The brain consumes an immense amount of energy relative to the rest of the body. Thus, the mechanisms that are involved in the transfer of energy from foods to neurons are likely to be fundamental to the control of brain function.
Several dietary components have been identified as having effects on cognitive abilities. There are evidences that the following nutrients are positively associated with brain functions.
- Omega-3 fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid -DHA)
- Omega-6 fatty acids (arachidonic acid -AA)
These long chain PUFA have important roles in brain physiology as they regulate fundamental neurobiological processes, in particular the ones involved in cognition and mood. These modulate neurotransmission and neuroinflammation.
- B vitamins such as B12, B6 and B9
Positive effects on memory performance. Deficiencies in various micronutrients, especially the B vitamins, have adverse effects on cognition.
Studies have demonstrated that oxidative stress and inflammation, as well as impaired insulin resistance, are common features in cardio-metabolic and vascular disease, obesity, and age-related declines in cognitive and motor function. Therefore to reduce the oxidative and inflammatory effects, polyphenols, flavonoid and antioxidant vitamin rich foods and will help.
Thus, good nutritional status is important for proper brain development and maintenance of normal cognitive function.
- Srilakshmi, B. (2002). Dietetics (Revised. New age international publication).
- Srilakshmi, B. (2002). Nutrition Science (Revised. New age international publication.
- Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function. Gómez-Pinilla, F.Nature reviews neuroscience