Now, unlike fish, which many people turn their nose up at, this food is something most people enjoy! The main reason why nuts and seeds are good for your brain is because they too are full of Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as folate, vitamin E and vitamin B6. Some of these seeds and nuts are also full of thiamine and magnesium, which are great for memory, cognitive function, and brain nourishment. These nutrients help prevent cognitive decline as you get older.
Try to add a handful of nuts and seeds to your diet every day – try walnuts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds or flax seed. Remember, though, that these must be eaten in moderation – they are high in calories and it is very easy to go overboard while eating these tasty snacks!
Soya beans or kidney beans are another great way to get Omega-3 into your diet, along with the much valued protein. Mix soya bean flour into chapathi dough, or use soya chunks in subjis and pulao. Kidney beans can be introduced into the diet in many ways – rajma chawal, burritos, soup and salad.
Whole grains are good brain foods, since they improve circulation and cardiovascular health. Whole wheat, brown rice, oatmeal, barley and wheat germ are high in folate and vitamin B6, as also thiamine. They also contain fibre, and even some Omega-3. These nutrients increase blood flow to the brain which in turn improves brain health. How does this translate to your everyday diet? Switching from white rice to brown can take some getting used to in terms of taste, though many people who have made the switch swear by the nutty flavour of brown rice! Chapatis are now staple food even in the South India. If they are not part of your daily diet, then think about having a roti-based meal a few times a week. Also consciously try and include millet grains in your diet. And substitute white bread with whole wheat bread in your weekly shopping list.
Cruciferous and Green, Leafy vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, radish, turnip, broccoli) and green leafy vegetables (spinach, saag, methi, mustard greens (sarson ka saag)), are especially good for brain health. Cruciferous vegetables are rich in choline, an essential nutrient for memory and brain health. Green, leafy vegetables have high iron content, as well as other vitamins such as vitamin B6, B12, and folate. Iron is an important brain nutrient, needed to transport oxygen to brain cells. Iron deficiency can contribute to shortened attention spans, lowered intelligence, poor coordination, and inability to concentrate.