By: William C. Chittick
Anyone with the vaguest knowledge of Islamic culture knows that it has produced extraordinary works of art and architecture — Persian miniatures, the Taj Mahal, the Alhambra. Few are aware, however, that this rich artistic heritage is firmly rooted in a worldview that highlights love and beauty.
The link between love and beauty is clear. We love what we find beautiful. Beauty attracts, ugliness repels. Nor are beauty and ugliness simply physical characteristics. We all know people who are outwardly attractive but personally repellent, and vice versa.
Beauty makes a massive appearance in love poetry like that of Ibn al-Farid, Rumi, Yunus Emre, and countless others. Their verses stir up wonder and delight by evoking the beautiful characteristics of the beloved.
The ability to concentrate and focus comes from an adequate and steady supply of energy. The brain cannot work without energy which comes in the form of glucose in our blood to the brain. Whole grains release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, keeping you mentally alert throughout the day.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. It has been found to help protect the organism from the radical damage to cells which occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s.
Oily fish is the source of omega-3 fats. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) cannot be made by the body, and therefore these fats should be obtained through diet. Oily fish contains EFA in a ready-made form, which enables the body to use it easily. Examples of oily fish include salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards, and kippers. The consumption of these fish can decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.
Several researches have shown that consumption of blueberries may be effective in improving your memory and delaying short-term memory loss. Moreover, blueberries are a source of valuable vitamins. The fact they are widely avaliable makes it even easier to include them in your diet.
Artichokes are low in calories, high in fibre, and contain luteolin. Research has shown that luteolin is responsible for improving spatial working memory. Artichokes are very rich in antioxidants, making them a very good option for those who are on a diet and want to improve the overall brain performance.
Research has shown that green tea naturally contains high levels of the chemical EGCG (epigallocatechin-3 gallate), which is a potent antioxidant. EGCG improves cognitive functions and memory. Around three cups of organic green tea everyday is an excellent way to give your memory a boost.
Eggs are one of the best sources choline.Choline is an essential nutrient that is used to produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in memory. Choline is found in the myelin sheath that insulates nerve fibers throughout the brain.
Coconut oil is abundant in medium-chain fatty acids, which make it the perfect brain fuel. Coconut oil does not turn into harmful trans-fats at high temperatures, which also makes it a healthy oil to use in your cooking. 20 milliliters of good-quality, cold-pressed organic coconut oil a day is certainly a healthy option for your mental health.
Nuts are a great source of vitamin E. Research shows that a good intake of vitamin E might help prevent cognitive decline, particularly in the elderly. Moreover, consuming nuts on regular basis also provides the organism with several essential natural oils.