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Can foods really affect the brain? We normally eat when we are hungry or stressed. But what if food really made the difference in how our brain functions and our memory sharpens? Scientists seem to believe that it does.

Our brain is a powerful mechanism, gathering information, structuring our daily existence and recalling happy memories. A Harvard nutritionist and brain expert, Dr. Uma Naidoo, discusses the foods to avoid or cut back on to fight inflammation and promote brain health.

We Know What Foods to Avoid, Now What?

Ready to have your brain function at peak efficiency? Improve your mood and sharpen memory? There is a resounding “YES!” to that question. These are the foods Dr. Uma Naidoo, considers to be the best brain foods we definitely need to eat more of.

In an article published by CNET, they say, “Studies show that, on average, the brain accounts for about 20% of the calories we burn daily. However, that doesn’t mean any food will help your brain power through. When it comes to bolstering your brain to do its best work — staying focused and maintaining a strong memory — some foods are much better than others.”

Library of Medicine NIH discusses “Brain Foods” and the effects of certain nutrients on brain function. (**Nat Rev Neurosci. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2010 Jan 12. Published in final edited form as: Nat Rev Neurosci. 2008 Jul; 9(7): 568–578. doi: 10.1038/nrn2421)

The author manuscript, which is very clinical and in depth, states, “Although food has classically been perceived as a means to provide energy and building material to the body, its ability to prevent and protect against diseases is starting to be recognized. In particular, research over the past 5 years has provided exciting evidence for the influence of dietary factors on specific molecular systems and mechanisms that maintain mental function.”

The full article available at Nature Reviews, is worth reading.

No Magic Pill: Foods To Power The Brain

OK, so there is no easy route or magic pill, Harvard Health says, “Nutritionists emphasize that the most important strategy is to follow a healthy dietary pattern that includes a lot of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Try to get protein from plant sources and fish and choose healthy fats, such as olive oil or canola, rather than saturated fats.”

A good guide comes from CNN Health presents The MIND diet, which is short for Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.

Healthline gives an insightful sneak peek detailed guide for beginners of the diet, that is developed to prevent dementia and loss of brain function as you age. In this article they present the 10 foods everyone is encouraged to eat more of.

In summary, “Researchers believe that the foods included in the MIND diet contain nutrients that may help prevent beta-amyloid plaque formation, a potential cause of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Now that is a powerful statement that should garner your attention, and focus your sights on foods that will help strengthen and preserve your brain power. Need I say more?