A healthy and varied diet is essential to protect our brain, improve concentration and help delay or even prevent cognitive decline.
"Although, in general, what is recommended to strengthen the brain is to bet on a balanced diet, rich in vegetables, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, there are various foods especially indicated to take care of this organ: blue fish, citrus fruits, vegetables, pure cocoa, cinnamon, avocados or nuts. Likewise, it is also important to avoid excess salt, sugar and trans fats," says Dr. María Sánchez, e-Health Medical Manager at Cigna Spain.
But other healthy habits are also essential for memory. "Just as with the muscles and skeletal system, the brain also needs to be exercised and kept active, especially after a certain age. After all, the brain is an organ that, if properly trained and cared for, will be more agile and in better shape. To do so, it is key to lead a healthy lifestyle and to put into practice certain activities that help develop our mental agility, improve our concentration and enhance our attention span," the expert continues.
What foods improve our memory
As the specialist explained, we must bet on certain foods that play a protective role against brain aging.
It is the main ingredient your neurons need. Without good hydration your brain cannot function well. However, you should avoid stimulating drinks like coffee or cola, because if we consume them in excess they increase the level of anxiety, diminish the capacity to concentrate and cause insomnia and irritability, the experts say.
This food, like carrots or peppers, contains luteolin, an antioxidant substance that reduces inflammation, a risk factor for neurodegeneration, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition.
It is another of the antioxidant foods that promote the proper functioning of the brain. It contains theobromine, an alkaloid similar to caffeine that stimulates the central nervous system and protects memory.
Although it will not be the definitive solution to your memory problems, cinnamon can help you stimulate it and learn better. This has been seen in some studies that suggest that this spice can help increase a protein, CREB, whose quantities are in greater proportion to people with better memory.
They are rich in another flavonol, physetine, which also helps to protect your memory, reduce the risk of cognitive impairment as well as the likelihood of suffering from diseases such as Alzheimer's, according to research published in the medical journal Aging Cell.
Fruits of the forest
In the context of a healthy and varied diet, eating berries also contributes to a healthier mind. These foods are rich in resveratrol, a powerful natural antioxidant. Studies in animal models have shown that this substance, which is also found in grapes, protects the brain.
Both the whole apple and its juice increase the production of acetylcholine, a substance that helps protect the brain from cognitive decline. Acetylcholine is involved in memory circuits, as well as in sending signals between cells, among other functions.
Nuts and other nuts
They provide vitamin B6 and are a good complement to the Mediterranean diet to improve mood, concentration and peak performance of our brain. Therefore, experts recommend them as a healthy snack that also protects our brain.
Numerous studies have looked at the convenience of taking omega-3 foods such as oily fish or avocado for brain health. This nutrient contains DHA, a substance that stimulates synaptic plasticity, i.e., the connections between neurons, and improves memory.