Walnut, potato, mango boost brain performance – Nutritionist

University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, recently carried out successful open heart surgeries.

Walnut was a rich source of ALA (Omega3).

A nutritionist at the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, Tunde Ajobo, on Tuesday said walnut, potato and mango were super foods packed with health enhancing properties for the human brain.

Mr. Ajobo, a Dietician and Head, Dietetic Department of the college, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan.

“These foods have health functions ranging from prevention of heart diseases and cancers to improving skin tone and boosting memory and brain function.” the don said.

He said walnut was a rich source of ALA (Omega3), and therefore, useful in boosting depression and raising cognitive functions.

Mr. Ajobo said walnut was an edible seed of Juglans Regia tree which originated in India and the regions surrounding the Caspian Sea.

“The tree has multiple uses, it can be used as food (edible seed), medicine, furniture, and dye.

“The seed has a number of health benefits ranging from weight management to prevention and slowing of various cancers,” he said.

Mr. Ajobo also said that baked potato with its flesh and skin but without salt had healthy low calorie and high fibre.

“It is a good source of vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese; all are beneficial to brain health.

“100g of baked potato supplies 16 per cent Daily Value (DV) each of Vitamin C and Vitamin B6, 15 per cent DV of Potassium and 11 per cent DV of Manganese.

“Vitamin B6 plays an important role in the production of Serotonin9, Melatonin and GABA,” he said.

Mr. Ajobo also said that Mango was rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Vitamins K, A and E, adding: “Fruits like mangoes and bananas are high in Vitamin B6 and therefore, good for brain health”.

He said Honey is the oldest natural sweetener known to man as it comprised of equal parts of glucose and fructose.

“It contains B vitamins, magnesium, Manganese and Anti-oxidants; all are good for brain health.

“The fructose in honey fuels the brain which is the most energy demanding organ of the body.

“It protects the brain from mental exhaustion and keeps it perked up,” he said.

The dietician said water makes up 85 per cent of the brain weight, adding that lack of water could lead to brain shrinkage.

“Researches have shown that dehydration not only shrinks the brain tissues but adversely affected concentration and memory.

“People should drink water according to their body weight; dividing your weight in kilogrammes by 30 gives the amount of water in litres a day.

“For example, if you weigh 75kg, drink 2.5 litres of water spread out over a day,” he said.


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