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Food for the mind: healthy foods that help the brain work better

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Help your brain think fast and remember a lot can be helped by enriching your diet with healthy foods. With references to scientific research, we tell you which nutrients have the most beneficial effect on our mental abilities.

1. Walnuts
In general, all nuts in general are good sources of healthy fats, so they are good for both your heart and your brain. And walnuts are especially rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a class of Omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids. A study completed in 2015 actually linked increased walnut consumption to improved cognitive test scores.

2. Salmon, trout.
Fatty fish from the salmon family have received so much attention in nutrition science also because of their high fatty acid content. It is believed that the more Omega-3 fatty acids a person eats, the lower his blood beta-amyloid content. Accumulation of beta-amyloid in the brain is associated with the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, a severe neurodegenerative disease. So eat fish more often!

3. Curcuma
It is now known that neurons in our brains can continue to form new connections throughout adulthood (which was previously thought impossible). One of the main factors influencing the process of creating these new neural pathways is called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). The good news is that turmeric can increase BDNF levels, which leads to better brain function and less risk of degenerative processes.

4. Blueberries
Berries have powerful antioxidant properties, and eating two servings of blueberries a week can improve your memory and prevent memory impairment (you won't get worse from them anyway).

5. Tomatoes
Your brain cells are 60% fat (and that's the highest concentration in the body), and the fat-soluble nutrients found in tomatoes serve as a powerful defense for them. We're talking carotenoids, which are excellent antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals (fighting them is an important process for brain function).

6. Chia seeds.
The omega-3 fatty acids found in chia seeds are also a great brain booster. You can add them anywhere - in yogurt, cottage cheese and homemade desserts.

7. Broccoli and spinach.
Studies show that regular consumption of dark green vegetables slows cognitive decline. This is probably because these vegetables are rich in brain-healthy nutrients such as vitamin A, K, folate, lutein and fiber.

8. Apples
A 2006 study showed that the natural biochemical compound quercetin, present in apples, can protect our brain's neurons from oxidation. Quercetin is thought to reduce cell death in the brain associated with oxidation and inflammation of neurons. This process may play an important role in reducing neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

9. Onions
Onions are a good natural source of folate. Folate has been shown to improve blood flow to the brain because it reduces levels of the sulfur-containing amino acid homocysteine, which is commonly considered a predictor of pathological changes in the body. Reducing homocysteine levels can also have a beneficial effect on people suffering from depression.

10. Flax Seeds
Another rich source of Omega-3, including alpha-linolenic acid. Flax seeds can help lower blood pressure and therefore improve blood flow to the brain. In addition, lowering blood pressure also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, including strokes.

11. Coffee
The caffeine in your daily cup can do much more than just wake you up. A 2014 study found that people with higher levels of caffeine consumption scored better on mental function and memory tests.

12. tea.
It turns out that the combination of caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine found in tea is great for brain function. A 2017 study found that green tea improves cognitive function and memory and reduces anxiety.