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The all-important brain nutrients

By Vision Reporter

Added 18th October 2009 03:00 AM

CHECK out this list and see if your diet includes “brain foods.” Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): It is essential for a healthy brain and nerve cells. It is found in whole grain and enriched grain products like bread, rice, pasta, fortified cereals as well as p

CHECK out this list and see if your diet includes “brain foods.” Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): It is essential for a healthy brain and nerve cells. It is found in whole grain and enriched grain products like bread, rice, pasta, fortified cereals as well as pork.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid): This nutrient forms a co-enzyme that transmits nerve impulses. It can be found in meat, poultry, fish, whole-grain cereals, legumes, milk, vegetables and fruits.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): It helps convert tryptophan into serotonin, a brain chemical. It can be found in chicken, fish, pork, liver and kidney. It is also in whole grain cereals, nuts and legumes.

Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin): It maintains healthy nervous tissues. It is found in eggs, meat, fish, poultry, milk and dairy products. In addition to their other functions, many B vitamins are vital to normal brain and nerve function.

Folic acid is essential for metabolism of long-chain fatty acids in the brain. It is found in bananas, orange juice, fortified cereals, lemon, strawberry, cantaloupe, leafy vegetables, dried beans and peas.

It is especially important for pregnant women because low levels increase the risk of neural tube defects in newborns.

Wholegrain foods: These are slowly broken down and release a sustained supply of glucose into the bloodstream thus maintaining optimum brain function. Whole grains include whole wheat and whole wheat flour products like whole wheat (brown) bread, sorghum, millet, simsim, amaranthus grains and brown rice.

The following minerals play a role in nerve function:
Magnesium found in whole grains, legumes, nuts and green vegetables. l Potassium found in apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupe, grapefruit, honeydew, kiwi, oranges, prunes, strawberries, potatoes, meat, and fish.

Calcium found in milk and milk products such as cheese, yogurt, calcium-fortified foods and fish with edible bones like sardines and silverfish (mukene).

Foods that help you focus
Eggs
Contain naturally occuring vitamin D
Good source of choline
Contain the right kind of fat
Conatain high protein and amino acids

Fruits and vegetables
Build up the immune system
Create better energy in the body system
Vegetables have minerals that help keep blood sugar in balance
Provide excellent source of carbohydrates

Fish
Has low fat, with high protein
Helps in managing blood sugar
Lowers incidences of depression
Reduces risks of cancer if consumed
atleast three times a

The writer is a nutritionist

The all-important brain nutrients

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