Rishi Dhingra

Brain food for thought..

The brain is the mastermind behind our thoughts, memory, focus, movements, breathing, heartbeat. Certain foods can help make it stronger, sharper and smarter, and also impact longevity. What we eat directly impacts systemic inflammation and oxidative stress in our bodies — both of which can affect our risk of neurodegenerative diseases & dementia.

Here are some foods that help sharpen memory, focus and overall brain health:

1. Dark chocolate

Full of antioxidants and cacao flavanols that help preserve the health of brain cells & improve cognitive function. It also contains fibre to help reduce brain inflammation and prevent cognitive decline. Keep it to 70% or higher.

2. Berries

Packed with antioxidants, phytonutrients, fibre, vitamins and minerals. These nutrients help retain memory, and the fibre content helps feed microbes in the gut to reduce brain inflammation. They are rich in flavonoids that slow down cognitive decline, prevent oxidative stress, and are great sources of antioxidants, which help brain cell health, reduces anxiety and fends off neurodegenerative diseases.

3. Turmeric

Contains a compound called curcumin, which is the secret behind its brain-boosting benefits. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory substance and consuming it can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and lower cognitive decline with age.

4. Leafy Greens

Staple in brain-healthy diets because they contain folate, which is a B-vitamin that supports neurodevelopment and neurotransmitter function. Folate deficiency has been tied to increased symptoms of depression as well as cognitive aging.

5. Fermented foods

A culture of microorganisms is added to foods so that they feed on the sugars in that food. This creates other products, such as lactic acid, that can generate gut-friendly bacteria. We have what’s called a gut-brain connection, so when we eat fermented foods and boost our gut health, we also improve our cognitive function.