What was once considered as the “bad” food in the dietary world is now celebrated as “good”. Well, it is not an exaggeration; fat also has its good side and benefits for our body and mind. Does it sound too good to be true? Read on to know what benefits fat offers.
Are you serious, fat is good for our brain?
Yes, it is true that our brain is made up of 60 percent fat. And it is no myth that our brain needs fat to work efficiently and healthily. Another interesting fact is that our brain, although consists of a small portion of our body weight, uses around 20 percent of our body’s metabolic energy.
Healthy food is of paramount importance for us to maintain a healthy brain. According to the scientific studies, nutrition plays a vital role in influencing brain development and function throughout our lives. Eating fat leads to the process of ketosis that provides energy to our brain and protects against diseases related to brain.
A diet with good quantity of monounsaturated fats can also lead to an increase in the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps in learning and memory.
Most important dietary fats for our body and mind
- Polyunsaturated Fat
Polyunsaturated fats are a great source of the essential fatty acids (EFAs) and omega-3 and omega-6, which are required for our brain to function properly. As per the scientific studies, omega-3 fatty acids aid in curing depression. Our body can not produce omega-3 fatty acids, which mean that we take polyunsaturated fats in our diet.
Scientific researches have shown that DHA, also called omega-3 fatty acid, help brain functions like motor skills, speaking ability, memory, etc. Balanced dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acid has been shown to help in the cure of depression, ADHD and bipolar disorder.
- Saturated Fat
Our brain cells consist of saturated fat as one of their major elements and hence it is vital for healthy functioning of our brain. In one of the scientific studies, it was found that consumption of more saturated fat reduced the risk of developing dementia by 36 percent. The liver and immune system are also benefited by the consumption of saturated fat. It is also useful in maintaining right hormone balance.
Foods that are great source of healthy fats
Nuts are packed with unsaturated fats and vitamin E which aids in good brain functioning.
- Coconut Oil
It is of great benefit for our brain as it contains Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT), which is useful in building lean muscle tissue and may also help to heal and regenerate nerve function inside our brain.
Salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. The best way to consume salmon is to either steam it or grill it. Raw fish is another great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Whole Eggs
If you wish to have sharp memory, include eggs in your diet. They are a rich source of fat and choline (water solvable vitamin), which help maintain overall brain health and boost memory skills.
Avocado consists of monounsaturated fats, which are good for brain function and healthy blood flow. When the blood flow is healthy, the brain functions properly. This creamy green fruit is a good friend of your heart as it helps lower cholesterol levels and may help in the prevention of blood clotting. Avocado is also a rich source of potassium, which is helpful in controlling blood pressure, and magnesium, which is believed to reduce the risk of heart disease in men.
- Olive Oil
This healthy fat not only improves taste of the food but also help protect against dementia and cognitive decline and improve memory.
Food for thought
You can make fat work for you by eating it in moderation, neither too little nor too much. Try to consume only unprocessed food sources of healthy fats. By choosing healthy sources of fat, you can enjoy a heathy brain.
The liver and immune system are benefited by the consumption of saturated fat.
A diet with good quantity of monounsaturated fats can also lead to an increase in the production of acetylcholine