You don’t have to avoid all carbs to be healthy. While low-carb diets are trendy, the right carbs can actually boost your brain health. According to Dr. Augusto Miravelle from RUSH University, carbs provide essential energy for brain function.

Your brain uses glucose, a sugar from carbs, to think, learn, and remember. It’s crucial to choose healthy carbs like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as explained by Dr. Thomas Holland, also from RUSH University.

Complex carbs from these sources are digested slowly, keeping you full longer and providing steady energy. Berries, for example, are rich in flavonoids that improve memory.

Fiber in these foods also promotes gut health, which can reduce brain inflammation and the risk of dementia.

Here are six “bad” carbs that are actually good for your brain, as highlighted by Parade:

  1. Whole Grain Bread: Contrary to popular belief, whole grain bread is a healthy source of complex carbs, fiber, and B vitamins, which support brain health.
  2. Potatoes: When not fried or loaded with unhealthy toppings, potatoes are a great source of potassium, aiding nerve signals in the brain.
  3. Enriched Bread and Cereal: These can be good options if whole grains are not available, as they are fortified with essential nutrients like iron and B vitamins.
  4. Nuts: Despite their fat content, nuts like walnuts are packed with fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for brain function.
  5. Dried Fruits: These provide fiber and natural sugars, along with antioxidants that may protect against brain diseases.
  6. Natural Sweeteners: Honey, for example, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can support brain health, unlike refined sugar.

Incorporating these healthy carbs into a balanced diet, such as the MIND diet, can greatly benefit brain health. This diet includes vegetables, beans, berries, whole grains, fish, poultry, and olive oil, while limiting fried foods, sweets, and red meat.

Even if you haven’t focused on brain health before, it’s never too late to start making dietary changes for better brain function, according to Dr. Holland. For more information, check out the detailed insights on Parade.

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