet contributes to shaping our cognitive health.
Yet apparently simple substances such as potassium, magnesium, sodium, and sugars have been shown to determine whether our brain cells (neurons and glial cells) trigger or not, develop or not, and make new connections or die.
Objectively, this means that everything you eat is part of what you are going to think. In the long run, this affects all of us because food affects not only our mood and thoughts, but also how we age.
OPTIMIZING BRAIN HEALTH EVERYDAY
Studies using the most advanced imaging and genome sequencing techniques have already revealed that certain foods such as vegetables, fruits, fish, whole grains, nuts and seeds are neuroprotective foods.
On the one hand, they protect the brain, and on the other hand they also support cognitive health throughout life.
Thus, it is perhaps not surprising that other foods such as fast food, fried foods, fatty foods and refined sugar are harmful.
These foods slow down and tire the body, disrupt our immune system, while increasing the risk of dementia.
These effects are particularly true when scientists examine the brain analysis of people following different diets.
One of the striking examples was when scientists compared the imaging results of middle-aged people who have been on a Mediterranean diet for most of their lives with those of the same age eating a diet of the same type. Western.
The Western diet is made up of processed foods, processed meats, sweets and industrial soft drinks. The results show that the way the brain of this latter group shrank prematurely is staggering. This diet is a time bomb.
THE DANGER OF THE BRAIN FOR OUR BRAIN.
In addition, subsequent studies have provided even more alarming evidence.
People following this western diet – the junk food diet – began to develop amyloid plaques (linked to Alzheimer’s disease) in their forties and fifties.
These are signs of accelerated aging and increased risk of future dementia.
In essence, the more you consume processed, packaged and refined foods on a regular basis, the greater the risk of cognitive decline.
However, there is no miraculous food to stay young and healthy. Do not take for granted the sometimes-magical health claims of certain foods that would cure cancer or run away from any problem of sexual breakdown.
However, there is clear evidence of the effect of some foods to age well and others to accelerate aging dramatically. In addition, a sedentary lifestyle and the regular consumption of certain substances (voluntarily or otherwise) such as tobacco, alcohol and chemical substances (sweeteners, preservatives, texture agents, etc.) are also conditions that accelerate cognitive decline.
WHICH FOOD CHOOSE TO TAKE CARE OF THE HEALTH OF OUR BRAIN?
There are no magic foods to fully protect you. Just remember that the nutritional needs of the brain vary widely with age. Also, some foods are more profitable than others.
The older a person is, the less they will be able to assimilate certain micronutrients, and will face different deficiencies.
This should allow us to understand that there is not a typical diet throughout life, but quality foods to adapt in a healthy diet based on aging.
For example, vitamin A requirements (retinol and beta-carotene) are known to increase significantly with age.
This vitamin A deficiency is harmful to the immune system, but an excess of this fat-soluble vitamin can also increase the risk of fractures.
The diet that is needed as you age will have to adapt, especially thanks to a diet rich in plants of orange or green color.
In short, common sense is to keep a balanced diet, diversified into quality foods, rich in fruits and vegetables.
Finally, if you want to improve your diet to consume foods that are beneficial for memory, mood, and neural plasticity, here are some tips. These foods have been studied and are on the list of foods that are good for brain health
DARK LEAF VEGETABLES AND CRUCIFER
Dark leafy vegetables are delicious and easy to cook. Spinach, chard, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and nutrients essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system.
Large-scale studies show that people who consume one or two servings of these vegetables each day have fewer memory and cognitive decline problems than people who rarely consume leafy vegetables. According to some research, just eating a salad every day keeps your brain 11 years younger.
Hydration plays a key role in our health. Drinking water as the main source of fluids is paramount.
Water is a major source of nutrition for the brain, which contains more than 80% of it.
Indeed, any chemical reaction in the brain requires water. The brain is so sensitive to dehydration that even minimal water loss can cause symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, confusion or even narrowing of the brain.
Note that purified water, sparkling water and some processed water have generally been deprived of their valuable nutrients and natural electrolytes that the brain needs to stay hydrated and work effectively.
The brain needs more than something wet. It needs the essential nutrients that real water can bring. Imagine your brain as a prune that dries out if you do not hydrate it. Other water supplies can also be done with a drink such as matcha and green tea, which have many health benefits.
BEAR THAT POOR FEEDING AFFECTS BRAIN FUNCTIONING FOR ANY AGE
The foods and nutrients mentioned above are valuable at all stages of life.
Although the dietary needs of the rest of the body vary somewhat with age – for example: more protein is needed when we are younger, more calcium and vitamin D when we are older – this does not seem to be the case of the brain.
However, as with any diet, the effects and effectiveness of these foods will vary greatly from one individual to another.
In particular, there are differences between the needs of male and female brains and the metabolism of specific nutrients.
It seems that women’s brains require more antioxidants provided by food and not with dietary supplements, especially vitamins A, C and E, as well as omega-3s.
To conclude, a healthy diet for the brain optimizes our ability to maintain a healthy and vibrant brain throughout life, while reducing the risk of developing cognitive impairment and dementia related to aging. As nutrition affects our brain health, each of us must refocus our attention on how we make our food choices to preserve it.