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A Harvard nutritionist shares the 6 best brain foods you ‘aren’t eating enough of’


Much like the intricate relationship between the gut and brain, diet and mental health are inextricably linked — and the connection between them goes both ways: a lack of good dietary choicesThis can lead to an increase of mental health problems, which in turn leads to poor eating habits.

People learn I’m a psychiatrist when they meet me. brain health researcherThey often question me about the best way to eat in order to harness the incredible power of their brains.

These are brain-boosting foods I have found most beneficial based on hundreds of patient visits. They can boost your mood, memory and overall well-being. brain work at peak efficiency:

1. Spices

Spices are well-known for their antioxidant abilities. They help to protect the brain from harmful free radicals, and prevent tissue damage.

I love cinnamon. turmeric — a standout when it comes to reducing anxiety. Curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) is what makes it stand out. can decrease anxiety and change the corresponding brain chemistryProtect the hippocampus

Saffron is also a favorite of mine. 2013. meta-analysisThe effects of saffron supplements on depression symptoms among people with major depressive disorders were examined in five previously published, randomised and controlled studies.

All these tests revealed that researchers were correct consuming saffron significantly reducedDepression symptoms were found to be lower than the placebo controls.

2. Fermented foods

Fermented foods can be made from milk, vegetables and other raw materials that are combined with microorganisms such as yeast or bacteria.

You can find kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha, as well as plain yogurt with active cultures. All of these are sources for live bacteria and can be used to create new products. enhance healthy gut function and decrease anxiety.

The brain may be sensitive to fermented foods. provide several advantages. A 2016 review of 45 studiesStudies have shown that fermentation may protect brains in animals by improving memory and slowing down cognitive decline.

While probiotic-rich yogurt is a great addition to your diet, heat treated yogurt does not offer the same health benefits. One such example is yogurt-covered raisins — these aren’t going to help your anxiety, as the heat-treated yogurt has no beneficial bacteria left.

3. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate, which is rich in iron, makes up the protective covering for neurons. helps controlThe synthesis and use of chemical pathways to create mood.

2019 a cross-sectional surveyMore than 133,000 people were surveyed and found that those who eat regular dark chocolate have a 70% lower risk of developing depression symptoms.

You can also find antioxidants in dark chocolate, provided you don’t eat too much sugar.

4. Avocados

Magnesium is an important mineral for brain health. Avocados contain a high amount of it.

Magnesium treatment of agitated depressive symptoms was first reported. published in 1921It was successful in 220 of 250 cases.

Since then countless studiesResearch has suggested that depression may be related to magnesium deficiency. Many cases have revealed that major depression can be treated quickly with magnesium supplements, ranging from 125 to 300 mg.

Mixing avocados with chickpeas, olive oil and garlic is a great way to make a delicious spread for low-GI breads like pumpernickel or as a dip on fresh-cut veggies.

5. Nuts

Nuts have healthy fats and oils that our brains need to function well, along with essential vitamins and minerals — for example, selenium in Brazil nuts.

Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts show great promiseIn improving memory and thinking.

I recommend eating 1/4 cup a day (not more — it’s easy to overdo it with nuts!) As a snack, or as an addition to a salad or side dish of vegetables. Even nuts can be made into homemade granola, trail mixes or other confections that contain less sugar than those in the grocery store.

6. Leafy greens

My patients are shocked when I tell them that leafy greens such as kale can make a big difference to their health. Leafy greens are rich in vitamin E, flavonoids, and carotenoids. These nutrients can help you stay healthy. protect againstDementia and cognitive decline

They also provide an amazing source folate (a form of vitamin B9 naturally found in plants) that’s essential for red blood cell production. Folate deficiencies may be a cause of neurological problems. It’s possible to increase folate levels by improving your folate status. beneficial effectsOur cognitive status and is necessary for the production of neurotransmitters.

A great source of folate is also found in spinach, Swiss chard and dandelion leaves

Dr. Uma Naidoo is a nutritional psychiatrist, brain expert, and faculty member at Harvard Medical School. She is also the Director of Nutritional & Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of the best-selling book “This Is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensable Guide to the Surprising Foods that Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More.” Follow her on Twitter @DrUmaNaidoo.

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