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The brain is one of the most complex organs in the body. You may find it astounding that the average human utilizes only ten per cent of his/her entire brain capacity. On a day-to-day basis, the working memory is utilized for various purposes. This includes the ability to process new information, and accordingly adapt our responses over short intervals of time. The brain is always processing information in some way or the other, even when one is asleep.

Degeneration of brain power and function is one of the prominent conditions affecting a majority of the population all over the world. It is thus, not only a benefit but also necessary to keep the functioning of the brain at optimum when there is still time so as to avoid such conditions in the future. Increasing focus and brain function is one of the most sought-after aspects common among people today. This article discusses all the ways and means to help enhance the functioning capacity of the brain.

  1. Foods to increase of the brain power
  2. Home remedies to increase brain power
  3. Takeaway

It is essential to eat the right foods to achieve the desired brain function and capacity. Right nutrients are required by the brain to do its optimum functioning. There are several foods that are known to enhance memory and improve the overall brain capacity. Such foods have been mentioned below.

  1. Olive oil to increase brain power
  2. Fatty fish to increase brain power
  3. Soybean to increase brain power
  4. Berries to increase brain power
  5. Nuts to increase brain power
  6. Eggs to increase brain power
  7. Coconut oil to increase brain power
  8. Leafy green vegetables to increase brain power
  9. Tomatoes to increase brain power
  10. Pumpkin seeds to increase brain power
  11. Green and black tea to increase brain power
  12. Brahmi to increase brain power

Olive oil to increase brain power

Olive oil is a key power for the brain. It is an excellent source of polyphenols, which have a function in protecting the brain. A major cause of brain fatigue which ultimately leads to degeneration is oxidative stress. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants that improve brain function and reduce the risk of brain health concerns. Studies have found that inclusion of olive oil in the diet reduces the risk of depression and dementia as well. Olive oil also has anti-inflammatory properties, that can speed up healing and improve overall health.

(Read more: Antioxidant foods)

Fatty fish to increase brain power

Fatty fish contain essential oils with high amounts of omega-3-fatty acids. These healthy unsaturated fats that have been found to lower levels of beta-amyloid, the protein that forms damaging clumps in the brains of people with diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's. Consumption of salmon, tuna, and other fatty fish has also been shown to stimulate brain cell growth. Studies have also found such fish to improve mood and reducing stress, which can help improve cognitive ability.

Soybean to increase brain power

Soybean, like tuna and salmon, is also an excellent source of omega-3-fatty acids which improve brain function and health. It also contains iron in high amounts. Iron is an essential nutrient important for overall health as well as brain function. Deficiency of iron can affect memory, attention span, and learning ability. A diet high in products like tofu and soybean-based protein can help support brain cells, improve memory, increase cognitive function, and assist in learning.

(Read more: Iron deficiency symptoms)

Berries to increase brain power

Berries are rich in flavonoids, the natural plant pigments that impart characteristic colour to them. Research shows that flavonoids also help to improve memory. A study conducted in 2012 found that consumption of two or more servings of strawberries and blueberries each week could delay memory decline by up to two-and-a-half year

Nuts to increase brain power

Almond and walnuts are widely famous as brain foods. These healthy nuts are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids that your brain needs. These nuts also contain the lean protein that is required to strengthen brain cells and improve cognitive function.

Almonds and walnuts are also great sources of antioxidants, and Vitamin E. This vitamin has been found to be a powerful brain protector associated with reducing dementia and Alzheimer’s risk. Studies have also found that people consuming a diet rich in Vitamin E were able to reduce the risk of such diseases by up to seventy per cent.

Eggs to increase brain power

Eggs are considered wholesome foods. They play an important role in improving brain power. An important compound present in eggs is choline, an essential component of the neurotransmitters present in the brain. Choline can, thus, help improve brain function.

Eggs also contain cholesterol, the structural component of brain cell membranes. Consumption of eggs can, therefore, strengthen the brain’s cells and structures. Additionally, eggs are also rich in several antioxidants, have protein, and contain healthy fats, all of which contribute to protecting the brain.

(Read more: High cholesterol symptoms)

Coconut oil to increase brain power

Coconut oil is utilized for its numerous health improving aspects and its benefits to brain function are also well known. Coconut oil has been found to improve brain function due to the fats present in it that break down into ketones. The brain uses these ketones as a source of energy.

Coconut is also rich in antioxidants that neutralize free radicals which can damage brain cells and affect cognition. Additionally, coconut oil is an excellent source of saturated fat, which has been shown to help improve brain function and protect the brain, along with reducing the risk of neurological disorders.

(Read more: Coconut water benefits)

Leafy green vegetables to increase brain power

Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and broccoli are rich in brain-healthy nutrients like vitamins, lutein, folate, and beta-carotene. Research suggests these plant-based foods may help slow cognitive decline. Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and K help reduce free radicals, boost brain power, and improve cell health. Folate and lutein and found in abundance in these vegetables, assist in strengthening the brain. High levels of potassium and iron also improve brain function and increase oxygenation, protecting the brain, and making it work more efficiently.

Tomatoes to increase brain power

Tomatoes are also believed to increase brain function and improve memory. Research suggests that lycopene, the powerful anti-oxidant present in tomatoes could help protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells which occurs in the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Pumpkin seeds to increase brain power

Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc which is why they are regarded as good for brain function. Zinc is a valuable mineral which is vital for enhancing memory and thinking skills. Pumpkin seeds are also abundant in magnesium which is known to counter stress, B complex vitamins and tryptophan, the precursor to the chemical serotonin which is known to produce a feeling of relaxation.

Green and black tea to increase brain power

Tea is a better beverage as compared to coffee when it comes to improving brain power because of its low caffeine content. Studies have shown that green tea and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Both the teas appear to have the same effect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to treat the disease. The effect of green tea is, however, more prominent than black tea as its effect lasts a whole week as compared to black tea which lasts only a day.

Brahmi to increase brain power

Brahmi or Gingko biloba is a herb that has been used as a supplement to increase brain power since early times. It has also been mentioned in Ayurvedic texts as a revitalizing agent and a nerve tonic to improve brain functioning. The herb can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals. Its antioxidative properties can also help in de-stressing of the brain cells. It is, however, important to consult a physician before taking Brahmi as a brain-boosting supplement.

Right foods are essential when it comes to improving brain health. However, apart from a proper diet, there are certain habits that individuals must develop and practice which will help in boosting memory power. The list of such home remedies that can help in improving brain power has been mentioned below.

  1. Exercise to increase brain power
  2. Meditation to increase brain power
  3. Proper sleep to increase brain power
  4. Sunlight to increase brain power

Exercise to increase brain power

Exercise encourages your brain to work at optimum capacity by causing nerve cells to strengthen their interconnections and protect them from damage. During exercise, the nerve cells release proteins known as neurotrophic factors. A particular neurotrophic factor called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) triggers numerous other chemicals that promote better health, and directly benefit cognitive functions, including learning.

Further, exercise provides protective effects to the brain through the production of nerve-protecting compounds, increased blood flow to the brain and improved development and survival of neurons.  

A study conducted in 2010 also revealed that regular exercise not only improved blood flow to the brain but also increased learning capacity. Further research has also shown that exercise boosts mitochondria, organelles that produce energy within every cell of your body, which is suggestive of the fact that exercise may help your brain work faster and more efficiently.

To get the most out of your workouts, a comprehensive program that includes high-intensity exercise, strength training, stretching, and core work is recommended.

Meditation to increase brain power

The benefits of meditation in the various aspects of life are profound. Meditation has also been found to be helpful in increasing brain power. In a recent study, researchers measured the brains of 16 people who had never meditated before, and ushered them in an eight-week meditation program, after which their brain activity was measured again.

The program required the individuals to spend an average of 27 minutes a day practising mindful meditation. Tests were done on the people after the program where it was found that there was an increased grey-matter density in the hippocampus, the area of the brain associated with learning and memory, and also in other brain structures associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection.

There was also a reduction in the size of the amygdala, the part of the brain which controls anxiety and stress. Meditation, thus, not only reduces your stress levels, but it can also improve your brain power and memory. Mindful meditation also delays cognitive decline and prevents neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

(Read more: Anulom vilom benefits)

Proper sleep to increase brain power

Sleep is required to consolidate memory and learning. If you don't get enough sleep, your grey-matter volume in your frontal lobe may begin to decrease. The brain’s frontal lobe supports and controls the working memory as well as executive function, making it particularly important.

Studies indicate that people are 33 per cent more likely to infer connections among distantly related ideas after sleeping, but few realize that their performance has actually improved. Sleep is also known to enhance your memories and help you improve your performance of challenging skills. In fact, a single night of sleeping only four to six hours can impact your ability to think clearly the next day.

Plasticity or the process of growth is believed to determine the brain's capacity to control behaviour, including learning and memory. Plasticity occurs when neurons are stimulated by events, or information, from the environment. Sleep and sleep loss modify the expression of several genes and gene products that may be important to improve plasticity. Sleep, therefore, is an essential component that can help increase brain power.

Sunlight to increase brain power

Appropriate sunlight helps the body to produce adequate amounts of Vitamin D. Activated Vitamin D receptors increase nerve growth in your brain, and researchers have also located metabolic pathways for Vitamin D in the hippocampus and cerebellum of the brain, the areas that are involved in planning, processing of information, and the formation of new memories.

There are various ways that can help in achieving enhanced brain functioning. It is important to eat healthy including the proper foods and develop the habit of regular meditation or exercise to achieve the best possible results.

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References

  1. Wei Zuo et al. Advances in the Studies of Ginkgo Biloba Leaves Extract on Aging-Related Diseases . Aging Dis. 2017 Dec; 8(6): 812–826. PMID: 29344418
  2. M. Nash, Zahoor A. Shah et al. Current Perspectives on the Beneficial Role of Ginkgo biloba in Neurological and Cerebrovascular Disorders Kevin Integr Med Insights. 2015; 10: 1–9. PMID: 26604665
  3. Zong-mao Chen, Zhi Lin. Tea and human health: biomedical functions of tea active components and current issues* . J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2015 Feb; 16(2): 87–102. PMID: 25644464
  4. Ji Hee Jeong et al. An investigation into the ameliorating effect of black soybean extract on learning and memory impairment with assessment of neuroprotective effects . BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014; 14: 482. PMID: 25496367
  5. Cristina Angeloni et al. Bioactivity of Olive Oil Phenols in Neuroprotection . Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Nov; 18(11): 2230. PMID: 29068387
  6. Ching-I Lin et al. A High-Fructose-High-Coconut Oil Diet Induces Dysregulating Expressions of Hippocampal Leptin and Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase, and Spatial Memory Deficits in Rats . Nutrients. 2017 Jun; 9(6): 619. PMID: 28621759