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Six best foods for the brain according to Harvard University expert



E get di type of foods wey fit improve your mood, sharpen memory and help di brain function more efficiently.

Na so Uma Naidoo wey be nutritional psychiatrist and professor for Harvard Medical School in di United States argue.

Mental health and diet dey linked in di same way as di brain and di gut, for relationship wey get important consequences for di body.

One of di biological foundations for understanding dis relationship be say di brain and gut originate from di same cells for di embryo and e dey remain connected as di human being dey develop.

Dem dey communicate for both directions by sending chemical messages to each other. In fact, 90-95% of serotonin, wey be neurotransmitter wey dey involved in appetite regulation and other functions, dey produced for di gut.

If di diet dey unhealthy, di gut go swell and suffer di consequences of poor nutrition. Dis dey influence di development of anxiety, inattention and diseases such as depression.

So, di more you look after your diet and your gut, di more you look after your mental health, especially as “direct connection dey between food and mood”, na so di specialist tok for interview wit BBC Mundo.

Naidoo, wey be director of nutritional and lifestyle psychiatry for Massachusetts General Hospital, say she don always love food and cooking. Coming from a family of doctors, she don always develop scientific approach to tins wey appeal to her.

Wen she go medical school, she realise say enough training bin bo dey for di nutritional aspect, and wen she specialise in psychiatry, e become clear to her say more research dey needed to establish di connections between food and mental health.

“Dis na emerging field wey don start to expand,” she tok.

For October 2022, di expert tok to BBC World about di benefits of B vitamins for keeping di brain young and healthy, especially B-12, B-9 and B-1.

On dis occasion, di psychiatrist name a selection of foods wey she consider as beneficial for improving mood and boosting brain power.

1. Spices

Spices dey known for dia antioxidant properties. Some, such as turmeric, get beneficial effects in reducing anxiety.

Curcumin, di active ingredient for turmeric, fit reduce anxiety by changing brain chemistry and protecting di hippocampus.

Anoda spice wey psychiatrist dey very fond of is saffron. Research don show say, saffron get effect on major depressive disorder according to Naidoo.

Studies don show say consuming saffron go significantly reduce di symptoms of patients wey dey affected by di disorder.

2. Fermented foods

Di variety of fermented foods dey plenty. You fit make dem by combining milk, vegetables or other raw ingredients wit microorganisms such as yeasts and bacteria.

Di one wey dey best known na plain yoghurt wit active cultures, but odas also dey such as sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha.

Wetin dem get in common na sources of live bacteria wey fit improve gut function and reduce anxiety.

Fermented foods fit provide several brain benefits.

One 2016 analysis of 45 studies show say fermented foods fit protect di brain, improve memory and slow cognitive decline, she tok.

Probiotic-rich yoghurt fit be powerful part of di diet, Naidoo add, but make e no be di one dem use heat-treat.

3. Nuts

Di anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of omega-3 fatty acids inside walnuts hold great promise for improving thinking and memory.

On di other hand, nuts get healthy fats and oils wey our brains need to function well, along wit essential vitamins and minerals, such as selenium in Brazil nuts.

Naidoo recommend to eat 1/4 cup a day, as addition to salad or vegetables.

You fit also mix am wit homemade granola or nuts, as these combinations dey healthier than di commercially available ones, which often contain high levels of sugar and salt.

4. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate na excellent source of iron, e dey help form di coating wey dey protects neurons and help control di synthesis of mood-influencing chemicals.

One survey of more than 13,000 adults for 2019 find out say pipo wey dey eat dark chocolate regularly have a 70% lower risk of depressive symptoms.

Dark chocolate also contains many antioxidants and dey highly beneficial.

5. Avocados

With relatively high amounts of magnesium, wey dey important for brain function, avocados na anoda source of well-being.

Countless analyses suggest say depression dey related to lack of magnesium.

Several case studies for which dem treat patients wit a dose of 125-300 milligrams of magnesium show faster recovery from depressive disorder.

6. Green leafy vegetables

Green leafy vegetables, such as kale, dey make difference to health, she explain.

Although many pipo no know, leafy greens contain vitamin E, carotenoids and flavonoids, dem be nutrients wey dey protect against dementia and cognitive decline, na so Naidoo tokg.

Another benefit of dis foods na say dem be great source of folate, wey be natural form of vitamin B9 wey dey important in di formation of red blood cells.

Lack of folate fit be di cause of some neurological conditions. Dat na why dis vitamin get beneficial effects on cognitive status and e dey important in di production of neurotransmitters.

“Vegetables such as spinach, chard and dandelion greens also be excellent source of folic acid,” di expert added.


Source: BBC

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