Reduce Cognitive Changes with Nutrition

Natural treatment for chemo brain

As we all know healthy eating has many benefits. It can improve heart health, gut health, decrease fatigue and lift your mood. However, did you know that eating well is also effective for reducing cognitive changes? (Chemo brain)

Your brain uses around 20% of your body’s calories, so it needs plenty of good fuel to maintain concentration throughout the day, even more so when you are going through cancer treatment! There are no established treatments for cognitive changes, but researchers are looking at possible treatments that could help.

How to improve brain function 

One way to help is by adding a variety of foods to your diet. Foods with iron, vitamin D and omega 3 are especially nutritious for brain health. Eating healthily can make a huge difference to your overall health and decrease side effects from cancer treatment and improve your recovery progress. 

1. Omega-3
Omega-3s help build membranes around each cell in the body, including the brain cells. They can improve the structure of brain cells called neurons.

2. Antioxidants 
Antioxidants protect the enzymes, fats and vitamins in the body, which help to delay or prevent certain types of damage to cells.

3. Vitamin B-2
Helps the brain and nerves communicate.

4.  Coenzyme Q10
Improve symptoms of cognitive changes through its antioxidants properties. 

5. Choline
Your liver can make small amounts of choline, but you must obtain the majority through your diet. Choline impacts the liver function, brain development, muscle movement, nervous system and metabolism. 

Brain-healthy foods to add to your diet

1. Fish and seafood
Fish, especially salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, and sardines, are full of healthy fats essential for brain health. There are many other nutrients that are beneficial to health that are available in fish, including protein, B vitamins, vitamin D, iron, magnesium, and potassium. 

2. Blueberries 
Some of the antioxidants in blueberries have been found to accumulate in the brain and help improve communication between brain cells. These antioxidants may also delay brain ageing and improve memory. Try sprinkling them on your breakfast cereal or add to a smoothie.

3. Turmeric
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, meaning it can directly enter the brain and benefit the cells there. 
This spice can boost brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a type of growth hormone that helps brain cells grow. Try cooking with curry powder, adding turmeric to potato dishes or tea.

4. Broccoli
Super high in vitamin K and antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects. A few studies in older adults have linked a higher vitamin K intake to better memory. 

5. Nuts & Seeds
These foods contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, great for brain health. Along with a rich sources of vitamin E (antioxidant), which protects cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals.The nuts & seeds with the highest amounts of vitamin E include; sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts.

6. Kale
Leafy greens, including kale, can support brain health. Like broccoli, kale contains glucosinolates, and all leafy greens contain other key antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. This is why many consider kale to be a superfood.

7. Whole Grains
Eating whole grains is a great way to benefit from the effects of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant. Whole-grain foods include: brown rice, barley, bulgur wheat, oatmeal, whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta.

8. Avocados
Avocado are a healthy unsaturated fat, which lowers high blood pressure. High blood pressure is linked to cognitive problems. 

9. Eggs
Eggs offer a host of healthy nutrients. Egg yolks are a good source of choline, which is associated with reducing inflammation and promoting brain function, like maintaining memory and communications between brain cells.

10. Soy Products
Soy products include polyphenols also called isoflavones, and other chemicals like daidzein and genistein. These chemicals act as antioxidants, providing a range of health benefits throughout the body.


For more help read - 'How to Reduce Cognitive Changes '

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