Brain health has been an increasing concern for people as dementia becomes an ever more prevalent problem in the UK.
This year it was revealed that the debilitating condition had overtaken heart disease to become the biggest killer in the UK, and it is predicted there will be a million sufferers by 2025.
However, the condition is by no means inevitable, and diet can play a role in preventing brain decline.
In order to boost your cognition you need to ensure you are getting enough of certain nutrients.
Top up on these to improve your brain power.
Best known for helping quality of sleep, the mineral also has benefits for your memory too.
A 2010 study published in the journal Neuron found that magnesium supplements improved working and long-term memory in rats.
It is also important for converting B vitamins, also important for brain health, into their active or ‘useful’ form.
The mineral can be found in high amounts in green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale.
Omega-3 fatty acids
The fatty acids, found in oily fish, flax seeds and walnuts, are essential for good brain health.
Research has linked reduced intake of the nutrient to cognitive decline and dementia.
What’s more, they could keep your heart healthy too.
“Alpha linolenic acid (ALA) is a type of omega-3 that helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels, so getting more of it is a great step towards keeping your heart healthy,” said Cassandra Barns, a nutritionist.
“In addition, our body can use ALA to make two other types of omega-3 – EPA and DHA – and both of these support heart function, help keep blood pressure down and help maintain normal triglyceride levels, all of which lower our risk of heart problems.”
She added that ALA can be found in rich amounts in the flax seed drink Ooomega.
Another mineral with brain-loving powers, zinc can be found in beef, pumpkin seeds and shrimp.
It is not yet known how exactly zinc helps brain health, but a deficiency in it has been linked to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases by scientists.
Research has also suggested taking zinc supplements can help reduce the severity and length of cold symptoms – particularly handy at this time of year.
Additionally, it could help boost your sex drive.