We are what we eat. Nutrition is crucial to maintaining good health. There are some foods that are called “superfoods” because they are so good for health.
You should take your eating habits seriously, because they have a lot of influence on the functioning of your body and mind. Your organism needs different nutrients to function properly. That’s why it’s so important to recognize the properties of everything we eat.
The brain is one of the most important parts of our anatomy. It is the central administrative center from which orders are sent to the rest of our bodies. We need to make sure that our food is healthy, because that’s how we take care of our brains.
In this article, we’ll show you which nutrients and foods your brain needs. These are the so-called superfoods. Both a deficiency of these nutrients and an excess of others can have negative consequences.
Which superfoods do we need?
The vitamin B complex
Several vitamins within the vitamin B complex contribute to energy production, general growth and cell division. They are also part of the production process of hormones, enzymes and proteins. They are also important for keeping the nervous system and immune system healthy.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) ensures that food is converted into energy within the organism, so that the brain can absorb glucose. A deficiency of thiamine can lead to depression, fatigue, loss of attention, memory problems and mental agility.
Foods high in thiamine include:
- beef liver
- eggs (especially the yolk)
- flax seed
Vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid) also provides energy, along with vitamins B2 and B1. It nourishes the brain, reduces anxiety and prevents insomnia.
You can find it in the following superfoods:
- dairy products
- pumpkin seed
These nutrients can help prevent or slow certain types of cell damage. They are also involved in the aging process. Oxygen is very important, but exposure to it causes oxidation. As a result, the chemical substances in our body change, creating free radicals. These free radicals contribute to the aging process and the development of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart problems.
Antioxidants can fight the effect of free radicals in the body. The superfoods that contain antioxidants include the following:
- Vitamin A: milk, beef liver, butter and eggs
- Vitamin E: hazelnuts, kale and spinach
- Beta-carotene: carrots, apricots, peaches and broccoli
- Vitamin C: papaya, strawberries and citrus fruits
- Lutein: spinach and chard
- Lycopene: watermelon
- Selenium: corn, wheat and rice
Oxidative stress also causes neurodegeneration. As a result, it contributes to the appearance of Alzheimer’s disease. Although it is not the only cause of this disease, a diet rich in antioxidants can be a good precaution. Of course in combination with a healthy lifestyle.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that contributes to the synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin. It is related to emotions, depression, temperature regulation, hunger and sleep, among other things. Serotonin also regulates the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that contributes to a good night’s sleep and the functioning of the immune system.
A lack of tryptophan can lead to a vulnerable immune system, stress, anxiety or depression. There are several times when it would be good to increase your intake of this nutrient. Think, for example, of periods of insomnia, a lot of stress or physical or mental exhaustion.
You can find tryptophan in the following foods, among others:
- pumpkin seed
This is an amino acid that can block certain enzymes such as enkephalinase. These break down enkephalin and natural endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s own painkillers. It also contributes to our memory and learning processes.
It aids in the formation of a number of neurohormones, which alleviate the symptoms of certain neurological disorders. A deficiency of the enzyme that digests phenylalanine can cause a birth defect, because phenylalanine builds up in the body. If so, it can cause brain damage.
Foods rich in this substance include:
Today many people do not have time to eat and cook. The decision what we want to buy and eat is therefore often impulsive. This is without a doubt the best way to give your body ’empty calories’.
So we should make time during the week to plan our meals. And also to add these essential superfoods to these meals. We only have one body. So what better to spend your time on than taking care of it?