Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is crucial for both physical and mental well-being. Certain foods also play a significant role in the proper development and functioning of the brain, particularly impacting mood, memory, and overall well-being.
According to Dr. Uma Naidoo, a psychiatrist and nutritionist, and a professor at Harvard Medical School, in an interview with BBC Mundo, there is a direct link between diet and mood. She emphasizes that mental health and nutrition are interconnected, much like the relationship between the brain and the gut.
An unhealthy diet consisting of foods high in fats or sugars can potentially lead to the development of anxiety, inattention, and mental disorders. Conversely, certain foods contribute to the optimal functioning of the brain. Dr. Uma Naidoo, through her various studies, has identified six foods that provide the best protection for the brain.
What are the foods that preserve brain health? These notably include:
- Spices, especially turmeric, which contains curcumin, an active compound that reduces anxiety and protects the hippocampus.
- Nuts, with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that enhance memory.
- Dark chocolate, containing excellent amounts of iron, a mineral that safeguards neurons.
- Avocado, a good source of magnesium that aids in brain function and stress management.
- Leafy green vegetables like kale, which are rich in nutrients such as vitamin E, carotenoids, and flavonoids, combating dementia and cognitive decline.
- Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha, which stimulate digestion and reduce stress.”