You can juggle different tasks at the same time, and you are confident about your multitasking skills. However, your inner drive to get things done has you switching gears to stay atop of things. But this also leaves your brain-drained.
Sleeping is one of the most effective ways of rebooting your body systems; but also need to ensure you have a full tank of fuel to keep you going. For that, you should refuel your body with healthy, nutrient-rich food that will keep you energised and focused, promoting your problem-solving and decision-making as well as your memory.
Research done at the University of Illinois’ Centre for Nutrition Learning and Memory that covers infancy to adult mental health, under the leadership of Matt Kuchan, PhD, shows the significance of proper nutrition in the development of an active and healthy brain and mental performance. According to Matt Kuchan, eating healthily supports and promotes better focus and memory retention while ultimately preserving your overall health and wellbeing.
The finding of the study show several nutrients and nutrient combinations offer significant gains when it comes to getting that extra brain boost. Below are several healthy nutrients worth including in your daily diet to promote and support a healthy brain and mental performance.
Quercetin has been hailed for its effectiveness in treating and preventing heart disease and high cholesterol as well as various circulation-related health complications. It is an antioxidant found in founds such as blueberries and apples. Abbott researched that quercetin and found that when combined with various essential brain nutrients, it can help delay and even lower the risk of cognitive health decline. The finds greatly support the old saying of ” an apple a day…”
• Lutein & Zeaxanthin
Lutein is a carotenoid highly praised for its benefits in supporting cardiovascular, eye, and skin health. Findings of recent studies on this nutrient have shown that it is also beneficial in promoting brain health in the infants to the adults.
For instance, the study conducted by Abbott in partnership with the University of Illinois’ Centre for Nutrition, Learning and Memory showed that the aged people who consumed and still have lutein in their diets have an active crystalised intelligence (the capacity to comprehend and leverage different information acquired during their lifetime).
Fortunately, you do not have to wait until your old age to start enjoying the benefits of lutein. Other studies suggest that a lutein diet that includes a nutrient called zeaxanthin dramatically improves the process of synthesising lutein thus making it possible to reap the benefits of the nutrients at any age.
• Omega-3 Fatty Acids & DHA
Omega-3 fatty acid is often regarded as the “good fat” and highly recommended to be included in our daily diet. It plays a vital role in slowing the ageing progression of the brain thus aiding the preservation of cognitive functions.
Research done by Abbott in partnerships with the University of Illinois’ Centre of Nutrition, Learning and Memory showed that omega-3 fatty acid lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease during old age. The study also showed better cognitive flexibility in the elderly who consumed omega-3 fatty acid well into their old age; they also showed to be more efficient in switching between task compared to their peers that consumed less omega-3 fatty acid.
And since omega-3 fatty acid does not occur naturally in the body like other nutrients, Matt Kuchan recommends that is should be incorporated into everyday meals with the focus given to foods that are rich in this particular nutrient.
Research on DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) shows that this type of omega-3 fatty acid, is essential in the promotion of cognitive health; that it plays a significant role in supporting and improving memory (access and use of different stored information).
• Natural Vitamin E
This particular vitamin is found in areas of the brain that are associated with language, vision, and memory development. It is a potent antioxidant that has been found to complement the usefulness of lutein in shielding DHA from the effects of free radicals found in the sun UV rays and the air due to pollution.
Abbott recently conducted research whose findings suggested that the brain has a high affinity for natural vitamin E than its synthetic variant. So, check the nutrient information labels on food products to ensure that it includes natural vitamin E with may also be listed as d-alpha tocopherol or d-a-tocopherol.