It’s so easy to forget that your brain controls every process physical, cognitive, and emotional, looking after the wellbeing in your body. For it to thrive a Mediterranean diet is highly recommended as it protects brain function and mental wellness, leading to reduced anxiety, strokes, degenerative brain and heart disease. Put simply for Neurogenesis, or the development of new neurons, neuroplasticity and memory, learning, anti-inflammation, performance, mood protection and much more include in your daily diet:
- Green leafy vegetables that contain Vitamin K high in antioxidants and folates linked to better memory, high in iron for haemoglobin for transporting oxygen
- Cocoa Powder for neurogenesis, promotion of memory, learning and cognitive functions and blood flow; antioxidant flavonoids, epicatechin, that successfully crosses the blood-brain barrier,
- Fatty fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA), linked to brain functioning, integral to neuroplasticity, also for learning and memory, as it is involved in synaptic transmission.
- Berries which cross the blood brain barrier aiding long term cognitive health, learning and memory, anti-inflammatory properties for improving motor functions with age.
- Nuts lower blood pressure and therefore damage to the blood vessels in the brain that can lead to strokes, plus they’re high in anti-oxidants.
- Curcumin (Turmeric) anti – inflammatory properties evidenced to protect against neurodegenerative disease and improve brain performance.
- Protein, Amino Acids found in meat, eggs, tofu, rice, beans, pulses, seeds, nuts, whole grain, legumes, pulses and poultry. Crucial for brain health and neurotransmitters (Dopamine, Serotonin etc.
- Olive Oil which is packed full of antioxidants that fight free radicals protecting brain cells from damage. Rich in Vitamin E protecting cells from oxidative stress and better cognitive function.
And finally research conducted in 2020 by Iowa State University amongst 1,787 British adults aged between 46 – 77 found that cheese, red wine and lamb were related to improvements in cognitive function helping to prevent disease and cognitive decline, all in moderation of course.
And on another note – Neuroscientists at Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté in Besançon have found that listening to your favourite music triggers our brains reward systems releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine producing strong positive and pleasurable feelings.