The research paper “Altered Gut Microbiota and Its Clinical Relevance in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease: Shanghai Aging Study and Shanghai Memory Study” investigates the relationship between gut microbiota and cognitive impairment, including mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The study analyzed fecal samples from 128 participants, including healthy individuals, those with MCI, and those with AD, and found that the gut microbiota composition of individuals with cognitive impairment was significantly different from that of healthy individuals. Specifically, the study found that individuals with cognitive impairment had lower levels of beneficial bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium, and higher levels of harmful bacteria, such as Escherichia coli.
The study also found a correlation between gut microbiota composition and cognitive performance, with individuals with MCI and AD showing poorer cognitive performance and lower levels of beneficial bacteria. These findings suggest that the gut microbiota may play a role in the development and progression of cognitive impairment, and that maintaining a healthy gut microbiota may have clinical implications for preventing or treating cognitive decline.
Overall, the study highlights the potential importance of the gut-brain axis in cognitive health, and suggests that future research should explore the mechanisms underlying this relationship and the potential for interventions to improve gut microbiota composition in individuals with cognitive impairment.
Like the rest of your body, the food you eat can help your brain stay healthy and in good condition. That way, these foods for the brain can help you move, think, and function well as the brain acts as your body’s control center.
The quality of food you eat will ensure that your brain gets the right nutrients essential for its continuous development. Additionally, foods for the brain can help prevent health risks such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute promotes quality and length of life. Improving your cognitive function is one of the ways to achieve this, and you can accomplish it by taking care of your brain health.
What foods can improve memory
The connection between your brain and the gut is undeniable as these two (2) body parts constantly interact with each other both ways. Good sources of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, etc., from food fuels power to your brain. Moreover, foods for the brain help coordinate sensation, intellect, and nervous activity with the rest of your body.
This article will focus more on the four (4) main types of foods for the brain that help boost memory.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Berries and cherries
For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on these foods – and then some – as there are really many good choices out there that are good for the brain.
Besides the four (4) main types above, here’s a list of the top ten (10) foods for the brain that can help boost your memory.
Foods that increase intelligence
1 Nuts and seeds
These are typically great snack options or add flavor to your meals. For example, you can munch on cashews, almonds, and pumpkin seeds in the late afternoon. Or you can add a nutty flavor to your salads, soups, or stir-fry dishes.
Nuts and seeds have antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and high amounts of vitamin E. These are associated with better brain health, especially for those in senior age. Also, experts believe that high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids found in nuts and seeds are linked to general intelligence for all ages.
2 Dark chocolate
Chocolates naturally have high amounts of flavonoids which help improve blood flow going to and from the brain. These compounds aid in brain boost such as enhancing problem-solving skills, memory, and attention span.
Flavonoids help improve cognitive function and, in fact, can prevent age-related brain impairment and deterioration. Thus, chocolates can make you smarter because studies show evidence in their neuroprotective effects associated with upgrade in intelligence.
Eating at least an avocado a day enhances older adults’ working memory and problem-solving abilities.
A study involving 40 healthy adults aged to over 50 who ate a fresh avocado for six months enhanced their cognitive function and increased their lutein levels by almost 25%.
The researchers measured the improvement in cognitive skills with tests that measured processing speed, memory, and attention levels. The monounsaturated fats, lutein, fiber, and bioactive have to do with the benefits on the brain.
Eggs are making a comeback from their exile, and they’re here to protect you from the dangers of memory loss as you age, which is common in America.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted a study involving 2,500 men in Finland for almost two decades. They discovered that those who regularly consume an egg a day lessened the risk of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. It is the opposite, as food promotes better performance in cognitive tests.
5 Soy products
Since soybean products are packed with antioxidants referred to as polyphenols, we protect ourselves from the risk of dementia and build an arsenal to combat the decline of cognitive abilities because of aging.
Soy isoflavones interact with the kind of estrogen receptors that are connected with cognitive and memory functions. Recent research in Science of Food revealed that soy minimizes memory degradation and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Foods to help increase concentration while studying
6 Seafood and fish oil
Some studies provide evidence that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and fish oil can help improve brain function and development. The fatty acids in salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna are rich in nutrients good for brain health.
On the other hand, fish oil (and supplements), especially packed with high amounts of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), may boost memory. People with high DHA levels, found in seafood with omega-3 fatty acids usually perform better in memory tests and learning.
Cruciferous vegetables feature vitamins and minerals that are good for boosting brain power. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable with essential nutrients such as vitamin K and folate to support cognitive function. A Mediterranean diet mainly consisting of plant-based foods and vegetables helps sharpen the brain of someone in old age.
Broccoli is also rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and flavonoids. Green, leafy vegetables help ensure good blood flow to the brain. A healthy cerebral flow helps protect your brain and prevent cognitive decline. It might be good to add broccoli to your diet if you’re reviewing for an exam.
8 Kale and spinach
Kale is rich in lutein, a naturally occurring carotenoid predominantly found in human brain tissue. Your body can’t manufacture this nutrient easily, so it’s important to consume food with lutein. Studies showed that consuming food high in lutein, such as kale and spinach, can help with better concentration and focus.
These vegetables are good for activating your brain, context processing, speed memory, and attention. Don’t be surprised to see many health buffs drinking kale juice or adding spinach in their smoothie for these reasons!
Johns Hopkins Medicine supports that caffeine is good for long-term memory. With moderate consumption, you can enjoy the benefits of being alert and more focused when drinking coffee. It is one of the foods for the brain because caffeine is a stimulant. Your brain is essentially at work with increased activity in your entire central nervous system.
This is why many students or late-night workers need a cup of coffee to either start their day or endure the long hours to remain focused on their tasks at hand. It can help improve your mood, to be more energetic and productive.
But, be careful to go overboard with your coffee intake for the day. Otherwise, you’ll get constipated, worse, have insomnia and caffeine dependency.
10 Whole grains
Nutrient-dense food like whole grains is good for the brain because they are rich in complex carbohydrates. They provide us with a sustained yet slow supply of glucose that can boost our memory.
Carbs power our brains, and when you incorporate whole grains, you are giving yourself an extra punch, for they contain a low glycemic index that balances your mental state that may last through the day. So, incorporate pasta, oatmeal, grain bread, and popcorn into your diet.
Eat these foods for the brain everyday for better brain health
The brain is a limitless source of power. You can practically exercise brainpower to increase your mental performance. Food remains to be the main source of energy for the brain. Hence, you must eat the right quality of food.
There’s no single food that’s good for the brain. As always, a healthy, balanced diet is key. Avoiding alcohol, lots of sugars, and processed foods also help. Moreover, exercise and meditation are lifestyle changes that can promote mental clarity to improve brain health.
Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute recommends proper nutrition and regular physical activity for optimal cognitive function. You can achieve the quality of life with a length of life with an alert mind and a healthy body. Keep all these in mind (pun intended!), and you can’t go wrong!